Seed Grant Program

Seed grants are awarded with funding provided by the Binghamton University Road Map through the Provost's Office and the Division of Research.

The goal of these seed grants is to encourage faculty to develop collaborative projects that stimulate the advancement of new ideas that can build Binghamton University's expertise toward a national reputation in the broad area of sustainable communities. This competitive, peer-reviewed program is providing initial support for proposed long-term programs of collaborative research that have strong potential to attract external funding.

The call for proposals for seed grant funding for the 2019–2020 academic year, including an overview, an explanation of the process and eligibility, a proposal cover page and a proposal budget page is available on this website.

The Sustainable Communities TAE asks applicants to meet with the steering committee in advance to discuss the proposal idea and its direction. These meetings will take place at noon Thursday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 13. Contact Carl Lipo to schedule a meeting.

For the 2018–2019 academic year, the following seed grants were awarded:

ECAP: Environmental Context based Anomalous Activity Prediction for the Safety and Security of Sustainable Community

Yu Chen, electrical and computer engineering, Chengben Deng, geography, and Timothy Faughnan, University Police

Fast-growing urbanization and proliferation of Internet of things (IoTs) technology are making smart cities a reality. Safety and security are among the top concerns in building a sustainable community. Nowadays, the pervasive use of surveillance cameras and motion sensors enables various quality video streams generated continuously 24/7. However, it is challenging to capture the suspicious activities from the extraordinarily large data volume in real-time. It is even harder to proactively take actions to prevent crimes before damages are incurred. Inspired by recent achievements in environmental criminology, an edge computing based real-time anomalous or suspicious object movement prediction scheme is proposed in this project. Leveraging the cross-disciplinary expertise of the investigators including cloud/edge computing, smart surveillance, remote sensing, and geographic information science (GIS), this project seeks support to validate the feasibility of accurately predicting the movement within the environmental context. A prototype will be built and tested. Success of this project will enhance the understanding of the complex and dynamic characteristics of our community.

Creating Healthy Communities for Rural and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Populations

Kim Brimhall, social work, Shelley Dionne, School of Management, and Mark Zhang, computer science

Finding ways to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities, particularly for rural and low-income populations, continues to be a critical component in the development of sustainable communities. The steady rise of healthcare costs over the past several decades and the increasing income inequality in the United States, poses particular challenges for improving healthcare in rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. One way to improve quality of care, and potentially decrease health disparities for individuals from rural, low-income, and racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, is through creating healthcare organizations that foster high quality leadership and positive work climates. Although, leadership and organizational climate have been linked to improved outcomes (i.e., increased innovation and quality of care), little is known about how leaders can foster beneficial work climates that ultimately improve quality of care and community health outcomes (e.g., reduced health disparities, hospital readmissions and diagnostic errors). Using a community-based longitudinal mixed-methods design, the proposed study aims to develop evidence-informed, economically-practical tools that leaders can use to create positive work climates that increase staff engagement, innovation, satisfaction, performance, and high quality care in rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. This information can be used to create system-wide interventions designed to improve healthcare quality. This project is a collaboration between Kim Brimhall from the Department of Social Work, Shelley Dionne from the School of Management, Mark Zhang from the Department of Computer Science, and community partners from Lourdes Hospital, Kathryn Connerton (CEO), Mary Hughs (Senior Director), and Robin Kinslow-Evans (Strategy Officer). Support awarded from the Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence Seed Grant will be used for an initial pilot study that will become part of a larger National Institute of Health grant submission planned for August 2018.