NYUAD Announces Lead-Off Research Grants

NYU Abu Dhabi Downtown Campus.

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi today announced the selection of three lead-off research projects which will receive grants through its research center, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute.

The three projects, spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, will be based in Abu Dhabi. The research projects, which will cumulatively receive some $20 million over five years, were selected by the NYU Abu Dhabi Research Review Council, composed of members of the senior leadership of the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses, after an intensive process of internal and external peer review.

“These three lead-off projects in the humanities, social sciences, and science and technology are important initiatives that will inaugurate research at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute with significant and exciting projects,” said David McLaughlin, provost of NYU. “The proposed scholarship and research will advance knowledge in innovative ways, and, importantly, will help reinforce the organic connection and vigorous flow of information, ideas, and people between NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi.”

This fall, NYU Abu Dhabi will announce the next group of recipients of research grants from the Institute’s first full round of competition. Of the 21 pre-proposals that were submitted for consideration, eight were invited to submit full proposals.

In addition, the Institute will begin accepting pre-proposals for its second round of competition this summer, with awards due to be announced in July 2011.

“We look forward to establishing the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute as an internationally recognized center of scholarship, research, and creativity, where knowledge, talent, and insight from around the globe join in collaborative pursuit of deeper understanding and of effective response to the challenges that face our communities and the world,” said Alfred Bloom, vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi. “Moreover, the Institute will allow us to integrate the intellectual vitality of ambitious and significant research into the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi.”

In addition to its role as a research center, the faculty-led NYU Abu Dhabi Institute has hosted more than 35 conferences, workshops, lectures, and other public programs, attracting audiences from Abu Dhabi and the UAE, as well as the worldwide academic and research community. It will continue to develop such events in the future.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s liberal arts and sciences college opens this August with an inaugural undergraduate class of international students drawn from the top high school students around the world.

The selected lead off projects are:

The Library of Arabic Literature
The Library of Arabic Literature will produce a library of the classic works of Arabic Islamic literature and culture in parallel-text editions -- Arabic and English running texts on facing pages. The translations – the first of their kind in the Anglophone world -- will be produced in a clear, modern idiom and will be accessible by general readers and academics alike. Editors will include leading Arabic scholars from all parts of the world, each of whom will also discuss his or her work at public workshops and lectures in Abu Dhabi and New York.

  • Principal Investigator: Philip KennedyAssociate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU; Faculty Director, NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

The Neuroscience of Language
The Neuroscience of Language Laboratory will explore how the ability to use natural language is implemented in the brain. While most of the existing research in this area is based on English language study, the laboratory’s location in Abu Dhabi will provide researchers with access to speakers of Arabic and many other languages, including Hindi, Bengali, and Tagolog. Professor Ali Idrissi, chair of the linguistics department at United Arab Emirates University, will serve as the lab’s senior research associate.

  • Principal Investigator: Alec MarantzProfessor of Linguistics and Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU
  • Co-Principal Investigators: Liina PylkkänenAssistant Professor of Linguistics and Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU and David Poeppel, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU

The Technology Center for Rural Development
The Technology Center for Rural Development will be devoted to the study and application of technology as a tool for spurring economic development in poor and rural communities throughout the developing world. The center’s initial projects will focus on innovative mobile phone applications and wireless technologies; future work is expected to focus on developing lower-cost means for providing electricity to rural regions.

  • Principal Investigator: Yaw NyarkoProfessor of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU

  • Co-Principal Investigator: Lakshminarayanan SubramanianAssistant Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.