PENN GLOBAL RESEARCH & ENGAGEMENT GRANT PROGRAM 2023 Grant Program Awardees
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In 2023, Penn Global will support 19 new faculty-led research and engagement projects at a total funding level of $1.7 million.
The Penn Global Research and Engagement Grant Program prioritizes projects that bring together leading scholars and practitioners across the University community and beyond to develop new insight on significant global issues in key countries and regions around the world, a core pillar of Penn’s global strategic framework.
PROJECTS ENGAGING AFRICA
- The Impacts of Income Volatility and Risk on Economic Outcomes in Ghana
Heather Schofield, The Wharton School / Perelman School of Medicine
- Resuscitation Education and Acute Care Help (REACH)
Vinay Nadkarni, Perelman School of Medicine
- To Improve Stroke Care in Africa
Renyu Liu, Perelman School of Medicine
- Resilient Ecosystem and Sustainable Transformation of Rural Economies
Heather Huntington, School of Arts and Sciences
- Botswana Education and Research Development
Megan Rybarczyk, Perelman School of Medicine
PROJECTS ENGAGING INDIA
Stories of Climate Action: Negotiating Planning in Mumbai’s Wetscapes
Nikhil Anand, School of Arts and Sciences
Synergy to Solve SDGs (S3): Targeting Physical and Mental Health in India
Jere Behrman, School of Arts & Sciences / Graduate School of Education
Clinical Multimodal Integration for Stratification of Glioblastoma Patients
Spyridon Bakas, Perelman School of Medicine
Sharath Chandra Guntuku, School of Engineering & Applied Science
PROJECTS ENGAGING CHINA
Knowledge Building Innovation Network in Greater China: Education Towards a Sustainable Future
Bodong Chen, Graduate School of Education
MULTI REGIONAL PROJECTS
Income, Family Structure and CCT Effects on Child Maltreatment in Mexico
Petra Todd, School of Arts and Sciences
Evaluating Europe’s flagship carbon policies
Arthur van Benthem, The Wharton School
Cost-Effectiveness Studies of Early Childhood Interventions Serving Refugees
A. Brooks Bowden, Graduate School of Education
Designing a Just and Climate Resilient Transboundary Region
Simon Richter, School of Arts and Sciences
Living Learning Environments: Early Education for a Sustainable Futures
Laia Mogas Soldevila, Weitzman School of Design
Kidney CEUS in Latin America, multinational education and research program
Hansel J. Otero, Perelman School of Medicine
Impact of Tech-based Teaching on Learning in India
Dan Wagner, Graduate School of Education
PBL for Global Climate Justice
Zachary Herrmann, Graduate School of Education
Residential Location Choice, Affordability, and Transit in Bogota
Erick Guerra, Weitzman School of Design
Blue Planetary Boundaries for Climate Resilience & Sustainable Development
Irina Marinov, School of Arts and Sciences
One often underappreciated feature of the lives of the poor is that their incomes are not only low, but also highly unstable and unpredictable. This is especially true among many of the most populous professions in Africa, small farmers and traders. Despite the ubiquity of income instability and its potential large costs, our empirical understanding of the phenomenon is still limited. This project will study the causal effects of income risk and predictable income volatility on economic outcomes and welfare. To generate exogenous variation in income instability, we will experimentally manipulate the labor demand for casual work in Ghana. Participants will respond to panel surveys on consumption, expenditures, income, savings, assets, loans, debt, and transfers. The design will allow us to study the impact of income instability on consumption levels and smoothing, investigate the strategies used to cope with income instability, and estimate a structural model to simulate policy counterfactuals.
