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Close up of a microscope's objective lenses, nose piece and stage with a computer monitor featuring science images in the background

The Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences has dedicated $600,000 in seed funding to support college-wide interdisciplinary research activities and encourage novel collaborations among faculty within its 18 academic departments and dozens of centers and institutes.

The initiative, known as the merger grants program, was unveiled this past spring in anticipation of the Sept. 1 consolidation of the former Colleges of Geosciences, Liberal Arts, and Science. Jointly funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Research, the program's initial call for proposals resulted in dozens of submissions and nearly 50 collective awards across two project categories, in addition to a joint symposium to be organized by three departments (Anthropology, Biology and Geology and Geophysics).

"Thanks to the forethought of Ping Yang, Maria Escobar-Lemmon and Darren DePoy, the research deans of the three legacy colleges, 47 collaborative projects have been funded through the college merger grants program," said Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. José Luis Bermúdez, Professor of Philosophy and the Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M. "I am encouraged and intrigued by the depth and breadth of the collaborations that are underway and already starting to produce results."

Faculty teams representing two or more of the former colleges were invited to apply for two types of grants — one intended to help them become better acquainted as they explore their potential for future collaboration and another to support preliminary work leading to transformative research projects suitable for eventual submission to external funding sources. Selected projects span the gamut of topical areas, including novel methods of imaging data, exercise timing and psychiatric wellbeing, analysis of food insecurity and accessibility, the ethics of urban wildlife management, potential therapeutics for spinal cord injury, climate change mitigation strategies and the economic impact of quantum technologies.

"The merger grants program is designed to help our faculty build relationships as they test new concepts and ideas while engaging in new research directions with potential new funding steams," Bermúdez said. "By encouraging and seeding the discovery process, we are enhancing the competitiveness of Texas A&M researchers and expanding the frontiers of scholarship, from the physical and social sciences to languages and the humanities."

See the complete listing of funded projects or learn more about research in the College of Arts and Sciences.

About Research At Texas A&M University

As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including in science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M generated annual expenditures of more than $1.148 billion in fiscal year 2021. Texas A&M ranked 14th in the most recent National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey based on expenditures of more than $1.131 billion in fiscal year 2020. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit Research@Texas A&M.