Global Policy Research Institute awards grants to address global challenges

January 24, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Disaster recovery, diabetes management, cancer prevention and sustainability are some of the research topics that Purdue University's Global Policy Research Institute will support through the organization's first series of awarded grants.

"These incentive award grants are necessary to help researchers establish seed projects that enable them to work toward securing larger grants from national organizations," said Arden Bement, director of the Global Policy Research Institute. "Our goal is to support high-quality scholarship aimed at resolving global problems through research with policy implications. For example, what we learn about social and communication network resilience during disasters can help us better prepare for disasters of all kinds."

Purdue's institute, which is part of its "New Synergies" strategic plan, will focus the university's strengths in science, information technology, data management and systems engineering to address critical issues such as poverty and climate change. The newly formed institute also is developing a master's certificate in public policy; participation in an interdisciplinary internship program in public policy; and a master's degree in public policy and public administration, said Angela Phillips Diaz, the institute's managing director.

The professors who received $30,000 research grants are:

* Daniel P. Aldrich, assistant professor of political science, "Network Resilience in Disasters: An Interdisciplinary, International Perspective." Goals of this project include better understanding by emergency managers about how people respond to warnings and increased ability of emergency managers and policymakers to anticipate needs of people.

* Sophie A. Lelièvre, associate professor of basic medical sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine, "Public Health Policies for Breast Cancer Prevention Research: A Global Venture." Goals of this project include understanding how legal and cultural aspects impact policy decisions in terms of breast health.

* Sonak Pastakia, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, "Bridging Income Generation with Provision of Incentives for Care." Goals for this project include addressing the management of diabetes in Kenya by developing patient-focused training programs to improve self-management and peer-management of diabetes and train patients to be their own community health workers.

* Paul V. Preckel, professor of agricultural economics and faculty director of Indiana's State Utility Forecasting Group, "Increasing Electricity Trading and Environmental Sustainability in Southeast Europe." Goals of this project are to establish coordination among countries or areas where demand for electricity is growing rapidly as the electricity infrastructure needs to be improved.

* Leigh S. Raymond, associate professor of political science and associate director of Purdue Climate Change Research Center, "All (Climate) Politics are Local? Exploring the Relationship Between Framing of Scientific Projections of Local Climate Change Impacts and Sub-National Policy Design." Goals of this project include understanding how climate change information is presented and how people perceive that information.

The professors who received $10,000 workshop/symposia grants are:

* Matthew Huber, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, "Bridges to Sustainability: Research Workshops with the Australian and New Zealand Institutions." Goals of this project include creating a partnership with Australian and New Zealand universities and public institutions to focus on the science, engineering, policy and economic issues related to water, land use and energy systems, and ecosystem services.

* James M. Lowenberg-Deboer, associate dean of international programs in agriculture and professor of agricultural economics, "Joint Purdue-Brazil Symposium on Bio-energy: Spring 2011." Goals of this project include addressing bio-energy research and policy questions facing the United States and Brazil - two of the world's leading agricultural exporters and producers of ethanol.

* S. Laurel Weldon, professor of political science, "New Perspectives on Intractable Problems: Informal Institutions as Policy Responses to Global Grand Challenges." Goals of this project include organizing an international policy workshop that focuses on climate change, food security and women's rights.  

Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Sources:   Arden Bement, 765-496-6713,

                   Angela Phillips Diaz, 765-496-6765,

                   Daniel P. Aldrich,

                   Sophie A. Lelievre,

                   Sonak Pastakia,

                   Paul V. Preckel,

                   Leigh S. Raymond,

                   Matthew Huber,

                   James M. Lowenberg-Deboer,

                   S. Laurel Weldon,