In October 2021 the Office of Research of the City College of New York announced its inaugural College-wide Research Vision (CRV) seed funding opportunity. The CCNY community was invited to harness paradigm-shifting fundamental research to address challenging real-world problems by connecting diverse disciplines, techniques, and ways of thinking. To achieve these objectives, faculty from different disciplines were asked to share knowledge, ask questions from multiple angles, collaborate on research, and tear down academic barriers. CRV aims to remove academic silos and foster research that addresses the toughest questions facing humanity and has practical implications for New York City, the nation, and the world.
The Office of Research pledged to provide seed funding of up to $200,000 annually for up to three years. The collaborative teams must commit to seek funding to grow and sustain the effort during and after an initial three-year period of internal funding.
A total of sixteen teams expressed interest in the seed funding opportunity. The teams met with the Atkisson Training Group (ATG) both virtually and in an all-day in-person session to flesh out their concepts and ideas. The day-long session explored the system of ideas within and emerging from, the parts of the whole of the teams. During the session, many teams with overlapping research concepts merged or reformulated their teams.
Following the session, eight teams emerged with projects rooted in collaboration to produce practical solutions to social, environmental, economic, cultural, political, and humanitarian challenges. The session also provided an opportunity for the teams to learn more about each other, other faculty, and other schools and divisions on campus.
The eight CRV teams are highlighted in this issue of the RICC and include:
Team 1: Artificial Intelligence for Health Equity and Diversity (AIHED)
Team Lead: Ashiwel Undieh
Framing Question: How might individual and community health evolve if wellness and healthcare delivery were infused with inclusive and equitable AI technologies?
Team 2: Mitigating the Effects of War on Vulnerable Populations
Team Lead: Bruce Cronin
Framing Question: How can governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations better protect and provide for the physical security and mental health of civilians, forced migrants, displaced persons, and wounded soldiers during armed conflict?
Team 3: Offshore Wind Farms for Clean and Renewable Energy –Towards a Systematic Framework to Evaluate their Environmental and Societal Impact
Team Lead: Hansong Tang
Framing Question: Imagine if we had the knowledge to inform the planning and building of offshore wind (OSW) farms and mitigate the potential adverse effects such farms might have on the ocean’s ecosystems and the vulnerability of the farms to extreme weather.
Team 4: Interdisciplinary approach to critical environmental and municipal infrastructure challenges: application to biosolids management
Team Lead: John Fillos
Framing Question: Imagine if New York viewed waste as a valuable resource rather than a problem and used waste to bring sustainable benefits to a range of people. What would that look like?
Team 5: The “Beloved Community” Project
Team Lead: Terri N. Watson
Framing Question: What Would Be the Social Consequences If Harlem’s Residents Were Given Access to Culturally Affirming and Quality Health Care?
Team 6: “Hygroscience” for Evaporation Energy Harvesting
Team Lead: Xi Chen
Framing Question: What would it look like if we could create a NEW form of sustainable energy?
Team 7: Energizing Equity: Co-creating Scalable Urban Resilience via Climate Solidarity
Team Lead: Yana Kucheva
Framing Question: Imagine if solidarity surrounding climate actions were leveraged to reimagine and co-create a future for New York City?
Team 8: Biodiversity and climatic controls of New York State’s economy – lessons from Sugar Maples
Team Lead: Ana Carnaval
Framing Question: How do soil microbes and climate impact New York State’s maple-related industries through sap production and Fall foliage colors?
Additional details regarding the eight CRV teams and the final team selected to receive seed funding may be found in this issue of the RICC!