A nice little note came our way recently from the University.  Here’s how it started:

The Office of the Vice Provost is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of Tufts Collaborates! seed grants. This program, introduced by the Office of the Vice Provost in December 2010, is designed to spark scholarship, research and creative work resulting from cross-disciplinary faculty collaboration. The goal of this program is to establish collaborative research efforts that will likely result in competitive research proposals to federal and foundation granting agencies, and enhance interdisciplinary research across Tufts University for years to come.

Funding decisions were made through a peer review process including faculty and administrative staff and were based on several criteria, including the intellectual merits of the project, potential impact on interdisciplinary research at Tufts University, and the likelihood of the proposed project enabling the collaborators to submit a competitive grant proposal.

It’s impossible not to like the idea of interdisciplinary research, given that Fletcher is just that kind of cross-disciplinary place.  Many of the grant recipients were in the sciences.  Here are some examples of grants, and their objectives, that are a distance from what people do at Fletcher:

Crystallization Trials on the Vacuolar ATPase (Determine the high resolution structure by X-ray crystallography of the V-ATPase complex, an ATP-dependent proton pump that plays a role in both normal physiology and human disease. )
Calpain-1 Inhibition for the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease (Determine if pharmacological inhibition of calpain-1 by a novel membrane-permeable inhibitor, BDA-410, will reduce the calcium-induced cellular damage in sickle red blood cells. )
Interactions between Pharmaceuticals and Microbes in the Environment: Population Dynamics, Enzyme Regulation and Contaminant Degradation (Discover how pharmaceuticals and microbes influence one another in the environment using a combination of high throughput DNA sequencing and chemical analyses.)

As I mentioned last week, Tufts is a University with a broad reach.

But closer to home, I’m happy to note that Fletcher’s Academic Dean, Prof. Peter Uvin, is a member of a collaborating team.  The topic, the team, and the objectives are:

An Inquiry into the Historical and Ideological Roots of Development and Humanitarianism
David Ekbladh, History, Arts and Sciences
Heather Curtis, Religion, Arts and Sciences
Peter Uvin, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Implement an extended workshop at Tufts to bring leading figures from a range of disciplines who focus on elements critical to the history, constitution, and practice of humanitarianism and development.

Congratulations, Dean Uvin and team!


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