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Seed Grants

ISSE Seed Grants

ISSE makes annual funding available for multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator research and support. Each year, ISSE awards three or four seed grants to support research projects that are related to environmental sustainability. The aim is to support project teams as they develop interdisciplinary collaboration and build the capability to secure external funding. ISSE expects the funded teams to submit at least one external grant proposal and one article to a peer-reviewed publication acknowledging ISSE’s support. Among the topics of interest are

  • Modeling sustainability and resilience, especially for regional systems, under climate changes and other social and environmental stressors; 
  • Systems or engineering solutions to reduce nutrient and pollution (e.g., microplastics) in water;
  • Technologies and analyses for carbon sequestration; and
  • Solutions or modeling to enhance environmental health.

For FY2023, a panel of independent reviewers scored all submissions and selected the following projects.

InvestigatorsProject Title
PI: Jiangang Chen (Public Health),
coPIs: Jayne Wu (EECS) and Qiang He (CEE)
Assessing the levels of forever chemicals (PFAS) in surface water in Tennessee aquatic ecosystems
PI: Alison Buchan (Microbiology)
coPI: Qiang He (CEE)
Identification of novel pathways for bacterial degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
PI: Boshan Huang (CEE),
coPIs: Qiang He, Pawel Polaczyk (CEE) and Brian Long (Chem)
Utilization of waste plastics to build the next generation of sustainable and durable asphalt pavements
PI: Chris Cherry (CEE), 
coPI: Daniel Costinett (EECS)
Micromobility Vehicle Second-Life Battery Applications: Market Inventory and End Use Feasibility Analysis
Jiangang Chen
Alison Buchan
Baoshan Huang
Chris Cherry

Previous Seed Grants Awarded

Khalid Alshibli            Gas Driven Fracture During Gas Production using 3D Synchrotron Computed Tomography (SMT)
Chris ClarkAnalyzing Strategies for Diverting and Managing Organic Waste Streams in Tennessee
Anahita KhojandiMulti-Sensor Data-Driven Inspection/Maintenance of Green Infrastructure 
Steven RippEmerging synthetic biology for plant phytosensing and agricultural sustainability
Douglas HayesTransport, Colloidal Behavior, Biodegradability, and Ecotoxicity of Micro- and Nanoplastics from Emergent Biodegradable Agroplastics in Aquatic Systems
Khalid AlshibliGeochemical Interaction between CO2 and Caprock for safe Carbon Sequestration
Qiang HeToward Precision Environmental Health Risk Management: Feasibility of Personalized Exposome Monitoring
Scott LenaghanBioengineering of the Duckweed Plastid Genome: A Model Plant for Aquatic Bioremediation
Terry HazenMicrobial-geochemical signatures for CO2 storage performance and sustainable development of unconventional shale resources
Scott LenaghanBioengineering of the Duckweed Plastid Genome
Kelsey EllisBeat the Heat: Builiding adaptive capacity of vulverable populations in Knox County to combined stressors from climate change and urban heat.
Frank LoefflerMicrobial transformation and degradation of sulfonated per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Khalid Alshibli                         Geochemical Interaction between CO2 and Caprock for Safe Carbon Sequestration
Jie WuSocioeconomic inequalities and drinking water quality: assessin arsenic concentrations in community water systems by novel field deployable biosensors.
Qiang HeToward Precision Environmental Health Risk Management