Faculty grants fund globally minded research

Stanford's Office for International Affairs awarded faculty funds for international research on development economics, water and sanitation issues, innovation, health care and migration.

Stanford’s Office of International Affairs is making a global impact with faculty research around the world.

The unit’s International Research Exploration Fund helps faculty develop new programs and initiatives that demonstrate “proof-of-concept” for further university or external funding. Supported by the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, the 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.

The Office of International Affairs was created to reduce the complexities of international research in order to increase international collaboration.

OIA Director Brendan Walsh said, “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.”

Grant Miller surrounded by children in India.

Grant Miller in Bihar, India, on one of his research projects. Miller is one of the faculty recipients of the Office of International Affairs’ funding. (Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Health Policy at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)

He added, “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.”

Those receiving the grants include:

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 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 has been invited to assist Sesame Workshop and World Vision on research for 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 doctoral students choose to study international issues, particularly those pertaining to developing countries. Students will join Dupas on projects in Armenia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

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 over the course of eight weeks. Collecting data in Germany has the added benefit of providing an interesting cross-cultural comparison of behaviors in Germany vs. headquarters based in the United States.

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.

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 those living abroad. The qiaoxiang were themselves transformed as migrants shared new cultural influences and sent remittances to families and institutions back home.

Since 2013, grants from the International Research Exploration Fund have addressed global research challenges like the aforementioned. For more information, visit the Office of International Affairs’ website.