From body odor to democracy in Africa, social science research gets funding

By Susan Kelly
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, April 24, 2012

Cornell's Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) has announced the recipients of its biannual small-grant award for interdisciplinary research and conference support. The grants support a wide range of topics, from "Platonic Friendship and Social Olfactory Cues in Human Body Odor" (Vivian Zayas, psychology), to "Elections, Accountability and Democratic Governance in Africa" (Muna Ndulo, law and African development).

The ISS small grant program is designed to assist Cornell's tenure-track and tenured faculty working within the social sciences. It also provides funding for research led by junior faculty members, projects that will subsequently seek external funding, and/or activities that will lead to ISS theme project proposals.

The spring 2012 recipients and their projects are:

  • Shorna Allred, natural resources, "Civic Engagement, Civil Society Organizations and Urban Environmental Governance: Implications for the New Environmental Politics of Urban Development";
  • Christopher Barrett, applied economics and management, "Targeting and Impacts of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme";
  • Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, development sociology; William Block, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER); and Sarah Giroux, development sociology, "Cyber-Boosting African Social Science: Exporting the CISER Experience";
  • Ziad Fahmy, Near Eastern studies, "Listening to the Nation: Mass Culture and Identities in Interwar Egypt";
  • Eli Friedman, international and comparative labor, "Education Work in China: A Comparative Study of Beijing's Separate School Systems";
  • Don Kenkel, policy analysis and management, "Health Insurance Choice and Utilization";
  • Stacey Langwick, anthropology, "Toward Sustainable Health: Modernizing Traditional Medicine in Tanzania";
  • Aija Leiponen, applied economics and management, "Innovating the Smart Grid: Organization of R&D, Standards and the Electricity Industry";
  • Jordan Matsudaira, policy analysis and management, "Modeling College Choice: The Role of Preferences and Constraints in Producing Disparities in College Attendance Outcomes";
  • Andrew Mertha, government, "Policymaking under the Shadow of Death: the Policymaking Process under the Khmer Rouge in Democratic Kampuchea";
  • Muna Ndulo, law and African development, "Elections, Accountability and Democratic Governance in Africa";
  • Valerie Reyna, human development, "Fuzzy-Trace Theory and the Law: Testing a Theoretical Model of Juror Damage Awards";
  • Andrey Ukhov, hotel administration, "Time-Varying Risk Preferences and Asset Prices: Evidence from Lottery Bonds"; and
  • Vivian Zayas, psychology, "Platonic Friendship and Social Olfactory Cues in Human Body Odor."

More information on these projects is available online.

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