Summer 2021
Summer 2021
Advancing Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavor


Robert J. Bernhard, Vice President for Research
Bob Bernhard,
Vice President for Research
As I write this note, Notre Dame has just closed the books of its FY21 fiscal year. Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic and the significant achievement of teaching approximately 75% of classes in person (frequently via "dual-mode" instruction so that students in quarantine and isolation could attend remotely), our Notre Dame faculty achieved a remarkable 30% increase in research grant awards compared to the previous year. This is a phenomenal achievement given all of the challenges the pandemic presented.
In dissecting this record, the increase in awards came despite only a modest 10% increase in proposals and relatively modest success with federal stimulus opportunities. The record was built on the momentum of recent successes in areas such as strengthening elementary education programs in low- and middle-income countries, turbomachinery research and the basic science of health, as well as new areas, such as understanding food insecurity in urban areas and developing surveillance systems for emergent infectious disease.

Research News

Notre Dame tops $222 million in research awards, breaking previous records

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame received $222.7 million in research award funding for the 2021 fiscal year. This amount is more than $42 million more than the previous record, and the first time that the University has surpassed $200 million.

Experiment sent to International Space Station could lead to more effective early cancer screenings

Tengfei Luo, professor in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering, is studying how bubbles form and function in order to improve diagnostic capabilities for life-threatening diseases, including certain cancers. Luo worked with Space Tango to design and build an automated experiment housed inside a cube, known as a CubeLab, to be initiated by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. An equipped camera and thermal heating technology provide Luo with images, temperature, and pressure readings in real time.

Our genes shape our gut bacteria, new research shows

A recent study published in Science is the first to show that most bacteria in the gut microbiome are definitively heritable from a long-studied population of baboons as part of the Amboseli Baboon Project. Elizabeth Archie, professor in the department of biological sciences, and researchers from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, Duke University, Princeton University, the University of California San Diego, and the University of Minnesota found that 97 percent of microbiome traits, including overall diversity and the abundance of individual microbes, were significantly heritable.
Santiago Schnell appointed dean of Notre Dame's College of Science. Click to learn more!

Peers who boost marginalized voices help others, and themselves

Nathan Meikle, a postdoctoral research associate in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, and co-authors from the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Utah have published a study in the Academy of Management Journal, that found that publicly endorsing — or amplifying — another person's contribution while giving attribution to that person, enhances the status of both parties. In addition, ideas that were amplified were rated as higher quality than when they were not.

Notre Dame and partners begin first spatial repellent trials for Unitaid-funded research program

Led by Notre Dame's AEGIS research team and implemented by the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the first of four planned trials to evaluate spatial repellent products and their ability to reduce malaria infections is set to begin. The program will measure the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a scalable repellent developed and donated by SC Johnson for public health purposes. Other consortium members and project partners include Catholic Relief Services, fhiClinical, the Malaria Research and Training Center from the University of Bamako in Mali, the National Dengue Control Unit of Sri Lanka, and Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing.

Marine fog comes under focus in new five-year study

Harindra Joseph Fernando, the Wayne and Diana Murdy Endowed Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, partnered with researchers from the Naval Postgraduate School, the University of California San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Utah to study fog that forms over shallow seas. The study will also look into the dynamics of coastal ice fog, with the ultimate goal of improving sea fog predictability. The proposal was one of 25 finalists selected by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative.
K. Matthew Dames appointed Chief Librarian of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Libraries. Click to learn more!

ND in the News


Computational Social Science Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Letters, Department of Political Science

Faculty Position in Global Health Economics

Keough School of Global Affairs, Advancing Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavor
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