Courtesy of Cornell University

The Tata Innovation Center on Cornell Tech's campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

July 19, 2019

Visioning Grants Will Fund Research in Humanities, Science, Music in New York City

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With the goal of expanding research opportunities on the New York City campus, Cornell’s Visioning Committee announced four recipients of grants totalling $265,000. Now, those projects — aiming to improve care for refugees, artificial intelligence research of music, circadian rhythm studies and a cross-campus collaboration — will continue to develop across campuses.

The NYC Visioning Grant Initiative began a new campaign that provides grants for integrative research projects involving Cornell students and faculty. They accepted applications until May of 2019, and the winners were announced in early June. The President’s Visioning committee was first launched in the fall of 2017, with the goal of reimagining Cornell’s presence in New York City.

Four proposals were selected from a pool of 30 applications. The committee surveyed Cornell students and faculty from both campuses in order to make their final decisions, and each project had to detail in their report how their research in NYC will connect and expand upon work being done on the Ithaca campus.

The committee awarded three projects full funding. The fourth project received a $5,000 grant to assist in continuing its research.

The first project to receive a full grant aims to promote care and advocacy for refugees and immigrants, as a partnership between Cornell Law and Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights.

The second proposal that also received full funding will focus on improving artificial intelligence research regarding musical improvisation and sound making, making cross-disciplinary connections across the musical art and science fields.

Cornell Engineering Prof. Guy Hoffman said in a press release that the grant “can help secure Cornell University’s continuing dialog with the international forefront of art and technology.”

The third project awarded a full grant will work to advance previous collaborative research at the Lab of Ornithology that will investigate the disruption that artificial light has to circadian rhythm of both humans and migrating birds in New York.

The fourth is pilot collaboration between Weill Cornell Medicine and faculty in Ithaca who are teaching at the intersection of humanities and medicine.

All four projects must involve faculty from more than one university and submit reports with updates on their research to receive the funds.

“The Visioning Committee received very strong, creative proposals to advance our goal of ‘One Cornell,’ and the four selected projects span the sciences and technology, arts and humanities, law and medicine,” President Martha Pollack said in the press release.

“I am grateful to the committee and excited about these innovative projects, which will expand Ithaca-New York City engagement through meaningful collaborations and partnerships,” she continued.

The committee estimates that by 2029, Cornell in NYC should be a fully operational urban campus that supports year-round undergraduate, graduate and non-degree educational programs, scholarly research, and public engagement, according to their final report in May 2018.