The original intent of Funds Launching Alliances for Research Exploration (FLARE) had been to provide seed funding to one research project that joins Duke University scientists with those at RTI International, a global non-profit research institution in the Research Triangle Park.
The goal of the seed funding, which was announced last week, is to create new collaborations that would be attractive to federal funding. Each team will receive $100,000 in seed funding.
One of the winning ideas is a team combining Duke’s department of sociology and School of Nursing with RTI’s public health and health policy researchers. They’ll be examining methods to improve nursing home care through patient-directed planning. After a year of theoretical framing and data collection, the group hopes to pursue an R21 application with the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).
This group will be led by Duke’s Kirsten Corazzini, PhD, an Associate Professor of Nursing, and Michael Lepore, PhD, Senior Health Policy & Health Services Researcher at RTI.
The second winning proposal will do air quality assessments before shale gas fracking operations have begun in a local area. This combines Duke economist Christopher Timmins, Ph.D. and Jim Zhang, Ph.D. of the Nicholas School of Environment with RTI economist Brooks Depro, Ph.D. and research chemist William Studabaker, Ph.D.
They plan to apply data visualization and an exploration of correlations with identifiable sources of local air pollution (especially toxics, VOC’s and particulates) and characteristics of local populations. Documenting ambient pollution before fracking starts will be critical to accurately measuring the air quality effects of the practice. This group intends to approach NIH for funding after the pilot program.