Grant News

Check out these recent articles about grant-funded research and initiatives at Bates from the Bates Communications team!


April-May 2015

In this issue:

  • Bates Receives $1.4 million of Mellon Foundation Support for Diversifying Faculty
  • Travis Gould Selected as New INBRE Investigator, to Receive $473K over 4 Years
  • John Strong to Receive Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Ali Akhtar to Receive Robert M. Kingdon Fellowship
  • Museum of Art Receives $10K Exhibition Grant from Davis Family Foundation
  • Upcoming Grant and Fellowship Deadlines


Mellon Grants Support Faculty Diversity at Bates

As announced to the faculty on March 25th in a joint letter from Matthew Auer, Dean of the Faculty, and Crystal Williams, Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Bates College has received two new awards from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will help us build on the college’s priority to diversify the faculty so as to continue to bring strength and excellence to the academic enterprise. First, the Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant directly to Bates focusing on a) broad diversification of the faculty through the development of postdoctoral positions, b) the creation of a diversity advocate team to support our efforts at the division and department/program level, and c) resources to undertake strategic outreach and to build on-campus academic programming that will enable departments/programs to bring to campus a host of emerging scholars from under-represented groups. Second, Bates has been invited to join the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, and Connecticut, Middlebury, and Williams colleges as one of four lead liberal arts colleges in the Creating Connections Consortium (C3). This Mellon-funded initiative brings together undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty and administrators from liberal arts colleges and research universities to create diverse, intergenerational learning communities, mentorship relationships, and enhance the preparation of young scholars from under-represented groups for careers in liberal arts colleges. As a result of this invitation, Bates will receive a subgrant of $419,360 from Middlebury for its role in the consortium moving forward.

Travis Gould Selected as New INBRE Investigator

Travis Gould, a second-year Assistant Professor in the Physics Department, has been selected as the newest INBRE Investigator after a statewide competition. With Travis joining Larissa Williams of the Biology Department and Jason Castro of the Psychology Department, Bates now has a total of 3 INBRE Investigators, the most of any institution within the Maine INBRE network (coordinated by Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories). Maine INBRE is established and supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence program. Travis will receive a four-year Developmental Research Project grant totaling $473,185 in support of his project “Investigating the Organization of Chromatin by Super-Resolution STED Microscopy.” This project aims to use super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques that have been at the center of his research program to resolve the nanoscale organization of genetic material in the cell nucleus. Understanding how DNA and its associated proteins are organized on molecular length scales is important for understanding how the genome works and also the mechanisms underlying genetic disorders.


John Strong Receives a Guggenheim Fellowship

John Strong, Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and current chair of the Asian Studies Program, has been selected as one of the 2015 recipients of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. For twelve months, starting in August 2015, he will be researching and writing a book tentatively entitled “Buddhist Relics in Western Eyes.” This will be a study of the ways in which European and American Buddhists have encountered, reacted to, and dealt with bodily relics of the Buddha or of enlightened Buddhist teachers. The Guggenheim Fellowship provides 6-12 months of support to enable writers, artists, scholars and scientists to work with a maximum of creative freedom, free from other professional obligations. Guggenheim Fellowships may be applied for by mid-career to advanced professionals, which the Foundation understands to be those who as writers, scholars, or scientists have a significant record of publication, or as artists, playwrights, filmmakers, photographers, composers, or the like, have a significant record of exhibition or performance of their work.


Ali Akhtar Selected as Kingdon Fellow

Ali H. Akhtar, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and also member of the Program in Classical and Medieval Studies, has been selected by the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as one of two Robert M. Kingdon Fellows. The Kingdon Fellowship program focuses on Judeo-Christian history in early modern Europe with increasing interest in comparative studies of the Mediterranean. Ali’s current research project on Venice and the Ottoman Empire encompasses the entire Mediterranean basin and all three major Abrahamic faith communities in the region (Christian, Jewish, and Islamic), adding new dimensions to the program. With the support of the Fellowship, Ali will extend his pre-tenure research leave to a full year, which he will spend in residence at the Institute, with time for research trips to Venice, Istanbul, and other sites on the historical Silk Road.


Bates Museum of Art Receives $10K Exhibition Grant from Davis Family Foundation

The Davis Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Bates College Museum of Art, which will support the exhibition Points of View, to be held at the Museum June 10 – October 24. Points of View is an exhibition of contemporary photography featuring new and recent works. The works in the exhibition view elements of the Maine landscape from different levels of scale, and the exhibition itself is Bates’ contribution to the Maine Photo Project, a statewide collaboration organized by the Maine Curators’ Forum, for which the Bates Museum is a project sponsor.

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