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Partnership with like-minded institutions around the world is a core tenet of DPI. With Cardiff University in the UK, we share common interests in discovery, innovation, and finding solutions to real world problems. To that end, we jointly created a fund in the fall to aid researchers in their work and travel.

For this fund, each university awards up to $20,000 (and the equivalent in GBP) per project in Seed Grants, and $5,000 (and the equivalent in GBP) per project in Travel Grants to applicants demonstrating innovative, impactful collaboration opportunities, with the potential to sustain the interaction with this partner. The Cardiff-Illinois collaboration fund runs once annually and will open again for new applications in Autumn 2024.

“The abundance of mutual areas of research interest ranks among the many motivating factors behind our recent Strategic Partnership with the University of Illinois System,” said Professor Rudolf Allermann at Cardiff University. “And so, it’s really exciting to see this first round of collaboration funding revealing the ambitions of those colleagues here at home and in the US with aspirations of international impact in their scholarship.”

“The kind of strategic partnership we have developed with Cardiff University is indicative of what’s to come with our work creating new networks of collaborators around the world,” said Venkat Venkatakrishnan, Director of Research, Discovery Partners Institute, part of the University of Illinois System. “The topics being explored in these joint efforts span a wide range, from applications to health, transportation, sustainability. An important part of the funded projects is also about the inclusion of humanities and social sciences perspectives involving solutions to pressing societal issues.”

In this highly competitive round, a joint panel of senior leaders from both Cardiff University (CU) and University of Illinois System (UI) noted the extremely high quality of applications to the fund.

Cardiff-Illinois Travel Grants awarded:

Rethinking the Environmental Humanities in a Global Perspective
Pollyanna Rhee (UI), Sarah Daw (CU)

High-Power Single-Frequency VCSELs for Atomic Sensing Applications
Jack Baker (CU), Kent Choquette (UI)

Developing Transportation Infrastructure Engineering Research Collaborations with Cardiff University
Ramez Hajj (UI), Carol Featherstone (CU)

Analysis of Complex Geospatial Data: Topology and Tags
Padraig Corcoran (CU), Richard Sowers (UI)

Resilient urban informal economies – a place-based view 
Abid Mehmood (CU), Nik Theodore (UI)

Tim Davis (CU), Decker French (UI)

Strain-Limiting Viscoelasticity
Yasemin Sengul Tezel (CU), Martin Ostoja-Starzewski (UI)

Perspectives on Music Composition, Theory and Pedagogical Practice: Research and Teaching Exchange
Daniel Bickerton (CU), Reynold Tharp (UI)

Projected changes in precipitation variability across multiple timescales over Africa in high-resolution climate models
Akintomide Afolayan Akinsanola (UI) and Caroline Wainwright (CU)

Projected changes in precipitation variability across multiple timescales over Africa in high-resolution climate models
Mohammed Kamruzzaman (UI) and Alberto Roldan Martinez (CU)

Cardiff-Illinois Seed Grants awarded:

AI-mediated Reproductive-Care Infographic Tools
Sharifa Sultana (UI), Nervo Verdezoto (CU)

Urban Climate Resilience and Inequality from Electrified Building Heating and Cooling in a Changing Climate
Zhiwen Luo (CU), Lei Zhao (UI)

eMindGuard: A Holistic Mental Health Assessment App Integrating Social Media, Environmental, and Locational Data for Precision Well-Being 
Anuj Tiwari (UI), Diana Contreras (CU)

A Simulator for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Use
Rigel Gjomemo (UI), Liana Cipcigan (CU)



“I was impressed by the scope of the proposals which, to name just a few, seek to address the ever-growing threats of climate change, tackle challenges in transportation infrastructures, and explore new frontiers in astronomy among others,” added Professor Rudolf Allermann at Cardiff University.

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