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IHDSC Seed Award Program

IHDSC is pleased to announce our 2019 Seed Award Call!

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) is committed to funding new projects that bridge multiple domains of expertise and further the mission of the Institute. Eligible applicants may receive up to $20,000 in research support.

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Applications are due Friday, January 10, 2020

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Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity

This year, priority will be given to proposals that address IHDSC’s theme of “Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity,” including economic and racial inequality in topic areas such as education, family income and employment, health, housing, immigration, or the justice system. IHDSC Seed Awards will be made to faculty winners as part of NYU’s Cross-Cutting Initiative on Inequality, funded by the Office of the President. Recipients will be included in IHDSC’s thematic announcements and activities over the course of the year, and will also be invited to participate in NYU’s Strategies to Reduce Inequality initiative.

We provide seed funding to new projects that fall under one or more of our five focus areas:

  • Education and Child Development
  • Race, Poverty, and Inequality
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Justice and Welfare Systems
  • Research, Policy, and Practice Partnerships

We prioritize proposals that include:

  • A connection to IHDSC’s “Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity” theme
  • Early-career investigators 
  • Faculty or investigators who are new to IHDSC and/or NYU
  • New interdisciplinary teams 
  • Partnerships with community based organizations, non-profit organizations, NGOs, government agencies, or external groups focused on policy or practice

2018-2019 Awardees:

Designing Frameworks for Multimedia Use in Informal STEM Programs for Young Learners

Through in-depth interdisciplinary expert interviews and case studies, this study aims to develop a framework of actionable design principles and examples that help STEM programs create or curate effective and engaging multimedia presentations for younger learners in informal science learning settings.


Community Neuroscience: Examining Dyadic Brain Activity during Natural Social Interactions Across Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families

The main goal of this project is to characterize the brain mechanisms that support social communication and language learning across families from a wide range of sociodemographic backgrounds. This is a collaborative effort between Dr. Brito (NYU ISLAND Lab) and Sunset Spark, a Brooklyn community-based not-for-profit whose mission is to help immigrant families use science and technology within their lives.


Peer Professionals to Increase Capacity to Treat ADHD

The project focuses on improving engagement, adherence and culturally sensitivity of a paraprofessional, peer-delivered psychosocial intervention to improve the lives of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who reside in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. The ultimate goal of the work it to increase capacity of the service system to support the development of children with ADHD in these communities.


High Variability Phonetic Training as a Mechanism for Improving Underlying Reading Skills in School-Age Children

Individuals with dyslexia often show poor perception of the sounds of language. This project tests whether speech perception training can result in improved higher-level phonological processing skills known to underlie successful reading.


Helping Oneself by Helping Others: Testing the Feasibility of a Narrative Intervention for Chinese American Cancer Survivors

In partnership with the Hamilton-Madison House, the proposed study will examine the feasibility of a psychosocial intervention, which harnesses the benefits of helping others through writing, for Chinese American cancer survivors.

Seed Award Stories:

Gauging Americans’ Feelings on Inequality and Social Mobility

How do Americans reconcile their optimistic beliefs about chances for social mobility and economic equality with the day-to-day reality of remarkably unequal distributions of economic rewards and mobility opportunities?

Research Partnerships: Dr. Dillon & MoMath

Dr. Moira Dillon and Cindy Lawrence, Executive Director of the National Museum of Mathematics, received an IHDSC Seed Award to recruit children for interactive in-museum experiments to investigate how children reason about the general properties of geometric figures. Dillon and Lawrence talk about the process of developing their research partnership.

Seed Award Spotlight: Dr. Natasha Strassfeld

Dr. Strassfeld’s pilot project, supported by the IHDSC Seed Award program, examines the experiences of professionals who work within the portions of the Cuyahoga County’s court system that serves incarcerated or detained youth.