Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society Announces Awards for Transformative Proposals


As part of our strategic planning initiatives for the next three to five years, the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society (the Institute) solicited proposals from the Institute’s affiliates and fellows to help discover and define thematic goals of interest to a broader coalition of faculty on campus. 

The proposals were submitted within four funding tracks: Convening, Research Accelerator, Infrastructure & Services, and Partnerships. The aim was to fund interdisciplinary projects that inspire novel research and scholarship, enhance stakeholder engagement, foster collaboration, and address “wicked problems,” whose intractable nature creates real opportunities for inspiring innovations in fundamental research that generate translational value for societal benefit.

We are pleased to announce that after a substantial review process, led by the members of the Institute’s steering committee, the Institute has awarded the following thirteen proposed projects. These projects involve collaboration among different colleges and schools and truly create an interdisciplinary construct to address wicked problems through transformative research. 

The Track 1 (Convening) awardees:

  • The Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team (ND-LIT), led by Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biological Sciences and Assistant Director of Community Health and Policy for the Center for Civic Innovation, Marya Lieberman (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Graham Peaslee (Physics), Matthew Sisk (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society), and Jocelyn Keranen (ND-LIT), has received funding to host a conference to convene new and existing stakeholders involved in lead poisoning prevention services and healthy housing in Saint Joseph County, IN.
  • Matthew Kilbane, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, with a team consisting of Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal (English), Ashlee Bird (American Studies), Katherine Walden (American Studies), and Scott B. Weingart (Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship), received funding to develop a series of five interdisciplinary conversations titled “Data Poetics” to foster interdisciplinary conversations about the relationship of data science with pressing societal issues. 
  • Jeff Harden, Andrew J. McKenna Family Associate Professor in Political Science and Concurrent Associate Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS), Matthew Hall (Political Science), and Claudia Francis (Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy) were awarded this grant to plan and host a conference for the broad revitalization of American democracy: a societal commitment to institutions that encourage broad and open participation entitled “Keeping the Republic”.

The Track 2 (Research Accelerator) awardees:

  • Paola Crippa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences (CEEES), Diogo Bolster (CEEES), Stefano Castruccio (ACMS), Danielle Wood (Center for Civic Innovation), and Drew Marcantonio (Management & Organization) were awarded this grant to utilize AI to develop strategies for mitigating air pollution’s environmental and health impacts. The team aims to create an integrated socio-economic framework to explain how air pollution impacts urban air quality in socially and geographically different U.S. cities and to collaborate with policymakers and city partners to adopt the framework to make cities healthier and more resilient to the effects of climate change.
  • Johnny Zhang, Professor in the Department of Psychology, Meng Jiang (Computer Science and Engineering, CSE), and Jun Li (ACMS) were awarded this grant to develop a nonlinear structural equation modeling (SEM) framework to combine SEM and neural networks for handling nonlinear measurement in psychometric models.
  • Jian-Xun Wang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME), and Chaoli Wang, Professor in CSE, were awarded this grant to develop a novel Bayesian deep learning framework for automating vessel segmentation from medical images to enable rapid construction of personalized, patient-specific computational models.
  • Robert Nerenberg, Professor in CEEES, Michael Lemmon (Electrical Engineering), Matthew Sisk (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society), and Danielle Wood (Center for Civic Innovation) were awarded this grant to identify homes that are at risk of water stagnation, which can lead to bacterial growth and higher concentrations of heavy metals in tap water, and develop data science-based strategies to mitigate these risks. 
  • Yong Suk Lee, Assistant Professor of Technology, Economy, and Global Affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs, and Robert Landers, Advanced Manufacturing Collegiate Professor in AME, Corey Angst (IT, Analytics, and Operations, ITAO), Nicholas Berente (ITAO), Thomas Fuja (Electrical Engineering, iNDustry Labs), and Ed Kinzel (AME) were awarded this grant to co-design AI technologies with small and medium-sized enterprise manufacturing workers in the South Bend/Elkhart region. During the selection process, this team (with the addition of Nitesh Chawla, Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society and CSE) was recommended for funding by NSF and subsequently declined this award. 

The Track 3 (Infrastructure & Services) awardees:

  • Ross Jacobucci, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Brooke Ammerman (Psychology), Cheng Liu (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society), Caleb Reinking (Center for Research Computing), and Alison Cheng (Psychology, Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society) were awarded this grant to address the limitations of current assessment approaches in proximal suicide risk research by developing a personalized, adaptive time and item sampling (ATIS) system.
  • Christine Trinter, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education with the Alliance for Catholic Education and Director of the Catholic School Teacher Leadership (CASTLE) Program, Daniel Lapsley (Psychology), and Allie Olshefke (CASTLE) were awarded this grant to collect and analyze social network data to understand the nature of collaboration within and across Catholic Schools and to advocate for the adoption of practices to improve outcomes for students.
  • Paul Perrin, Director of Evidence and Learning for the Keough School’s Pulte Institute for Global Development and Associate Professor of the Practice in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, Swapnil Motghare (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society), Harold Toro (Keough School of Global Affairs), and Kevin Waitkuweit (Pulte Institute for Global Development) were awarded this grant to expand a dataset of indicators that gauge the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the state of Indiana, and to examine the relationship between the current levels and trends for the indicators, and their corresponding targets.

The Track 4 (Partnership) awardees:

  • Ann-Marie Conrado, Cregg Family Director of the Program in Collaborative Innovation and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, Ron Metoyer, Professor in CSE, and Clinton Carlson, Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, were awarded this grant to host a workshop with community partners to identify and address the barriers to accessing social services within the South Bend community.
  • Jessica Brookshire, Senior Program Director of the Office for Clinical Partnerships, Jen Burke Lefever, Managing Director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, and Jill Pentimonti, Director of Research Advancement in the Office of Federal and Washington Relations, were awarded this grant to host monthly meetings with South Bend/Elkhart Community Health Workers and Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coaches. The goal of this coalition is to facilitate peer-to-peer support, share best practices, and identify research opportunities rooted in community needs.    

To learn more about these grants and other funding opportunities, please visit