Advancing Knowledge - Emerging Areas of Research

Emerging Areas of Research

IU Bloomington will identify key areas of current or emerging research strengths and make campus-level strategic investments to advance areas of disciplinary or interdisciplinary promise in which we can become national and international leaders.

This aligns with IU Bloomington Bicentennial Objective Six.

Identifying areas of research

Goal: Identify, with our faculty and deans, up to six current or emerging areas of strong research promise over the next five years, characterized by the strength and capacity of current faculty to carry out most, if not all, aspects of the research, with gaps to be filled with postdoctoral scholars and through collaboration with other nationally and internationally recognized institutions. Invest in resources that may include funding for a year-long seminar series, for a major conference, for the development of large proposals for external funding, or for other specified research outcomes such as collaborative endeavors, initiatives, publications, exhibits, and performances.

Update: The Emerging Areas of Research program, launched in 2016, supports areas of research and creative strength on the IU Bloomington campus that enhance the quality, impact, and reputation of IU’s flagship campus and its research and creative activities. The campus anticipates the funding of up to six Emerging Areas of Research initiatives, each with up to a $3 million cash investment and up to three new faculty hires per initiative.

In 2018, IU Bloomington implemented two new EARs: Sustainable Food Systems Science and Quantum Science and Engineering. There are currently three EAR initiatives in progress. With three EAR initiatives now in progress, OVPR made the decision to postpone new EAR competition until fiscal year 2020.

IU professors Linda Smith, David Crandall and Karin James talk about how IU Bloomington’s first Emerging Areas of Research initiative, called “Learning: Machines, Brains, and Children,” will revolutionize our understanding of how children, and robots, learn.

Learning: Brains, Machines, and Children

Work continues on the 2017 inaugural Emerging Areas of Research project, led by Distinguished Professor Linda Smith, in the College’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The Learning: Brains, Machines, and Children initiative employs cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists who are studying how learning works by exploring whether machines could learn to think like children.

This EAR team has landed an external grant from the National Institutes of Health and Human Services and has lined up faculty hires in Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences.