Home / Awards
AwardsMovement ThinkingResearchXR

Connecting Researchers in Sharing and Re-Use of Research Data and Software: University of California Office of the President

Sponsor: University of California, Office of the President, Oakland

Guenter Waibel

[email protected] (Principal Investigator)


Open science practices have gained widespread adoption, globally, with the help of federal funding and publisher policies, as well as the increasing visibility and growing awareness of the value of sharing work. This has been largely evident in light of the current COVID19 pandemic, with data sharing driving many areas of research, and open software resources must evolve to meet the needs of researchers. To meet the emerging demands and growing requirements of the research community who need support for both data and software sharing, Dryad and California Digital Library partnered in 2018 and Dryad and Zenodo partnered in 2019. These partnerships have allowed for the three organizations to re-think the data and publishing processes, explore ways for data curation, software preservation, and for output re-use to be tied together more seamlessly.

This project is a one-day, invitational workshop bringing together researchers and adjacent community members with diverse backgrounds to discuss needs, challenges, and priorities for re-using research data and software. The goal of the meeting is to develop pathways for consistent engagement with individuals and groups across the diverse scientific disciplines in order to be connected with and responsive to researchers’ needs and goals. Meeting topics include dataset re-use, deposition guidance, curation standards and requirements, integrations and relationships between data and code, and advocacy and adoption. The anticipated outputs are a set of requirements and needs to better enable data and software sharing and re-use.


I-Corps: Virtual Reality Biofeedback Education Technologies

Award Number: 1938166
Sponsor : Cornell University
Michael Timmons [email protected] (Principal Investigator)

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to provide a new means for how educational content is delivered in virtual reality (VR) with consistent impact, independent of demographics and environment. This technology offers a higher level of personalized learning that can be administered without requiring accompanying professional development for teachers due to the delivery of lessons in a highly controlled virtual environment. Removing this dependence on additional training facilitates the adoption across schools with limited resources. The increased efficacy in learning and retention of material through VR has made it a technology of interest for teachers and school administrators. This technology can be used across a range of educational subjects, and with the immersive personalized learning experience, offers a high-quality learning solution for educators.

This I-Corps project uses biofeedback to personalize learning in virtual reality (VR). The technology manipulates a user’s environment based on their physiological reactions. This can include the surrounding physical objects, light source, or landscape. The auditory manipulation is a more indirect change where the audio path of a lesson is based on the emotional reaction of a user, such as when someone is distracted or agitated. This emotional reaction is based on tracking numerous physiological inputs over time. The identification process is based on existing research using the same physiological measures to classify users’ emotional states and improved through this project This level of adaptation enables a higher degree of VR program customization and more a meaningful learning experience while using the technology.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

MRI: Acquisition of a High-Resolution Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer for Environmental Monitoring and Metabolomics Research and Training: Brown University

Kurt Pennell

[email protected]

Recent instances of human exposure to environmental contaminants include the situation with lead in Flint, Michigan tap water and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Cape Fear River Basin, which serves as a drinking water supply for Wilmington, North Carolina. These cases have contributed to a public awakening and recognition about a range of environmental contaminants. This project supports the purchase of a high-resolution mass spectrometer, called the QExactive Orbitrap. The unique capabilities of the QExactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer allow for the separation of thousands of chemicals contained in a single sample and the identification of these chemicals at trace concentrations. This instrument will enable research and training on the measurement of organic contaminants in environmental samples (for example, in soil and water) and biological samples (for example, in blood and urine). The mass spectrometer also will help researchers assess changes in human metabolism in response to contaminant exposure.<br/><br/>This project brings together a diverse and active research team to determine the prevalence of contaminants in the environment and to advance our understanding of the effects of chemical exposures on human health. The specific research activities supported by the acquisition of a QExactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer include: (a) identifying metabolic alterations associated with exposure to environmental contaminants, (b) detecting contaminants in soil, water and air samples, (c) measuring the contaminant levels in humans, and (d) identifying biomarkers associated with adverse health outcomes. These activities will support research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students, who will receive personalized training related to instrument operation, data extraction, and analysis. The mass spectrometer will be available to both internal and external researchers and will be used to support environmental monitoring efforts affiliated with local schools, research centers and community organizations.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

MRI: Acquisition of Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope for the Multidisciplinary Research and Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Xiao-Dong Zhou

[email protected]

The principal aim of this project is to facilitate multidisciplinary research for three-dimensional reconstructions of highly complex microscopic samples that have not yet been achieved but are crucial for the interpretation of topology and geometry of surface and shape attributes of various types of specimens relating to energy materials, petroleum, geology, and biological systems. The project will significantly transform the study of the nano/microstructure and chemical composition of a wide variety of inorganic and organic compounds and provide scientific insights that would otherwise be unattainable, and will be integrated with other analytical tools. The project will also encompass significant educational and outreach activities, including collaboration with local schools and Science Museum, multi-year undergraduate and graduate research programs, advanced technical training and inclusive workforce development for future electron microscopists. <br/><br/>Goals of this project are to (i) investigate the role of interface structures on the durability of high-performance fuel cell electrodes, (ii) enable an understanding of materials for solid-state batteries, (iii) unravel the unexpected catalytic activity in mesoporous oxides, (iv) explore the role of nano/microstructures on the properties of magnetic materials, (v) conduct research on geomaterials, self-healing concrete, and cosmic dust, (vi) characterize complex micro-fracture propagation in heterogeneous unconventional resources, (vii) understanding the mechanisms of self-healing concrete under harsh environmental conditions, (viii) improve the design of absorbents for the treatment of hydraulic fracturing flowback water, (ix) analyze presolar grains to identify astrophysical conditions, (x) conduct biodiversity, developmental, morphological, cytological and biomineralization research in vastly varying fields pertaining to microstructures of calcified coralline algae, fern spores, and plant organs, (xi) understand functional roles of fibroblast growth factor receptors signaling on astrocyte development, and (xii) resolve microstructures in photosynthesis proteins, and in extracellular matrix of tumor cells.<br/><br/>This project is jointly funded by CBET-MRI Program and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

Navigating Pathways to Success: Improving Outcomes for Rural Community College STEM Scholars through Mentoring and Comprehensive Interventions: Cape Cod Community College

Fredrick Bsharah

[email protected]

Millions of STEM jobs are projected to go unfilled in the future. For low-income, rural, diverse students, a community college can be the only accessible entry point for higher education, a gateway to STEM careers. Unfortunately, these students face complex barriers that decrease their ability to pursue and successfully complete STEM programs. Over five years, Cape Cod Community College's S-STEM program will fund over fifty scholarships to academically talented students with demonstrated financial need in its engineering, computer science, mathematics, and science programs. In addition to financial support, the STEM Scholars program will employ evidence-based strategies of effective mentoring, academic support, cohort-building, and other interventions to help Scholars persist, transfer to four-year degree programs, and prepare them for STEM careers. To achieve program goals, the college will work with regional high schools and transfer universities. The project will focus on increasing access and entry for low-income, rural, and diverse students initially into STEM programs and then into well-paid, in-demand STEM careers.<br/><br/>Project goals are to increase recruitment, retention, completion, and transfer rates in STEM programs among students who are academically talented and have demonstrated financial need. Evidence-based, comprehensive interventions will be used to promote student success. Students will start by attending a cohort-based orientation designed to develop a shared sense of purpose and community. Faculty mentors will have frequent meetings with students to provide career-focused advising, connect students with resources, and discuss any academic or personal issues that may put student success at-risk. In addition, students will participate in scheduled study groups, tutoring, and supplemental instruction. Transfer advising and visits to transfer universities will be initiated during each student's first term. To support STEM profession exploration, the project will offer industry partner mentoring, industry speaker panels, visits to industry job sites, internship and job shadowing opportunities, and attendance at professional conferences. To create a cohort and a sense of connection, the project will offer opportunities for students to socialize and participate in group identity-building activities. Finally, this project will fund scholarships to address student need. As part of their efforts, the project team will seek to determine which activities have the most impact on student retention, completion, and transfer in STEM programs, particularly among rural students, and why. Dissemination of results will take place in publications, online, and through conferences. This project furthers the goals of the NSF's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program by increasing the number of low-income academically talented students who earn degrees in STEM fields.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

Creating STEM Opportunities for High-Achieving Rural Alabama Students: University of North Alabama

Melissa Moore-Driskell

[email protected]

With funding from the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, this project will provide scholarships to academically promising, low-income students drawn from the Alabama rural catchment region. By engaging local high schools, families, and support systems, this program will develop a pathway for rural students in the region to enroll in STEM programs at the University of North Alabama. Scholars will be provided with a tailored yet diverse breadth of academic and co-curricular opportunities to promote retention, graduation, and success in the STEM workforce. The goal of the program will be for at least 90% of S-STEM scholarship recipients to enter a STEM-related career and/or pursue graduate STEM studies. Graduates of the program will support the growing economic and industrial needs of the region as STEM job growth is expected to increase by over 20% in north Alabama by 2026. The program has the potential to provide innovative best practices that may be used to increase STEM retention, graduation, and workforce development at other institutions that serve rural students.<br/><br/>The S-STEM Scholars program will strive to graduate at least 75% of its Scholars in eight semesters and increase the University of North Alabama's four-year graduation rate by sixteen percentage points. To achieve these goals, Scholars will be offered a well-coordinated blend of academic and co-curricular activities, including college orientation, faculty mentoring and institutional advising, community engagement, career and entrepreneurial opportunities, University support services, and institutional engagement. To determine the effectiveness of program activities on the recruitment, retention, and graduation of STEM students from rural backgrounds, as well as changes in perceptions related to college, belonging, and careers, the current program project will compare S-STEM Scholars (the treatment group) with non-Scholars (control group). The program will use a matched sample approach to identify non-Scholars who share as many characteristics with the treatment group as possible. The differences between the treatment and control groups will be analyzed using a between-subjects and within-subjects design. Specifically, this study will examine if the additional activities offered to Scholars, and the levels of participation by Scholars, result in significant differences in outcomes. The project will use a mixed-method design that will involve collecting, analyzing, and integrating quantitative data from survey questions and qualitative data from focus groups. By using different methods and techniques, it will allow for corroboration of the robustness of the findings and their generalizability to other institutions that serve rural students.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

10th African Materials Research Society (A-MRS) Conference 2019: Materials Research Society

Eric Garfunkel

[email protected]

This award to the Materials Research Society supports mainly the participation of US based-scientists at the Tenth African Materials Research Society (A-MRS) Conference. The A-MRS conferences bring unique value by pulling together leading international scientists and engineers to discuss recent advances in broad areas of materials research and to help define future research priorities including in areas of critical need for Africa. The themes for the 10th A-MRS conference include materials for energy; health, nanoscience/nanotechnology; agriculture/Environment; sustainable buildings and constructions; computational materials science; and materials for mining and mineral processing. The conference also includes sessions on education/networking in materials science and engineering curriculum development, web-based learning, exchanges, summer schools on manufacturing and structural materials. The themes of the conference appropriately address topics of interest to the global community as well as issues specific to Africa. The funds will support travel and participation costs of students and young scientists currently working in American universities, some support will also be used to bring in leading senior international scientists and African graduate students. The Conference will be held at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania in December 2019. Organized by the African-MRS with strong support of the Materials Research Society (MRS), the heart of the Conference is to build knowledge, foster relationships and promote action to further the understanding in the broad fields associated with materials science and technology. Similar to past African-MRS Conferences, participants will come from around the world, with an anticipated attendance of 500. The award is from Division of Materials Research and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

Non-linear THz optical effects as a probe of Berry's phase in topological materials: Johns Hopkins University

Norman Armitage

[email protected]

Non-Technical Abstract:<br/>Most of what we know about materials comes from their response to perturbations at their favorite (natural) frequencies. For instance, the pitch of sound from a plucked violin string depends on its length, the tension in it, and its thickness. In a similar way, the behavior of atoms in materials depends on the natural frequency, which, for many solid materials, fall in the Terahertz spectral range, a very difficult range to access technically until recently. This project takes advantage of recent dramatic technical advances in Terahertz frequencies to probe new materials called topological materials. These materials have been predicted to possess properties that make them useful for developing electronic devices for quantum information technology. This project also includes a broad initiative in education and outreach. The work is of particular educational value in training students with unique skills to prepare them as the work force in high tech industries. The research team will play active roles in the Johns Hopkins Physics Fair- an outreach activity which brings hundreds of people each year through Hopkins' labs during a Saturday event and exposes them to various physics demonstrations and activities. The team will also give demonstration shows at the Physics Fair and work with under-resourced local schools.<br/><br/>Technical Abstract:<br/>This is a project to investigate a number of topological and other material systems that have important Berry phase effects using nonlinear optical response. Topological states of matter have been of central interest in condensed matter physics in recent years, yet we are lacking unique measures of many of these systems' electrodynamic properties. Theory has indicated that the nonlinear response of these compounds can give unique insight into the essential Berry phase structure of their underlying wavefunctions. Measurements will emphasize the extended THz range (here 0.1 – 40 THz [0.4 – 165 meV]) where generally responses target the low energy emergent degrees of freedom, but experiments will use a full complement of photon energies up through the near infrared. Experiments will be performed on both topological materials and trivial materials with important Berry phase effects. Materials include topological insulators, Weyl semimetals, Dirac semimetals, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides. We will explore the nonlinear response of these system to both linear and circularized polarized radiation in a number of specific configurations that are designed to elucidate their Berry phase structure (Berry curvature and Berry connection) in these compounds. Many theoretical predictions exist, but experimentally, this is an almost completely unexplored area, which aside from its intrinsic importance has the potential to give major new insight into what might have been considered a mature area — the nonlinear response of solids.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Child and Child-Directed Expression of Possession in a Polysynthetic Language: University of Hawaii

Andrea Berez-Kroeker

[email protected]

The scientific field of language acquisition research examines a basic foundation of the human experience: How children come to speak their first language. For decades the field has largely focused on languages with millions (or even billions) of speakers, such as Spanish, French, Japanese, and English. We know very little about how children learn to speak most of the other 7000 languages around the world. Approximately half of these languages are in danger of disappearing, which includes all of the Algonquian language family, one of the largest groups of indigenous languages in North America. Algonquian languages such as Northern East Cree (NEC) are radically different from those typically studied in language acquisition research, and as these languages cease to be spoken, we lose the chance to understand how children acquire the fundamentally human capacity of linguistic expression. This dissertation project explores how children learn to speak NEC, one of the few remaining indigenous languages in North America still learned by children as a first language. This project analyzes and improves video/audio recordings collected by the Chisasibi Child Language Acquisition Study (CCLAS), and this dissertation also includes new fieldwork with adult speakers of NEC to provide more insight into how the language works and the stages children go through when learning the language. This dissertation project offers a range of benefits for science and for communities. It will enhance existing documentation of NEC and include child speech as well as speech from adults to children, both of which are underrepresented genres in language documentation. It will also expand the purview and deepen the diversity of language acquisition research. Furthermore, this dissertation can help provide Cree communities with better tools for language assessment and speech-language pathology, so that children may have better support on their journey to become speakers of their language. Lastly, the documentation and description generated by this dissertation can help inform the development of curricula and teaching materials for learners of the Cree language.<br/><br/>This dissertation will enhance and expand the documentary record of NEC. This project will create new language documentation as well as enrich existing recordings of child and child-directed speech collected by the Chisasibi Child Language Acquisition Study (CCLAS). The focus of this dissertation is the first language acquisition of the expression of possession, which is a fundamental concept in cognitive and linguistic development. This project will create and advance language documentation on two fronts. First, research involves working with adult speakers of NEC to review CCLAS recordings and elicit and transcribe adult-like targets. This will produce hours of transcribed and annotated audio recordings of NEC as well as unique metalinguistic commentary and analysis. Second, these adult targets, transcriptions, elicitations, analysis, commentary, and notes will be used to enrich the existing CCLAS corpus. This work will help enable CCLAS to make additional transcripts, annotations, and media files publicly available. Through this work, this dissertation will help break new scientific ground. For example, this dissertation examines speech genres often absent in language documentation, and it enriches the range and typological diversity of language acquisition research. This project can also provide insight to help ensure that methods and tools in language assessment and speech-language pathology are linguistically and culturally inappropriate. The findings from this research can also inform the creation of curriculum and pedagogical materials to benefit not only second language learners but also meet the needs of schools teaching Cree-speaking children about the structure of their mother tongue.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFreedom CheteniSchool Administrators ResearchThe Superintendents Journal

