SAIS Innovation Fund announces first round of recipients

Awards are intended to be a catalyst for further inquiry, fundraising, and grant submissions

The SAIS Innovation Fund, created by interim Dean Kent Calder to nurture intellectual creativity and support the school's sense of community, has announced its first round of recipients.

In an email to SAIS faculty, staff, and students, Calder said that "the emphasis has been on diversity—awards to a broad range of recipients, including especially assistant, associate, and emeritus professors, rather than just to the senior faculty with the greatest traditional access to research funds. We have also consciously searched for ideas that encouraged group inquiry, to complement the individual scholarship that is our classic focus."

The inaugural recipients are:

  • Assistant Professors Lisel Hintz and Narges Bajoghli, in support of their new SAIS Media and Politics Initiative
  • The Comparative and International Political Economy Speaker Series, coordinated by Associate Professor David Steinberg on behalf of a group of 15 SAIS colleagues
  • Publication of "Contemporary Peking-ology," a group project headed by Professor Andrew Mertha to explore innovative ways to research Chinese politics today
  • Emeritus Professor Bruce Parrott and a research colleague to explore the crisis of American democracy and its broader implications for foreign affairs

"None of these awards is large," Calder said. "We have purposely limited the scale to broaden access, and to support as many worthy projects as possible. These awards are intended to be a catalyst for further inquiry, fundraising, and grant submissions, especially those involving colleagues elsewhere in the university."

Calder said that further selection rounds will identify additional recipients, and that all members of the SAIS community, including term faculty and staff members with special research interests, are encouraged to apply.

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