Research Communications

Ohio University Research Committee announces fall 2012 funding recipients 

Next funding deadline: Jan. 31

Jan. 7, 2013

The Ohio University Research Committee (OURC) awarded $47,015 during its fall cycle of funding to six faculty research, scholarship and creative activity projects.

The Vice President for Research and Creative Activity sponsors the OURC program to provide seed funding to new projects, which, in turn, may help faculty leverage additional external support. A second round of funding will be available this semester. Proposals are due Jan. 31.

The committee received 14 proposals requesting $106,321 in funding for faculty work. It awarded support to the following projects:

Ray Klimek, photography, “Petrarch’s Ascent,” $8,000

In this film project, Klimek will explore the secular and religious importance of Mount Ventoux in Provence, France, as well as the mountain’s symbolic and utilitarian functions. The film will be shown in art galleries, as well as at film festivals and symposia.

Neil Bernstein, classics and world religions, “Developing Data Mining Strategies for Classical Latin Poetry,” $7,123

Bernstein will contribute to the Tesserae Project, a freely available web interface for exploring the phenomenon of text reuse and variation in Latin literature. Bernstein will apply the tool to his current book project, and also will explore developing visualization interfaces for the data created with Tesserae.

John Hoag, information and telecommunication systems, “Sensor Network System for Power Blackout Prediction,” $8,000
This project will explore solutions to some of the challenges posed by the electrical “smart grid.” By installing sensors at two sites in Ohio (Athens and Cleveland), the findings from Hoag’s experiments are anticipated to contribute to grid performance optimization, power outage mitigation and a better understanding of how renewable power flows through the grid system.

Gillian Ice, social medicine, “Attitudes and Use of Bed Nets in the Fight against Malaria in Western Kenya,” $7,922
This project will take an ethnographic approach to learning why malaria continues to be a public health problem in Kenya. By gaining a better understanding of the rationale behind bed net usage, Ice intends for the project to contribute to local malaria interventions and community decision-making.

Erin Murphy, biomedical sciences, “Prevalence and Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Neisseria Meningitidis at Ohio University,” $8,000
In the wake of an outbreak of a rare strain of meningitis in 2009-2010, Murphy will take samples from Ohio University students to determine the carriage rate of the bacteria, its antibiotic resistance profile and the demographic or general health factors associated with carriage. These findings will contribute to the local understanding of this particular strain, as well as a better understanding of the disease.

Thomas Kamau, health and human services (Zanesville campus), “The Risk of HIV Transmission through Needle Sharing in Removing Jigger Fleas among People Infested by Jiggers (Tungiasis) in Murang'a County, Kenya,” $7,970
While it is well-documented that jigger flea infestation is common in impoverished communities in central Kenya, its relationship to the risk of HIV infection is unknown. Kamau will collect data on treatment methods for jiggers and will determine study participants’ knowledge and perceptions of HIV transmission. If a probable association is determined, the study’s results can contribute to interventions to prevent HIV infection related to tungiasis infection.

For more information about how to submit a proposal for winter OURC funding, visit The deadline is 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31.