Notre Dame Research announces awardees of the Research and Scholarship Program — Initiation Grant

Author: Brett Beasley

Mc 5

Notre Dame Research (NDR) has selected five awardees of the Research and Scholarship Program — Initiation Grant (RSP-IG).

A competitive internal funding opportunity, the RSP-IG provides seed funds to established faculty initiating new programs of research, scholarship, or creative endeavor or to early career faculty beginning their research programs. Grants up to $10,000 of total funding, as appropriate to the research proposal, are available through this program.

Jeffrey F. Rhoads, vice president for research and professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, said, “Notre Dame Research is delighted to support this group of truly innovative and wide-ranging projects. Each of these projects contains a bold idea—not just for adding to knowledge but also for creating benefits for society.”

The following five projects received funding this cycle:

Sharing a Data-informed Approach for Enhancing Catholic Education

Two faculty members in the Institute for Educational Initiatives will collaborate on a project titled "Exploring Ways to Measure and Improve Data Culture in Catholic Schools." Julie Dallavis, assistant professor of the practice with the Institute's Program Evaluation and Research team will work with Frankie Jones, an assistant clinical professor in the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. Dallavis and Jones will use their grant to support fieldwork in K-8 Catholic schools. As part of their fieldwork, they will foster more data-driven approaches to school improvement among teachers and school leaders.

Helping Schools Apply Improvement Science to Enhance Literacy Instruction

Betsy Okello and Sandria Morten, both members of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the Alliance for Catholic Education in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, will conduct a project titled "Developing Literacy Leaders through Improvement Science." Okello is an assistant clinical professor, and Morten is an assistant teaching professor. Okello and Morten will work alongside the leaders of Catholic elementary schools to enhance the way the schools use improvement science to improve classroom practices and literacy outcomes for students.

Learning the Untold Stories of Women Printers

Daniela Rovida will conduct a project titled "Women Printers in 16th-Century Venice." Rovida is a rare books librarian and faculty member of the Metadata Services Program who works closely with the Hesburgh Libraries Rare Books and Special Collections. Rovida's project explores the hidden stories of the pioneering women who left a mark on the printing industry during the hand press era. Of particular interest are the women who, after facing difficult circumstances, sought refuge at Venice's "il Convento delle Convertite," and worked at the Convent's printing shop.

Developing New Methods for Learning about Addiction

Diane Lane, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received support for a project titled "Development of a versatile and effective drug self-administration device for murine models of addiction." Lane will develop a drug self-administration device that can be used in animal models of addiction. The device will eliminate the need to use catheters and special chambers, which are currently needed to administer drugs in research studies. This will allow for a better experimental design that enables test subjects to move naturally and interact socially providing more reliable and generalizable results.

Using a Graphic Novel to Share Anthropology Research

Catherine E. Bolten received support for a project titled “Transforming Research Dissemination: Translating Field Anthropology Through the Medium of the Graphic Novel.” Bolten is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs. Bolten conducted award-winning research on how both farmers and chimpanzees are adapting to climate change in central Sierra Leone. The project will use the medium of the graphic novel to share Bolten’s findings and tell the story behind what she observed during her fieldwork.

For more information on all internal grant programs within Notre Dame Research, including past recipients and more, please visit


Brett Beasley / Writer and Editorial Program Manager
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.