UTSA Knowledge Enterprise Awards Annual Seed Grants to Expand Faculty Research | UTSA today | UTSA

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AUGUST 8, 2022 — Focused on driving San Antonio’s knowledge economy, the UTSA Office for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise (REDKE) announced today that it has awarded its annual seed grants to boost innovation on campus. A total of $240,000 was awarded to the 14 recipients, which will fund new research projects or new fields of investigation to advance their research portfolio throughout the discovery process.

The UTSA Research Seed Grant Programs will fund 12 of the projects through its three funding mechanisms: Grants for Research Advancement and Transformation (GREAT), Internal Research Fellowships (INTRA), and the Connecting Through Research Partnerships program. The Brain Health Consortium Collaborative Seed Grants program, launched in collaboration with the UTSA Brain Health Consortium in 2021, has returned to fund two research projects.

Annual funding programs support basic and applied research in a range of disciplines: arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering and sciences. Grants help faculty explore new ideas and new disciplines, support student engagement in research activities, expand scholarly work, create new collaborations in complementary fields, and acquire the data needed to request more complex external funding.

“Our seed grants program is essential to support new ideas and collaborations, especially for researchers in the arts and humanities,” explained Jaclyn Shaw, Acting Vice President for Research and Economic Development. “This is a program that has an immediate return on investment for our research community. These seed projects have led to extramural funding from federal funding agencies and have long-term beneficial societal impact.

Over the past five years, REDKE Seed Grant programs have funded 133 faculty members with over $1.5 million in seed capital.

The awarded projects are:


Grants for Research Advancement and Transformation (GREAT)
• from October 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023
• $40,000 awarded: $20,000 per researcher, two new projects

The GREAT program provides seed grants to support new areas of research for UTSA faculty to gather preliminary data that can be used to seek extramural funding and advance the UTSA’s Tier 1 status. establishment.

Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Embedded Design

Hugo GiambiniDepartment of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Calculation framework for spine load estimates

Carlos Alvarez College of Commerce

Elias Bou-HarbManagement information systems
Securing water quality health from cyberattacks and physical attacks by instrumenting physics-aware honeypots


Internal research grants (INTRA)
• from October 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023
• $45,000 awarded: $5,000 per researcher, nine new research projects

The Internal Research Fellowship (INTRA) program is part of a coordinated effort to promote research and scholarship of the highest quality. This program provides experience in identifying and submitting applications to potential funding sources, provides preliminary data to support extramural funding applications, and enhances scholarly and creative pursuits.

Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design

Bastien WibranekSchool of Architecture and Urban Planning
Deconstructing Deconstruction: A Case Study Exploring Stakeholder Perceptions of a San Antonio-Based Circular Economy Initiative

Alvarez College of Commerce

Samson Alva, Department of Economics
The limits of learning from Big Data

Yuanxiong Guo, Directorate of Information Systems and Cyber ​​​​Security
Democratizing Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare with Federated Learning

Min Wang
Department of Management Sciences and Statistics
A generative Bayesian procedure for modeling high-dimensional data with mixed-type results

College of Education and Human Development

Priscilla Rose PrasathConsulting Department
El HERO que lleva dentro — Validation of the Spanish Version of the Composite PsyCap Scale Revised (CPC-12R)

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Valeria MeillerDepartment of Modern Languages ​​and Literatures
Ruge el Bosque: Anthology of Southern Cone Ecopoetry (Part II)

Robert Tokunaga, Communications Department
Intergroup differences in the perpetration of cyberbullying

College for Health, Community and Politics

Kelly CheeverDepartment of Kinesiology
Factors Influencing Musculoskeletal Injury Reporting Behavior in Adolescent Student-Athletes

Denver Brown, Department of Psychology
Study of the influence of 24-hour movement behaviors on mental health indicators in young people with epilepsy


Connection through Research Partnerships (Connect)
• from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023
• $125,000 awarded: $50,000 to UTSA, $75,000 to Southwest Research Institute (SWRI)

The CONNECT program is a joint effort between UTSA and SwRI. The program encourages interaction among researchers in support of established, peer-reviewed extramural research funding acquisitions. This agreement provides researchers with unprecedented opportunities to work together to solve problems of mutual interest and need.

College of Sciences

Catherine MayerUTSA and Josh MangumSwRI
Large surface area carbon microparticles for hydrogen storage

UTSA and the Southwest Research Institute are collaborating to improve hydrogen fuel storage materials with a hybrid metal-carbon microstructure that combines chemical and physical hydrogen storage mechanisms. To address these challenges, SwRI and UTSA will create High Surface Carbon Microstructure (HSAC) particles capable of physically and chemically absorbing hydrogen, allowing it to be transported safely and cost-effectively.


Brain Health Consortium Collaborative Seed Grant
• from October 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023
• $30,000 awarded: $15,000 per researcher, two new projects

The Brain Health Consortium Collaborative Seed Grants Program offers seed grants to support collaborative research at UTSA, with a broad range of transdisciplinary research that can provide fundamental insights into the mechanisms underlying brain disorders.

College of Sciences

Nicole Wicha, Department of Neurosciences, Developmental and Regenerative Biology
Effect of mild traumatic brain injury on predictive processing of language comprehension

Wicha, Professor of Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, and Alicia Swan, assistant professor of psychology, are the co-PIs of the project. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects 2.5 million people in the United States each year, 13% of whom experience chronic cognitive symptoms that can impact quality of life. Wicha’s team is studying how TBI impacts language comprehension and reduces predictive ability to understand. The team leverages its expertise in the neurobiology of language, speech therapy after TBI – in collaboration with UT Health San Antonio – and meta-analysis of TBI factors – in collaboration with the college for health, community and policy – with the long-term goal of informing clinical practice by quantifying the effect of TBI on language comprehension.

College for Health, Community and Politics

Chantal Fahmy, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
The long-term impact of traumatic brain injury on rehabilitation after incarceration: a vulnerability assessment

Fahmy, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, and Swan are the project’s co-PIs. Other researchers on the project include Alex Testaformer UTSA professor who is now at UT Health Houston, and Catherine Kelton, post-doctoral fellow at the Veterans Administration (VA). Their goal is to gather information about mild exposures to traumatic brain injury and their effects on the long-term health and behavior of individuals. Research indicates that repeated head trauma leads to increased aggression and harmful behaviors, thus fueling the cycle of crime and imprisonment. They view this work as particularly timely and relevant to Bexar County and beyond and hope their work sheds light on issues that can be addressed.


UTSA is a Tier 1 research university and Hispanic service institution specializing in cyber, health, future fundamentals, and socioeconomic transformation. With an emphasis on transdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship, UTSA leverages its research and development capabilities to benefit the San Antonio community and the world beyond.

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