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December 4, 2007
Contact: Sarah Kidwell
(401) 863-2476

Seed Funding Supports Brown’s Internationalization Effort

Six seed fund grants totaling $85,000 have been awarded to Brown faculty to support diverse and unique international collaborations. This seed funding furthers the University’s effort to stimulate research and education on a global scale. It is the first funding of this kind at Brown.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Provost David I. Kertzer has announced that $85,000 in seed funding grants has been awarded to six recipients to aid the University’s internationalization effort. The six diverse projects represent the University’s major divisions and span the world from Latin American to Europe to China. The unique areas of research range from global health to urban inequality to providing safe haven for persecuted artists. The funding is in keeping with the University’s effort to enhance its reach in international education and research.

“Funding these projects underscores our commitment to expanding global research and education,” Kertzer said. “These seed fund grants support our goal of further shaping Brown into the international institution we envision. Each project will bring about a new collaboration between our faculty and their counterparts around the globe.”

The first project strengthens the University’s ties with Brazil. In it, the Spatial Inequalities in the Global South Working Group, comprised of Brown faculty from several disciplines including the departments of sociology, economics and the Watson Institute for International Studies, will establish a partnership with the Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Pesquisa (CEBRAP), Brazil’s premier social science facility. The partnership will enable a collaboration of research between the two institutions as well as access to each other’s facilities. Together, researchers at the two intitutions plan to study urban inequality and the growing problem of slum settlement in the major cities of Brazil.

Two projects will be funded with the goal of strengthening ties between Brown and Nanjing University, a major research institution in China. The first will provide funds to strengthen collaboration between the Division of Applied Mathematics and Nanjing’s Department of Computational Mathematics. Collaborating researchers plan to organize a summer graduate program for Chinese students from various universities around the subject of advanced numerical methods for partial differential equations.

The second Nanjing-based project is collaboration between Brown organizations and Nanjing’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences to study women and gender. Under the auspices of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, the Cogut Center for Humanities and the Department of East Asian Studies, Brown and Nanjing will exchange scholars and host symposia and seminars on the topic. Specifically, funds will allow the group to edit the first-ever guide to female film directors to be published in both English and Chinese.

In another funded project, an international team of scholars from Brown, Stanford University, Durham University and the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art/Université de Paris will pursue research on Anglo-American antiquarians and early modern science. Such authors, often perceived as arcane scholars, were extremely important players in the early history of science. This project intends to make their writings available in the electronic world, using the latest forms of Web-based collaborative software to stimulate international research and interaction. An interdisciplinary team from the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and the Brown University Library will lead this project.

A team of creative arts faculty comprising members of the music, visual arts, and theatre, speech and dance departments, among others, will provide a safe haven for artists working under threat in their own countries. These artists will travel to Brown and spend a semester as artists-in-residence. They will be given the opportunity to do their own work freely as well as interact with students through lectures and symposia. In addition, the artists will be encouraged to exhibit their work. This program builds on the successful model of the International Writers Program, while expanding the scope to include other art forms.

Finally, a portion of the seed funding will be used to support the work of the Internationalization Committee’s Working Group on Global Health. This group comprises a wide range of experts within the Brown health, science, and engineering communities, among others, and will create an action plan designed to enhance education, research and international partnerships on the topic of global health.

The committee that advised Kertzer on funding these projects included Nelson Vieira, professor of Portuguese and Brazilian studies; Susan Short, associate professor of sociology; Franco Preparata, professor of computer science; and Steve McGarvey, professor of community health. Staff members included Sheila Bonde, dean of the Graduate School; Katherine Bergeron, dean of the College; Clyde Briant, vice president for research; and Carolyn Dean, associate dean of faculty.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call the Office of Media Relations at (401) 863-2476.