Five IU faculty members receive President's International Research Awards

Five Indiana University faculty members who are recipients of the 2018 President's International Research Awards will study religious authority in Islam, global philanthropy, language preservation, water safety and moisture recycling.

The universitywide award offers up to $50,000 annually. It was created to support high-impact international collaborative research projects that engage one or more of IU's Global Gateway Offices and the communities they serve. The Global Gateway Network includes offices in Beijing, Berlin, New Delhi and Mexico City.

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This year's recipients and their topics of study are:

Religious authority in Islam

Principal investigator: Ron Sela, School of Global and International Studies, IU Bloomington

This work, now in the beginning of its third year, will initiate a new phase in which the team investigate religious authority in Islam with wide-ranging activities that directly involve the China, Europe and India gateway offices. The initiative will analyze the causes, spectra and consequences of the crisis of authority in Islam and create a novel, comprehensive, multilingual and global-reaching analytical framework to study this crisis.

Global Philanthropy Indices

Principal investigator: Una Osili, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI

In June 2018, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI convened an international network of scholars to introduce the Index of Philanthropic Freedom to stakeholders in Europe. That included a research workshop for contributing experts from the region to review the methodology, discuss key findings and trends, and plan for the next stage of research on the Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, which will be published in 2020.

Moisture Recycling in Global Drylands: A Collaborative Research between IUPUI and Northwest University in China

Principal investigator: Lixin Wang, School of Science, IUPUI

This research will evaluate the degree of moisture recycling in global dryland ecosystems, which are characterized by low and often seasonal rainfall that results in permanent or seasonal soil water deficit and ephemeral drainage. The project has the potential to fundamentally transform the way researchers understand water cycles in global dryland systems.

School-Based Intervention Using Participatory Approach and Microbiological Risk Characterization on Safe Water and Personal Hygiene for Children in Low-Income Communities in Urban New Delhi

Principal investigator: Khalid Khan, School of Public Health, IU Bloomington

This project will assemble an interdisciplinary group of faculty and researchers from three departments of IU Bloomington -- Environmental and Occupational Health, Anthropology and Biology -- alongside those from universities in two community-based organizations in India to design and evaluate a school-based intervention on safe water and handwashing. The project's hypothesis is that a school-based intervention designed through a community participatory approach can substantially reduce the incidence of communicable diseases.

Language preservation and contact phenomena in a bilingual community in Mexico: Cuicateco and Spanish

Principal investigator: Manuel Diaz-Campos, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

This project will examine language contact between the endangered language Cuicateco and Spanish in the region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The research seeks to understand the linguistic diversity and vitality of Cuicateco, as well as the variability that arises from the influence of Spanish as the dominant language in Mexico. The project will also include a webpage with cultural and linguistic information about Cuicateco to promote respect to minority languages, language maintenance and linguistic diversity in the community, as well as creation of a series of workshops and scholarly articles.