The Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise has awarded its annual internal funding opportunities to seed research on campus. Over $280,000 was awarded to 28 faculty members to kick-start or further current research projects. The funding mechanisms were the long-established seed grants programs—Connect, GREAT and INTRA—with 26 grants given for FY 2021.

“Research, along with student success, is vital for the university’s future. Seed grants are an integral part in evolving the knowledge enterprise. Now more than ever it’s critical to grow research and engage even more students in the process,” said Bernard Arulanandam, the division’s vice president.

The funds help faculty explore new ideas, support student engagement in research activities and acquire the necessary data to apply for more complex external funding to propel their research. Seeding internal research also leads to additional funding from federal agencies. For example, the FY 2018 seed grant awards had a 279% return on investment with awardees securing $1.2 million in follow-up funding. Prior-year programs continue to yield success.


“Seed grants are an integral part in evolving the knowledge enterprise.”



Connecting Researchers through Partnerships (Connect) is a joint funding opportunity with the Southwest Research Institute. Full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty at UTSA apply along with a designated collaborator from SwRI. Two teams were awarded.

Doug Frantz | Chemistry, UTSA
Shawn Blumberg | Chemistry/Pharmaceuticals and Bioengineering, SwRI
Synthesis of Highly Potent C-9 Artemisinin Derivatives for the Low-Cost Treatment of Artemisinin Resistant Malaria

Christopher Combs | Mechanical Engineering, UTSA
Nicholas Mueschke | Mechanical Engineering, SwRI
Development of Non-Intrusive Measurements and Simulations for Hypersonic Flight Testing


The Grant for Research Advancement and Transformation (GREAT) supports new areas of research for faculty at UTSA and facilitates the collection of preliminary data that can be used to seek extramural funding by full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty. Four faculty members from three colleges were each awarded $20,000.

Ibukun Awolusi | College of Architecture, Construction & Planning, Construction Science
Construction Safety and Health Activity Analysis Using Aerial Systems and Deep Learning

Saugata Datta | College of Sciences, Geological Sciences
Microbial Sulfate Reduction: Implication for Brackish Groundwater Desalination

Lindsey Macpherson | College of Sciences, Biology
Investigating Taste Recovery after Chemotherapy Treatment

Jason Yaeger | College of Liberal and Fine Arts, Anthropology
Climate Change, Resilience, and Water Management: Ancient Maya Niche Construction in Western Belize


The Internal Research Awards (INTRA) program facilitates the identification and submission of applications to potential funding sources, provides preliminary data to support applications for extramural funding, and enhances scholarly and creative activities. Research outcomes can include publications, exhibits, performances or external grant proposals within their discipline and represent growth of the principal investigator’s research portfolio. Selected by a college-specific committee, including the respective associate deans for research, 20 faculty members from 15 departments were each awarded $5,000.

College of Architecture, Construction and Planning

Debaditya Chakraborty | Construction Science
Energy Performance Analysis of Urban Buildings under Climate Change Scenarios

College of Business

Arka Roy | Management Science and Statistics
Towards Spatiotemporally Robust Radiation Therapy

Min Wang | Management Science and Statistics
Bayesian General Linear Hypothesis Testing in High‐Dimensional Linear Models

David Han | Management Science and Statistics
Development of the Optimal Condition-Based Maintenance Policy under a Stochastic Degradation Process, and the Application of the Reinforcement Learning in the System Health Management

Yuanxiong Guo | Information Systems and Cyber Security
On-Demand and Flexible Mobile Edge Computing with Integrated Aerial-Ground Vehicles

Zhongxia Ye | Accounting
Compensation Consultant Expected Fee Growth and CEO Pay

College of Education and Human Development

Rica Ramirez | Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
Oral Language and Reading of Elementary-Age Bilingual Children with Developmental Language Disorder: A Systematic Review

College for Health, Community and Policy

Kelly Cheever | Kinesiology
Effect of Repeated Sub-Concussive Head Impacts on Cervical Sensorimotor Function and Balance in Collegiate Soccer Players

Eunhee Chung | Kinesiology
Exercise and Bioactive Compound to Alleviate Skeletal Muscle Atrophy in Type 2 Diabetic Mice

Melinda Denton | Sociology
20 Years On: Exploring the Shift in Racial Attitudes among Evangelicals

Sandra Morissette | Psychology
The Impact of Cannabis Use and Disorder Alone and in Combination with Other Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders on Academic Success in College Students

Shelby Scott | Psychology
A Preliminary Investigation of Transgender Romantic Relationships, Minority Stress and Mental Health Outcomes

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Kerry Sinanan | English
Myths of Mastery: Traders, Planters and Colonial Agents 1750–1834

Neil Debbage | Political Science and Geography
Spatiotemporal Assessment of San Antonio’s Surface Urban Heat Island

Serife Tekin | Philosophy and Classics
Reclaiming the Self in Psychiatry: Centering Personal Narratives for a Humanist Science

Robert Hard | Anthropology
The Emergence of Collective Action

Luca Pozzi | Anthropology
The Role of Climate Change in Shaping Species Diversity: A Regional Study in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

Andrew Konove | History
Making Change: Money, Wealth and Sovereignty in Hispanic America, 1750–1850

Kristen Pellegrino | Music Education
Music Teacher Identity Development: A Longitudinal Study

Wing Chung Ng | History
Connecting Worlds: Master Womg Toa’s Trans-Pacific Life and Career, 1914–2015

 

Source: Research seed funding awarded to faculty to spark innovation | UTSA Today | UTSA | The University of Texas at San Antonio