NSF awards $1.4M to ASU grant program

By

Alexis Starks

When your field involves scholars originally trained in one of nine major disciplines, how do you promote interdisciplinary research around pressing social problems?

To tackle this question, the National Science Foundation has awarded $1.4 million to Arizona State University as it relates to transforming research, and early career researchers, in the law and science field. Scholars from three colleges — New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — will administer a national program to incentivize and nurture interdisciplinary research projects generated by doctoral students in this field.

The field of law and science brings together scholars trained in the disciplines of anthropology, criminology/criminal justice, data science, economics, empirical legal studies, forensic science, political science, psychology and sociology. Breaking down the barriers across these disciplines has been historically difficult because law and science scholars have no single academic association. ASU has stepped in to fill this absence.    

“By virtue of its strong track record in interdisciplinary research and that it has long possessed a highly-collaborative community of scholars in this field, ASU is ideally situated to spearhead this project,” said Brian Bornstein, the primary investigator for the NSF grant and a social psychologist in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in New College. 

The award will benefit graduate students at major research universities all over the United States. Among other things, it will fund up to 12 doctoral students a year to conduct their dissertation research. Beyond generating new cutting-edge research, NSF identified that this early funding of doctoral students could be expected to positively impact these scientists’ career trajectory, including job procurement, number of high-tier publications, and subsequent grant capability. 

Law and Science Dissertation Grant Program (NSF 2016661) – Award $1,416,164

  • Principal investigator: Brian Bornstein, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Co-principal investigator: Scott Barclay, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Co-principal investigator: Rebecca Sandefur, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Co-principal investigator: Jon Gould, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions