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OIA announces recipients of International Research Exploration Fund

August 26, 2016

Grant Miller, a grant recipient, on one of his research projects in Bihar, India.

Image credit: Stanford Health Policy at Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

The Office of International Affairs was created to reduce the complexities of international research in order to increase international collaboration. Supported by the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, the International Research Exploration Fund helps faculty develop new programs and initiatives that demonstrate "proof-of-concept" for further university or external funding. In short, OIA grants are intended to facilitate collaboration among faculty and students and to foster new relationships at Stanford and with research partners all over the world.

“With the International Research Exploration Fund, we are able to use a human-centered approach to maximize global opportunities for our faculty and their students. The two types of grants we support are designed to enrich research and learning, and to broaden the impact of both. We’re very happy to be able to provide a small amount of funding and the services necessary to help faculty get these projects off the ground.” said Brendan Walsh, director of OIA.

Gary Darmstadt, Professor (teaching) of Pediatrics: Darmstadt and a multidisciplinary team at Stanford are collaborating with Sesame Workshop, World Vision International, to form a new and innovative partnership intended to change the WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) attitudes and behaviors of school-aged children that will result in significant impact on health, education, and gender equality. This project has been piloted in Zambia, and the partners seek to scale up to 14 additional developing countries. Stanford University has been invited to come alongside Sesame Workshop and World Vision to develop a multi-disciplinary, evidence-based evaluation and research framework that will be incorporated into the program as it is scaled up.

Pascaline Dupas, Associate Professor of Economics: Dupas and a multidisciplinary team at Stanford are creating early pathways for graduate economics students, specifically those studying Development Economics, to participate in an international research project through a mentored activity. The aim of the project is to increase the likelihood that PhD students choose to study international issues, in particular issues pertaining to developing countries, and make groundbreaking contributions in this domain. It is extremely difficult for students to make meaningful contributions in this field if they do not have first-hand yet structured experience with international issues, nor contacts with local partners that they can work with in order to pursue a given research question once they have identified it.

Pamela Hinds, Professor of Management Science and Engineering: Hinds will collaborate with researchers from Italy and Sweden to study crowd-based open innovation and how integrating ideas from globally distributed external systems changes the work of designers and engineers within a firm, especially when working on physical products. They plan to conduct an ethnographic study at the Local Motors site in Berlin and follow all challenges and tasks based over the course of 8 weeks. Collecting data in Germany has the added benefit of providing an interesting cross-cultural comparison of behaviors in Germany versus headquarters based in the United States.

With the International Research Exploration Fund, we are able to use a human-centered approach to maximize global opportunities for our faculty and their students.

Grant Miller, Associate Professor of Medicine: Miller and collaborators at Stanford and in Iran will conduct econometric analyses of the role that Iran’s primary health care expansion played in its dramatic population health gains from 1974 to 2000. The team has acquired a detailed census of Iran’s primary health care infrastructure since the Islamic revolution that can be matched at a highly disaggregated geographic level to population health indicators in Iran’s population censuses conducted in 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006, and 2011 (which has been obtained in their entirety from the Statistical Center of Iran).

Barbara Voss, Associate Professor of Anthropology: Voss and collaborators at Stanford and in China will conduct interdisciplinary study of 19th century qiaoxiang (home village) society and culture in the Pearl River Delta region, Guangdong Province, China. Emigration from southeastern China is one of the largest and most important population movements during the modern era. Migrants’ home villages developed distinctive cultural and social strategies to stay connected to migrants living abroad. The qiaoxiang were themselves transformed as migrants shared new cultural influences and sent remittances to support their families and cultural institutions back home.

Since 2013, the Office of International Affairs’ (OIA) faculty grants have addressed numerous early-stage research challenges, such as the unavailability of external funds to bring a collaborator to Stanford, especially from developing countries, the need to travel to the field to establish and accelerate partnerships with global collaborators, and the lack of funding to get graduate students into the field to assist with and expand new research sites. If you conduct international research and are confronted with unique challenges or have some interesting ideas that you are unsure how to implement, OIA is ready to help.

View a complete list of OIA award recipients on the OIA website.