Collaborative Research: Engineering the Chemistry at Solid-Solid Interfaces of Li-O2 Battery Cathodes: Purdue University

Jeffrey Greeley

[email protected]

Lithium-oxygen batteries potentially could have energy storage capacities that rival gasoline fuel, but there remains much fundamental scientific knowledge to learn about these batteries before the technology can be commercialized. In particular, some of the chemical products formed during the operation of the batteries can slowly degrade and poison the materials, leading to performance losses over extended periods of operation. This research project seeks to overcome these problems by exploring a class of inexpensive, mixed metal oxide electrocatalysts that may alter the chemistry of lithium-oxygen batteries. This project aims to develop a framework to engineer the chemistry of lithium-oxygen batteries, which are a potential next-generation energy storage device, and to improve their performance. The studies combine advanced characterization methods and theoretical calculations to determine how the properties of the oxide surfaces influence the products that are produced on lithium-oxygen electrodes. These insights will be leveraged to develop design principles that will aide in identifying oxide electrocatalysts that improve battery cell performance. The researchers involved in this project will partner with local K-12 schools to involve economically disadvantaged students with the proposed research through summer internships and student exchanges. They aim to inspire the students to pursue careers in science and engineering. <br/><br/>A fundamental understanding of the reactions occurring at solid-solid interfaces is critical for the development of next-generation energy storage devices, such as lithium-oxygen batteries. Lithium-oxygen batteries have attracted significant interest in recent years due to their exceptionally high theoretical energy density. If even 15% of this energy density is achieved, then it would equal the value of gasoline, making lithium-oxygen batteries with driving ranges of up to 500 miles per charge commercially viable. While this technology is very attractive, numerous technical challenges need to be overcome before its widespread adoption is possible. Some of these challenges include: (i) insolubility of the solid discharge reaction products, leading to clogging of the cathode and eventually resulting battery cell death; (ii) low roundtrip (discharge-charge cycle) efficiency due to high charge overpotentials to dissociate the main discharge reaction product, lithium peroxide; and (iii) instability of electrolytes at high overpotentials. This research project seeks to alleviate these issues by designing solid-solid interfaces at the cathode of lithium-oxygen batteries that selectively stabilize lithium-deficient discharge products that are not insulating and can be dissociated at reasonable overpotentials. The researchers will apply a combined experimental and theoretical approach to study the chemistry at these solid-solid interfaces with the aim of designing materials that can selectivity tune the discharge product distribution such that it leads to improved battery performance. In particular, the work will involve a combination of advanced characterization studies and theoretical calculations to determine how the elemental composition, electronic properties, and symmetry of the oxide surface influence the discharge product distribution in lithium-oxygen cathodes. The studies will elucidate the effect of the global oxide crystal structure on the discharge product formation and lead to the development of design principles for identifying oxide electrocatalysts that are highly selective towards the formation of lithium-deficient oxide discharge products and therefore exhibit low charge overpotentials.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

1 2 3 608 609
About Exponent

Exponent is a modern business theme, that lets you build stunning high performance websites using a fully visual interface. Start with any of the demos below or build one on your own.

Get Started
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound