Notre Dame Research announces awardees of the Research and Scholarship Program – Regular Grant

Author: Brett Beasley

Main Building, University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Research (NDR) has selected three awardees of the Research and Scholarship Program – Regular Grant (RSP-RG).

A competitive internal funding opportunity, the RSP-RG supports outstanding research, scholarship, or creative endeavors that will make a major contribution in any field of study and advance the University’s mission to “create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good.” It provides up to $100,000 to support a new standalone project or a major innovation connected to established research.

Jeffrey F. Rhoads, vice president for research and professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, said, “By enhancing the way we respond to disasters, improving efforts to secure our heritage, and deepening our understanding of how we cope with difficult life events these inspiring projects show what it means to live Notre Dame's mission by making discoveries that serve a world deeply in need.”

The three following proposals received funding for the current awards cycle:

Fostering Resilience in the Face of Disasters

Clinton Carlson received support for a project titled “Resilient Communities: An Emergency Imagination Workshop.” Carlson is the Robert P. Sedlack, Jr. Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Design. Carlson will work with Rodrigo Ramirez, founder of Guemil Icons for Emergencies, an open-source resource that aims to make emergency communication more accessible and inclusive. Carlson and Ramirez will test and refine a workshop and toolkit for helping communities respond to disasters with resilience.

Using the Tools of Physics to Analyze Artworks and Enhance Preservation

Khachatur Manukyan will lead a project titled "Multiscale Scientific Analysis of Spanish-American Artworks at the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art." Manukyan, an associate research professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy will work with two of his departmental colleagues: Freimann Professor of Physics Ani Aprahamian and Freimann Professor of Physics Michael Wiescher. The team also includes Bahram Moasser, associate teaching professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and two art historians: Cheryl Snay, an assistant professor of the practice, and Michael Schreffler, professor and associate dean of the College of Arts & Letters. The team will conduct scientific analyses to determine materials used in the production of 16th-18th century paintings from the Spanish Americas. This knowledge will help improve conservation and restoration practices while also providing training opportunities for undergraduate students.

How Bittersweet Music Affects Our Understanding of Life

Berthold Hoeckner received support for a project titled “The Bittersweet Spot: How Musical Emotions Affect the Understanding of Life Events.” Hoeckner is the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Music. He will work with Tsz Man Vanessa Chan, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Psychology. The two will also collaborate with Stephen Hedger, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Member of the Brain & Mind Institute at Huron University, and Howard C. Nusbaum, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom at the University of Chicago. Together the team will use a variety of methods, including big data text analysis of social media posts, to investigate how bittersweet music may help to produce an understanding of human challenges and choices in past life events.

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.