Sepsis is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare utilization for children worldwide, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. An audit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana reported 54% mortality for children presenting in septic shock, with the majority of deaths progression deemed “preventable” with simple, available, time-critical interventions like oxygen, fluids, antibiotics, and effective team management. The purpose of this project is to study implementation of a novel Annenberg “virtual” tele-simulation "low-or-no bandwidth" training platform system to train and support multidisciplinary healthcare providers in Ghana to rapidly recognize and effectively treat children presenting with shock. With collaboration across two Penn Schools, Institutions in Ghana (KNUST, KATH), and three disciplines (Center for Global Health, CHOP Anesthesiology/Critical Care, and Annenberg filmmakers and educators), we will pioneer and test a cost-efficient, scalable, educational methodology that could save many lives and decrease the burden of sepsis across vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This project aims to improve stroke care in African countries with an initial focus on SubSaharan Africa since stroke is the leading cause of death and disability there. This project will expand on our previous successful efforts, strategies and experiences improving stroke prehospital care in China, which was achieved by working with expert collaborators in China. In this specific proposal we will work with experts in Africa to promote stroke awareness and rescue readiness by producing educational packages for the public and training packages for emergency medical staff and stroke rescue related personnel aimed at improving stroke care. We will also help to establish community stroke centers to help stroke survivors and their family members and the local societies. The community stroke centers will be an important hub for stroke awareness and stroke education improvement. This project receives strong internal and international support with various matching funding.
Our multidisciplinary team will leverage existing partnerships with USAID and the Resilient Ecosystem and Sustainable Transformation of Rural Economies (RESTORE) project team to investigate the impact of planned biodiversity and conservation interventions within the Guinean forests of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire from 2023-2027. Through USAID funding, RESTORE will initiate interventions to improve biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable agriculture, including interventions to improve off-farm forest restoration and on-farm cocoa agroforestry. An impact evaluation of RESTORE will assess project impacts on livelihoods, along with the linkages between environmental and health outcomes. We focus on two growing health threats: water-borne illness and zoonotic disease.
Our specific aims are to:
- determine the impact of RESTORE in mediating the effects of biodiversity loss and forest degradation;
- identify the mechanisms linking ecosystem health to wildlife health and human health; and
- quantify whether interventions which effectively reduce deforestation can positively impact environmental and health outcomes.
Nearly half of deaths in low- and middle-income countries could likely be avoided with the implementation of effective emergency care systems (ECSs). Trauma accounts for nearly five million deaths worldwide annually, and the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how vulnerable all health care systems are and how imperative it is to have functioning ECSs. Botswana is a country in which the specialty of Emergency Medicine (EM) is still growing, with few faculty fully trained in the specialty throughout the country.
Over the next three years, this project aims to build on the existing tradition of collaboration between Botswana and UPenn and to support and enhance a new EM curriculum through remote and face-to-face instruction, to assist in the development of the research capacity to advance emergency care science, to provide mentorship of and to support the leadership of EM in Botswana, and to serve the resource-limited patient population in Botswana.
Amidst calls for urgent climate adaptation, we dwell in the everyday stories of development, infrastructure and dwelling of marginalized urban residents in Mumbai that are often drowned out by the formalized procedures of expert knowledges of climate change action. The stories we shall gather in this project will describe subordinated modalities of praxis; of how urban residents understand climate change and act amidst climate and ecological uncertainty.
We propose to put these stories in conversation with ongoing official climate planning processes underway in India and diversely situated publics through several community engagement workshops, an online multimedia exhibition, Op-Eds and a policy brief, taught course, peer-reviewed articles, conference, and book publication. Together with official, more formalized initiatives, Stories of Climate Action promises to produce new paradigms of how the most catastrophic effects of climate change might be mitigated and adapted to in Indian cities in the near future.
India has huge physical and mental-health crises. For examples, injuries and accidents are major causes of trauma-related morbidities, deaths, and related expenditures, and ~150 million individuals suffer mental morbidities.
This project, the first collaborative connection between two prior IREF teams - UPenn SOM (CHOP) and SAS (Economics, Sociology), addresses these crises through collecting and analyzing data to test a transformative idea in a severely disadvantaged population by studying the economic and social impacts of a unique set of clinically proven physical-and mental-health interventions targeted to young married adults in low-income households/slums in New Delhi:
(a) physical-health intervention,
(b) mental-health intervention, and
(c) integrated physical-and-mental-health intervention.
The project will increase academic knowledge on these important topics, provide the foundation for concrete policy suggestions, enhance Penn interschool and interdisciplinary interactions, enhance Penn-Indian research and policy-related interactions, and lay the foundation for further interschool, interdisciplinary and Penn-Indian collaboration.
Glioblastoma is globally the most common malignant adult brain tumor, with heterogeneous morphological and molecular profiles, and a grim prognosis (median overall survival (OS)=14 months) that gets further augmented by socio-economic health determinants. In India, as many as 38% of brain tumor cases are reported to be glioblastoma. Clinical research and developments in routine radiologic, histopathologic, and molecular assessment of glioblastoma, over the last 18 years, have only yielded minimal OS improvements and have mostly focused on WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich & democratic) country contexts.
This project focuses on novel integrative computational (AI) analyses of routinely acquired multi-modal clinical data to develop new insights on glioblastoma morphological patterns associated with shorter and longer OS, with a specific lens on patients in India, allowing clinical neuropathologists to provide additional prognostic information gleaned during microscopic assessment to the treating team and suggest avenues of biological investigation for understanding and treating glioblastoma.
Project Synopsis: The project aims to launch a Knowledge Building Innovation Network (KBIN) to support K-12 teachers in Greater China to create innovative ways to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals in school curriculum following the Knowledge Building pedagogy. By centering students’ natural curiosity and creativity, Knowledge Building presents a refreshing vision of education that stands in sharp contrast against direct instruction and standardized testing emphasized in many education systems.
This project responds to a strong interest in alternative visions of education in Greater China. Following the design-based implementation research approach, the KBIN will bridge Penn and two university-school partnerships in Nanjing and Taipei, engaging teachers, school leaders, and researchers in generating actionable plans to integrate Knowledge Building and sustainability in their schools. The project will integrate expertise across Penn schools to create a model of educational change and generate insights into scaling Knowledge Building and sustainability education in a global context.
Child maltreatment is critical for UN SDG 3 (Health and Well-Being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 11 (Reduced Inequality). US studies find relations among poverty, welfare receipt and child maltreatment. Much less is known about prevalences and correlates of child maltreatment in low-and-middle-income countries including Mexico, though Latin America has very high family-violence rates globally.
The major project objectives are to investigate
- child maltreatment prevalence in Mexico,
- correlates of such maltreatment with child/family characteristics including gender, indigenous status, disability status and poverty,
- how different types of child maltreatment interacting with child/family characteristics are associated with parental expectations of their children’s education, children’s schooling progression and learning, and
- how conditional-cash-transfer (CCT) programs moderate child maltreatment and associations of indicators of child education (as in 3) with child maltreatment.
The project will enhance interschool, interdisciplinary and Penn-Mexico collaborative research and policy-relevant interactions.
The European Union has long been a leader in global climate policy. This project evaluates critical performance aspects of two of the EU's flagship climate policies: the Emissions Trading Scheme for carbon emissions and the expansion of Europe's land conservation program. The carbon-markets research tackles two open questions. First, what is the environmental impact when governments "cancel carbon" by retiring carbon allowances from the market? Second, what are the economic and environmental impacts of the recently-approved carbon border taxes --levies on imports to account for carbon emitted in the production process outside Europe?
The research on land-use policies also focuses on two questions: First, how much have protected areas contributed to additional forest cover? Second, what has been the impact of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy on forest cover, crop choice, and agricultural production?
This research agenda holds significant promise to provide practical recommendations for improving current policy effectiveness.
This project aims to address the needs of children in early childhood in humanitarian contexts through “low-cost” approaches that can be scaled quickly to serve as many children and families as possible. With funding from the LEGO Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, the Sesame Workshop is working in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and BRAC to develop and deliver five early childhood development (ECD) interventions to children living in exceptional circumstances in Jordan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, and Colombia. This effort includes an evaluation component led by Global TIES for Children at NYU.
The primary objectives of the evaluations are to estimate the effectiveness and the costs to produce effects of the five ECD programs. Penn GSE’s Professor Brooks Bowden was invited to lead the cost-effectiveness research with Penn SAS’ Professor Jere Behrman and the team from the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (CBCSE).
At some point this century or the beginning of the next, the ability of the Netherlands to keep pace with accelerated sea level rise may be overwhelmed. When that begins to happens, large numbers of people from low-lying parts of the Netherlands, but also Belgium and Germany, will move to higher ground. At the same time, people from the Global South will migrate to Europe. When the next “great migration” begins, borders will come into play. There is considerable resistance to imagining retreat in the Netherlands, even though it is an officially recognized adaptation pathway.
In this multi-phase project that integrates climate science, policy, design, theater, and video, Simon Richter (SAS) and Matthijs Bouw (Weitzman) will work with partners in the Netherlands and Germany in order to re-imagine transboundary climate migration and thus stimulate future-oriented conversation among water sector professionals, policy makers, and the general public in both countries.
The Living Learning Wall merges the disciplines of biology, education, and architecture to design a biomaterial-driven learning artifact for environmentally attuned early education worldwide. Penn Global GEF, Dr. Laia Mogas-Soldevila at Penn, and Dr. Fiorenzo Omenetto at Tufts, support a first step towards biologist and education researcher Camilla Cantadori’s idea to build teaching spaces that organically instruct in ecological wellbeing, and help children everywhere understand and value sustainability and eco-integration concepts of pressing global relevance.
The department of radiology at CHOP houses the Center of Pediatric Contrast Ultrasound (CPCU) with a proven record of effectively teaching the basic principles of contrast-enhanced US (ceUS) to pediatric radiologists, sonographers, and other clinicians since 2018. Clinically, our department has used contrast enhanced ultrasound since 2013, leading the way to FDA approval in 2016. In a collaboration with the Global Radiology Education and Outreach program, we propose a plan to accelerate our international educational and research collaboration to introduce this exciting new ultrasound technology in partner pediatric practices in Latin America.
The “Impact of Tech-based Teaching on Learning in India: Towards UN SDG4” (or ITTLI) project addresses a critical aspect of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that is, improving education especially in the world’s poorest communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank estimates the cumulative loss in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) learning will cost the world more than $1 trillion over the coming decade. In India, and in other low-income countries, improving FLN has become an essential component of educational investments while trying to accelerate student learning through an expanded use of remote (digital) teacher professional development.
In partnership with India-based partner, Language and Learning Foundation, ITTLI will research 3 questions: how teacher training impacted student learning during the pandemic; ways in which improving teachers’ classroom practices can increase student achievement; and how to identify factors in “marginalized” populations (e.g., by mother-tongue) that are obstacles for children’s learning.
Climate change is a serious threat facing humanity, which is why the UN’s SDG 4.7 calls for transformative climate education. The Project-Based Learning for Global Climate Justice program aims to support educators in designing transformative experiences that engage students in exploring critical climate justice issues. To this end, the program integrates the climate justice research and teacher development work occurring throughout the University of Pennsylvania, with the expertise of environmental organizations and educators across the world.
- explore issues of global climate justice in educator-participants’ local communities,
- envision meaningful and contextually relevant educational projects,
- and enact those projects with the support of small, transglobal, collaborative teams of teachers.
In doing so, we hope to better understand the challenges and opportunities of project-based learning as an authentic and contextually relevant teaching methodology, as well as effective, scalable, and sustainable models of professional learning for teachers.
The project will focus on technology informal mobility in a developing-world city. The project, depending on external grant receipt, will examine the role of informal transit in complementing and substituting for high-capacity Bus Rapid Transit systems in Mexico City or Bogota. Partners will include a Mexico-City-based research center as well as a local architecture, planning, and engineering school based in Bogota.
Oceans are currently under increasing threat from both climate change and direct human activities. Degradation of the oceanic environment poses ecological and societal pressures, which in turn feeds back on the use of ecosystems and our climate. There are major co-benefits and trade-offs among the The UN-2030 Sustainable Development (SDG) Goals, with the oceans a critical component that can be linked to multiple objectives including Life under water, Climate Action, Clean Water, No poverty, Reduced Inequalities. Given highly interconnected natural-social systems, how can we advance human development while decreasing pressures on the oceans?
To contribute to this conversation, our objectives are three-fold:
- Develop a new integrative, theoretical framework of Oceanic Planetary Boundaries
- Develop the ocean/coastal component for our new Climate Security Digital Atlas.
- Use historical (1850 to present) and 21st century projections for productivity, fisheries and socio-economic indicators to discuss fundamental concepts of climate/ocean responsibility and justice
Penn Global Research and Engagement Grant Program
The Penn Global Research and Engagement Grant Program aims to support projects that bring together leading scholars and practitioners across the University community and beyond to develop new insight on significant global issues in key countries and regions around the world.