Several projects that push the boundaries of knowledge and have high potential for impact have been awarded support through Princeton's Dean for Research Innovation Fund.
The funding makes possible explorations in the natural sciences and social sciences, collaborations with industry, and collaborations between artists and scientists or engineers. Several of the projects have the potential for direct benefits to human health while others explore themes in history and the arts. The projects were chosen by faculty-led committees based on the quality, originality and potential of the research.
"Princeton faculty are pioneers across the range of human inquiry, and these innovation funds enable our researchers and their teams to explore paths that they might not otherwise take," said Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti, the Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and professor of chemical and biological engineering. "Through this funding program, the University shows support for the innovation mindset that leads to truly profound advances and can also lead to societal benefits."
New ideas in the natural sciences
The fund supports the exploration of new concepts that require additional study or experiments before they are ready to become the basis of a competitive proposal to a funding agency.
Finding novel antimicrobials by studying marsupials
Boosting the ability to study molecules in motion
Lowering barriers to gene therapy for the brain
New ideas in the social sciences
This fund encourages scholarship on new and enduring questions. The selected projects are ones that will result in the advancement of a discipline through the development of new directions, working groups, conferences, technologies, or expanded access to research resources, or lead to a major piece of scholarly work.
Resilience: A psychological and ecological history
Social histories: Applying statistical methods to understand the past
This fund supports research collaborations that address societal challenges of interest both to industry and to academic scientists and engineers. Industry often plays an essential role in bringing the innovations of University researchers to fruition and making them available to society at large. The program requires an agreement from the industry collaborator to provide matching funds in the second year of the project.
Time-resolved breath oxygen monitor for critical care
Novel nanostructured complex fluids for biofilm removal
Research collaborations between artists and scientists or engineers
This fund encourages collaborations between faculty scholars in the arts and those in the natural sciences or engineering to promote synergistic innovations, allowing experts in seemingly unrelated fields to unify and expand their respective knowledge in ways that benefit both disciplines.
NODES-Net tOpology and Dance Exploration Systems
The project involves first designing and fabricating different types of nets and then hosting intensive research sessions with dancers in Princeton's Lewis Center for the Arts. The team will experiment with choreography and collect movement in a digital framework gathered from reflective beads mounted on the nets. The project will include collaboration with Adam Finkelstein, professor of computer science, to transform these data into insights on net structure and properties. The project will include a public performance.
The team includes Michael Celia, the Theodora Shelton Pitney Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of PEI; Peter Jaffe, the William L. Knapp '47 Professor of Civil Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering; Zia Mian, research scientist at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security; and Emily Wild, Princeton's chemistry, geosciences and environmental studies librarian.