Faculty who received second-round funding: Bill Horner (left), Lesa Beamer, Wes Bernskoetter, Anand Chandrasekhar, Jennie Ikuta, Kimberly Laffey, Antoinette Landor, Trudy Lewis, Brian MacNeel, Laura Morett, Moshe Naveh-Benjamin, Neekun Sharma, Nancy West, Andrea Wycoff, Zipei Zhang and Samniqueka Halsey (right).

The University of Missouri’s Division of Research, Innovation and Impact awarded the second round of Research Council Grants in December to 16 faculty members.

This internal funding of up to $15,000 supports research, scholarship and creative endeavors that lead to book contracts, juried theatre and music performances, art exhibits, peer-reviewed articles and the generation of pilot data to bolster proposals for external funding.

Gavin King, professor in physics and astronomy, biochemistry and the Materials Science and Engineering Institute, said Research Council funding helped him develop a new research area  and nanofabrication method at MU called ice lithography.

“The funding helped relocate, refurbish, install and commission an ice lithography apparatus at MU,” King said. “This instrument, which we moved from Harvard University, was the first dedicated ice lithography system in the world. With the help of the RC grant, we acquired preliminary data that was instrumental in us landing two new federal grants.”

French horn player Amanda Collins, an assistant professor in the School of Music, is passionate about inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE) in music education and performance. She performs with IDE-focused groups, such as the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and supports the work of diverse composers.

“I applied for the Research Council grant to manifest my longtime dream of commissioning works by underserved and underrepresented composers,” Collins said. “As a student of color, it was a rare occasion that I had the opportunity to perform music by someone I could identify with. Representation is everything for young people. This is one step toward my lifelong goal of equity and access in classical music."

During the 2023-24 academic year, faculty will have two more opportunities to apply for Research Council funding through InfoReady. Deadlines are Jan. 16 and March 12.

For more information, email Internal Funding staff.


Second round of funded projects

Chosen from Research Council Grant proposals submitted by the Oct. 9, 2023, deadline. Read about first-round grant recipients.


InvestigatorProject Title
Bill Horner 
Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor, Government and Public Affairs
Tim Miller and the Politics of Performance
Jennie Ikuta
Assistant Professor, Government and Public Affairs
White Losses: Moral Psychology and the Demands of Racial Justice
Antoinette Landor
Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Science
Understanding Skin Lightening and the Range of Colorism Experiences in Sub-Saharan Africa
Trudy Lewis
Professor, English
FestZero: A Novel-in-Progress, Travel to Monteagle/Sewanee, Tennessee
Brian MacNeel
Assistant Teaching Professor, Film Studies
Angel Hair
Laura Morett
Assistant Professor, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Illuminating the Neural Substrates of Abnormal Gesture-Speech Integration and Social Communication in ASD: An fNIRS Pilot Study
Moshe Naveh-Benjamin
Professor, Psychological Sciences
Temporal Dynamics in Young and Older Adults’ Encoding and Retrieving of Different Memory Representations 
Nancy West
Professor, English
Moviemade Girl
Andrea Wycoff
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Effects of Cannabis Use on Alcohol Processes in Adults Seeking Alcohol Treatment


InvestigatorProject Title
Lesa Beamer
Professor, Biochemistry
Obtaining Preliminary Data on Enzyme Structure for CryoEM Studies
Wes Bernskoetter
Professor of Chemistry
Catalysts for Sustainable Acrylate Chemicals
Anand Chandrasekhar
Professor, Biological Sciences
To Eat or Not? Modulation of Motor Behavior in a Vertebrate Neural Circuit
Samniqueka Halsey
Assistant Professor, Natural Resources
Identifying Tick-Borne Pathogen Prevalence Among Prairies in Central Missouri
Kimberly Laffey
Assistant Research Professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Differential Gene Expression Programs Activated by Early αβ TCR Signaling in Development and Leukemia
Neekun Sharma    
Assistant Research Professor, Endocrinology
The Role of Endothelial Cell Estrogen Receptor Alpha in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Zipei Zhang
Assistant Professor, Food Science
Development of Novel Biofilm Inactivation Adjuvants to Enhance Food Safety