Notre Dame Research announces 2020 Internal Grant Program recipients

Author: Brandi Wampler

Bj 3

Twenty-three researchers from the University of Notre Dame have received awards through the Notre Dame Research Internal Grant Program. The goal of this program is to support outstanding research, scholarship, or creative endeavor that will make a major contribution in any field of study.

“The Faculty Research Support Program is intended to support excellent research programs that have a particular fit to the mission of the University of Notre Dame,” said Richard E. Billo, associate vice president for research and professor of computer science and engineering. “From physics to theatre, and philosophy to economics, these awards support diverse research, scholarship, and creative endeavor studies across campus.”

The 2020 Faculty Research Support Regular Grant Program recipients are:

  • Feraz Azhar, assistant professor of philosophy, and Nicholas Teh, associate professor of philosophy, who are affiliates of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, for their study, “Establishing the effective theory paradigm for basic science.”
  • David Chiang, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and Hildegund Müller, associate professor of classics, for their research, “Genera Dicendi: Computer-assisted analysis of Augustine’s homiletic style.”
  • Matt Hawkins, assistant professor and director of musical theatre and creative producer of the New Works Lab, for his project, “’Stupid Humans: a new pop musical.” The musical was written by Notre Dame student Jorge “Jay” Rivera-Herrans, directed by Hawkins, and developed through the New Works Lab. 
  • David Lincicum, Rev. John A. O’Brien Associate Professor of Theology, for his project called, “Origen’s Hexapla: Spectral Reflectance Transformation Imaging and digital reconstruction.”
  • Abraham Winitzer, Jordan H. Kapson Associate Professor of Jewish Studies; Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Thought, and Ulrich Lehner, William K. Warren Professor of Theology, for the research titled, “The Spirit of Scholarship, Part II: The Roman Catholic background of ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies and its legacy.”

The 2020 Faculty Research Support Initiation Grant Program recipients are:

  • Seth Berry, assistant teaching professor of information technology, analytics, and operations, for his study called, “Measuring aversive racism through client-side paradata.”
  • Jaimie Bleck, associate professor of political science, for her research titled, “Mapping Civil Society Organization in Mali: State counterweights or collaborators?”
  • La Donna L. Forsgren, assistant professor of film, television, and theatre, for the project, "'Mama, I Want to Sing!’: Queering the black musical theatre canon.” 
  • Therese Cory, John and Jean Oesterle Associate Professor of Thomistic Studies, for research, “History of philosophy forum.”
  • Chloe Gibbs, assistant professor of economics, for the study titled, “Improving high school students’ post-secondary pathways.”
  • Robert E. Norton, Professor of German and Concurrent Professor of Philosophy and History, for the research called, “The School of Wisdom: Hermann von Keyserling and the philosophy of life.
  • Ian Newman, assistant professor of English, for the project, “Song Stories: The ballad and its narrators.”
  • Alexander Jech, associate professor of the practice of philosophy, for the study, “A Kierkegaard glossary.”
  • Manuela Lahne, research assistant professor of biological sciences, for the research investigating, “Neurotransmitter-mediated signaling in Müller glia and neuronal progenitor cells in the adult regenerating zebrafish retina.”
  • John Lalor, instructor of information technology, analytics, and operations, for his study called, “Towards automatic generation of electronic health record note comprehension questions.”
  • Ross Jacobucci, assistant professor of psychology, for his research titled, “Dynamic Multimodal Assessment of Suicide Risk: An initial application.”
  • Kati Macaluso, assistant teaching professor for the Alliance for Catholic Education, and Assistant Professor of the Practice Christine Trinter, for the project, “Exploring the influence of Catholic school teacher leaders in under-resourced schools.”   
  • Phillip Stepanian, research assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, for the study, “A real-time prediction system for forecasting insect emergence, dispersal, and swarming events on the Great Lakes.”
  • Wanpeng Tan, research associate professor of physics, for the research, “Understanding the mirror sector of the universe.”

Notre Dame Research’s Internal Grant Program seeks to support faculty researchers and programs with the goal of advancing the University’s research enterprise, scholarly output, and creative endeavor, and is currently accepting proposals for the Equipment Restoration and Renewal, Library Acquisitions, and Kobayashi Travel Fund grant programs. The deadline to apply for these grant programs is Thursday, January 30, 2020. For more information on how to apply, past recipients, and more, please visit


Brandi R. Wampler / Research Communications Specialist

Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame / 574.631.8183 /  @UNDResearch

About Notre Dame Research

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world. For more information, please see or @UNDResearch.