Recently Awarded Grants

Congratulations to the following Bates College investigators who have recently been awarded grants! (For a complete list of all awards received by Bates College organized by Funder please visit the Awards to Bates College page.)

Laura Storch

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Congratulations to Laura Storch, who has been awarded a three year grant from the National Science Foundation‘s Mathematical Biology program for her proposal entitled “Topological methods for analyzing shifting patterns and population collapse”. Laura will work with collaborator Dr. Sarah Day at the the College of William and Mary to develop and refine models to predict population collapse and extinction based on ecological data sets. Laura expects the results of this work will provide important tools for ecosystem conservation and management in the face of climate change.

This award is made as part of NSF’s Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions program, which recognizes the unique challenges and benefits of performing high level research at an undergraduate institution like Bates. This award will support summer research by undergraduate students and travel by the students to national meetings to present their results.

National Science Foundation logo

Award No. 2327892, $169,439. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2327892. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Patrick Otim

Associate Professor of History

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Patrick Otim a fellowship to support his book project, “Caught in Between: The History of Everyday Life in Northern Uganda, 1950–2015”. In this highly competitive cycle, NEH recommended just 8% of the proposals received, and Patrick deserves a huge congratulations!

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

Award No. FEL-294163, $60,000. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Jeff Oishi

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Congratulations to Jeff Oishi, who along with collaborators at the University of New Hampshire, was recently awarded a grant from the Department of Energy EPSCoR program for their project “Direct Statistical Simulation and Multiscale Modeling of Transport in the Planetary Boundary Layer for Climate, Energy, and Negative Carbon”. The goals of the 2 year project are to “bring together leading researchers in applied mathematics, physics, and engineering, atmospheric, and ocean science to develop powerful new mathematical and computational tools that enable predictive understanding of multiscale processes controlling [planetary boundary layer] transport, mixing, and dispersion. This project will help create better models and predictions of extreme weather events and climate change and support the development of clean energy technologies.

Associate Professor Jeff Oishi

Award No. PZL0337 (DOE Award No. DE-SC0024572). $259,114. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research under Award Number DE-SC0024572.


Shreya Arora and Bev Johnson

Assistant Professor of Earth and Climate Science (SA) and Charles A. Dana Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences (BJ)

Congratulations to Shreya Arora and Bev Johnson, who were recently awarded a grant from the Maine Community Foundation! The grant will support the purchase of a LiDAR drone and it’s use for two topics of coastal research. Dr. Arora and her students will create highly precise and accurate elevation maps of coastal bluffs and areas susceptible to landslides along two sections of the coast Kennebunk to Portland and from Portland to Camden.  Rising sea levels caused by climate change make coastal bluffs that are prone to erosion more vulnerable to landslides. Accurate mapping of these areas will help us better understand the threat of landslides and the destruction they cause.

Dr. Johnson and her students, will use the LiDAR drone to map salt marshes and the extent of inundation and carbon emissions. Dr. Johnson’s research aims to understand the carbon dynamics above and below tidal restrictions and to estimate the carbon benefits associated with successful restoration.  Lidar Drone maps of these marsh surfaces will allow for (1) a better understanding of the relationship between marsh elevation, inundation and carbon emissions, and (2) identification of areas for marsh migration and restoration of culturally significant native plants. 

Congratulations to Shreya and Bev!

Photo of Professor Bev Johnson against blurred background of sand and sky
Shreya Arora standing on side of stream, wearing blue jacket, black leggings, and hiking boots

$163,220. This project is supported by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation


Brian Evans

Assistant Professor of Dance

Congratulations to Brian Evans, who was recently awarded a project grant from the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation! Project grants are awarded directly to Maine artists to engage in bold, compelling, risk taking work, valuing unconventional approaches to art making, critical dialogue, collaboration and new models of community interface. These individual grants are applied for and managed directly by the recipient without flowing through Bates.

Dr. Evans’s project is entitled Busking for Reparations and seeks to create a framework to empower performers and engage audiences across multiple venues to consider and continue the ongoing conversation regarding reparations for American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). The award will support research, staging, performances in the Lewiston/Auburn and Portland areas, and post-performance Dream Storming sessions with the audience community. All events will be archived to be submitted to the Maine State Archives.

Congratulations, Brian, and we look forward to attending a performance of your work!

Brian Evans in orange jumpsuit sitting on chair with semi-transluscent images of him in different dance positions superimposed on top.  The facial expression is of anger and anguish.
Photo credit: Kari Mosel

This project is supported by an Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Maine Artist Project Grant. $10,000.


