The first awardees of Penn State’s new Inter-Institutional Partnerships for Diversifying Research (IDPR) initiative have been selected, comprising a total of 16 collaborative projects that connect Penn State researchers with colleagues from minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
The IPDR program, conceived at the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, pools the resources of seven interdisciplinary research institutes at Penn State: Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, Institute of Energy and the Environment, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Materials Research Institute, Penn State Cancer Institute and Social Science Research Institute. Researchers from 16 partnering MSIs will collaborate with Penn State colleagues to investigate a broad and diverse set of timely and relevant topics.
“This is a true ‘We Are’ moment for the Penn State research community,” said Andrew Read, interim senior vice president of research. “It’s a reflection of our collective values and commitment to the diversification of research here at Penn State and beyond. I’m also very excited about the potential of what may emerge, considering the number of disciplines and outstanding talents of the collaborators involved.”
Long term, IPDR aims to build sustainable, durable bridges and interdisciplinary collaborations with MSIs in key research areas.
“We are determined to ignite a ripple effect of broader impacts, ultimately fostering a future that is not only more inclusive but also sustainable for all,” said Camelia Kantor, associate director of strategic initiatives at the Huck Institutes.
Each of the 16 selected IPDR projects were first defined under at least one of seven tracks and was then assigned to an institute based on that track.
The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences seed-funded four projects, which address environmental biology, oncology, indigenous medicine and artificial intelligence in agriculture. Partnering MSIs include Alcorn State University, United Tribes Technical College, the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Institute of Energy and the Environment seed-funded three projects, which address international climate justice, energy transition efforts and mid-Atlantic air quality. Partnering MSIs include Howard University, Morgan State University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Tennessee State University, Lincoln University, Medgar Evers College and Xavier University.
The Materials Research Institute seed-funded three projects, which address additive manufacturing, secondary ion mass spectrometry and the recruitment and retention of graduate students of color. Partnering MSIs include Clark Atlanta University and Southern University A&M College.
The Social Science Research Institute seed-funded three projects, which address environmental justice and recreation, campus experiences of belonging, mattering and inclusion, and the effects of racism on eating behavior in an Asian American population. Partnering MSIs include Cheyney University, Prairie View A&M University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences seed-funded two projects, which address diversification of climate sciences and generative artificial intelligence for competitive programming. Partnering MSIs include Morgan State University, Howard University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute teamed up with the Penn State Cancer Institute to seed-fund a project that addresses cancer screening disparities, with MSI partner Lincoln University.
Visit the program page for more information about the IPDR initiative.