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DKU launches new summer research grant

Duke Kunshan University recently announced the first group of successful applicants for its new Summer Research Grant Initiative, expanding its support for innovative faculty research across a wide range of subjects.

Among the 16 funded projects is “Strawberry Diseases Detection using MinION,” led by Dr. Domna Kotsifaki. This project uses Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ MinION device to quickly and accurately detect plant pathogens. Kotsifaki wants to apply this technology to staple crops to revolutionize disease management with rapid diagnostics and IoT innovations for precision agriculture.

Dr. Eric Tam’s project, “Operant Light Seeking—an Animal Model for Behavioral Addiction,” aims to understand the neurobiology of digital overuse-induced behavioral disorders. His mouse operant sensation-seeking paradigm may reveal previously unknown aspects of digital device addiction by comparing laboratory mice’s conditioned responses to humans’ exposure to technology’s constant glow.

Dr. Yachao Sun’s “Generative Artificial Intelligence in English Academic Writing: A Friend or a Foe?” spans language learning and computer science. Sun will explore how non-native English speakers use ChatGPT to overcome academic writing challenges, to help educators and policymakers navigate GenAI’s impact on education.

“I thank all of the applicants for submitting such strong and interesting proposals across a diverse range of subjects, truly reflecting the breadth and depth of scholarship at DKU,” wrote Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott MacEachern, adding that he hopes to expand this summer grant even further.

The next call for proposals is expected in the Fall.

Below is the list of the research projects that will be funded:

  • Maximiliano Amici: “Recording of a CD of Piano Music”
  • Jung Choi: “Media Artivism: From Corporate/Artificial Intelligence to Planetary Intelligence”
  • Paula Ganga: “Infrastructure of Power: The New Politics of Private Infrastructure Investment in Developing Countries”
  • Chuanhui Gu and Ya-Jou Chen: “Exploring the Impact of Tidally-Induced River Stage Fluctuations on Nitrogen Transformation and Microbial Community Dynamics in Riparian Zones”
  • Domna Kotsifaki: “Strawberry Diseases Detection using MinION”
  • Ka Leung Lam: “Remote Sensing for Monitoring Progress Towards Sustainable Development Goals”
  • Joohyun Lee: “Investigating the Role of Epigenetic Demethylation in Plant Tolerance to Arsenic (As)”
  • Ding Ma: “Dual Regimes of Atmospheric Jet Variability and Eddy-Jet Interactions”
  • Yachao Sun: “Generative Artificial Intelligence in English Academic Writing: A Friend or a Foe?”
  • Eric Tam: “Operant Light Seeking—an Animal Model for Behavioral Addiction”
  • Jason Douglas Todd: “Voter Perceptions of Elections, Deputies, and Legislatures”
  • Travis Wilkerson: “The Insatiable Hunger of Ghosts”
  • Keping Wu: “The River of Wrath: Environment and Development in a Pluralistic Frontier”
  • Xiaoqian Xu: “Non-Uniqueness of Steady State of Fluid Equations and Its Applications to Aerospace Engineering”
  • Changcheng Zheng: “Optical Study of InAlAs Digital Alloys”
  • Emily McWilliams: “Epistemic Justice and Epistemic Care in Collective Inquiry

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