Mollie Woodworth

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

New Neuroscience faculty member Mollie Woodworth has been awarded a three year R00 career development grant from the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support to development of her research program at Bates. Dr. Woodworth studies how neuronal diversity arises during the development of the retina and applies these insights to regenerative strategies, with a focus on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the output projection neurons of the retina. RGCs are a critically important retinal neuron type, and because the adult mammalian retina has minimal to no regenerative capability, irreversible visual impairment results from RGC injury (in traumatic optic nerve injury) or death (in glaucoma, optic neuropathies, and other eye diseases). Dr. Woodworth’s research into the mechanisms that control generation of RGCs during development will help motivate and inform treatment strategies for retinal damage based on RGC regeneration and/or repair.

This award is part of the NIH’s K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award program, which supports the transition of investigators from mentored postdoctoral to independent researcher positions. Congratulations, Mollie!

Assistant Professor Mollie Woodworth head shot
National Institutes of Health logo

Award No. 4R00EY031403-03, $746,990

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R00EY031403. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Martin Kruse

Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience

Congratulations to Martin Kruse, who has been awarded a three year grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support his research. Dr. Kruse will study a novel role for a recently discovered protein, IRBIT, in regulation of two critical signaling pathways, phosphoinositide signaling and release of calcium from intracellular calcium stores. These pathways function in almost every cell in the body and are dysregulated in several neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Dr. Kruse’s work to develop a better understanding of the regulation of these pathways by IRBIT will contribute to the possibility for new and better treatments for these and other pathological conditions.

This award is part of the NIH’s R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions program, which has goals of exposing undergraduate students to research and strengthening the research environment of undergraduate institutions. Dr. Kruse will oversee academic year and summer research by students at Bates as part of this project.

Headshop of Martin Kruse
National Institutes of Health logo

Award No. 1R15GM150377-01, $415,443

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R15GM150377. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Holly Ewing

Professor of Environmental Studies and Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Congratulations to Holly Ewing, who has been awarded a $25,000 contract with the Lewiston/Auburn Water District to continue her long-running project to monitor the water quality of Lake Auburn, the source of drinking water for the Lewiston/Auburn area. Dr. Ewing, along with her students, monitor the density of Gloeotrichia echinulata and levels of nutrients, temperature, oxygen, and pH, among other factors, to inform the management of the lake and its surroundings.


Paula Schlax

Stella James Sims Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Paula Schlax and collaborators at Indiana University School of Medicine have been awarded a grant from the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the “Regulatory Network of the Lyme Disease Pathogen“. This project builds on Dr. Schlax’s extensive expertise in characterizing the effects of RNA binding proteins on post-transcriptional gene regulation in B. burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Dr. Schlax and her collaborators will study a regulatory pathway that controls the movement of the bacteria out of ticks and into mammals, improving our understanding of the B. burgdorferi life cycle and potentially identifying strategies for disrupting this process and preventing Lyme disease infections. Congratulations, Paula!

Paula Schlax stands next to a bench with a microscope in her laboratory.
Professor Paula Schlax in her lab at Bates College
National Institutes of Health logo

Award No. 9774 (NIH Award No. 2R01AI083640-11), $40,024 (Year 1) of anticipated 5 year award of $173,532.

This work is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award number 2R01AI083640-11. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Jeff Oishi

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Congratulations to Jeff Oishi, who along with collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was recently awarded a grant from NASA to support continued development and deployment of Dedalus, a flexible, open-source, parallelized computational framework for solving general partial differential equations using spectral methods (Phys. Rev. Research 2, 023068, 2020).

Associate Professor Jeff Oishi
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

Award No. S6092 (NASA Award No. 80NSSC22K1738). $17,485,

This work is supported by a grant from NASA (#80NSSC22K1738). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NASA.


Carolina Gonzalez Valencia

Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture

Carolina Gonzalez Valencia has been awarded a new grant from the LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund to support post-production work on her film “How to Clean a House in 10 Easy Steps.” In this project, Beatriz Valencia, a domestic worker in the U.S. and Carolina, her daughter-filmmaker, collaborate to create the fictional character of a writer. Together, mother and daughter capture the slippage between truth and lies, in a hybrid documentary that tells a story about immigration, labor, dreams and the power of fiction to spark emancipation. Congratulations, Carolina!

Still image from film "How to Clean a House in 10 Easy Steps) showing an older woman lying in a water with arms outstretched, wearing white sneakers, while crew socks, blue jean shorts, and a gold T-shirt.
How to Clean a House in 10 Easy Steps, Film Still
LEF Foundation logo - Dark blue outline of a box, with letters LEF in all capital letters in bottom left corner

$25,000 – This work is supported by a grant from the LEF Moving Image Fund.

View All Grants awarded to Bates faculty organized by Funder