Institute for Diversity Sciences Awards 2019 Seed Grants to Three Teams

Nilanjana “Buju” DasguptaThe campus’s Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) recently awarded three multi-disciplinary research teams that include faculty and graduate students from four schools and colleges, six departments and the UMass Medical School at Baystate.

Winning teams are Networks of Organizational Leadership: Measuring Race, Gender, and Color among Elites with Kevin Young, political science, Brendan O’Connor, computer science and Seth Goldman, communication; Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Emergency Contexts with Katherine Dixon-Gordon and Linda Isbell, both psychological and brain sciences, Karen Kalmakis, nursing, and William Soares and Elizabeth Schoenfeld, both emergency medicine at UMass Medical School, Baystate; Reforming Math Education to Improve STEM Success for Diverse Students with Jeffrey Starns and Andrew Cohen, both psychological and brain sciences, and Darrell Earnest, teacher education and curriculum studies.

Each team will investigate new research questions about the causes and consequences of group diversity and disparities from many different angles. Their preliminary findings will allow them to seek larger, competitive external grants to advance their project to the next stage.

As institute director Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta explains, “First, we bring together faculty, students and staff from across UMass and the Five College Consortium to promote collaborative STEM research for social justice. Second, we nurture the success of diverse students who will become the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists. And third, we connect STEM research related to social justice to communities to maximize social impact.” Faculty and students affiliated with the institute use STEM to promote equity in health and learning outcomes and mitigate the impact of climate change on communities.

The institute’s annual grant opportunity for faculty encourages multidisciplinary scholarship on these topics that will touch communities and contribute to graduate student training. During the academic year, IDS also hosts monthly research group meetings on learning, health and climate change as they relate to STEM and social justice.

The next call for proposals will be announced in Fall 2019. Proposals will be due on March 1, 2020. To learn more about IDS seed grants, see: or contact director Buju Dasgupta dasgupta@psych.umass.ed uor program manager Leyla Keough