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Grant Highlights

Suzan Edwards, L. Clark Seelye Professor of Astronomy The National Science Foundation awarded a $67,915 grant for Professor Edwards project titled “Collaborative Research Evolution of Disk Winds,” which studies light emitted by winds emerging from proto-planetary disks around young stars.  Professor Edwards will use data from the Keck Telescopes at the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii to research how the nascent disks clear themselves out, leaving a pristine planetary system behind.

Mary Harrington, Tippit Professor in the Life Sciences (Psychology) The National Institutes of Health awarded Professor Harrington $385,288 for “In vivo tracking of bioluminescent markers of circadian rhythms in behaving animals.”

Elizabeth Jamieson, Professor of Chemistry The National Science Foundation funded Professor Jamieson and a team of undergraduate faculty members $1.1 million for their project titled “Collaborative research improving inorganic chemistry education through a community-developed, student-centered curriculum.”

Miles Ott, Assistant Professor of Statistical and Data Sciences The National Institutes of Health awarded Professor Ott $33,211 for a collaborative project with Brown University titled “Reducing hazardous alcohol use in social networks using targets intervention” and $18,258 for his project “Using Systems Science Methods to Study Cardiac Risk in the Somali Community.”

Nils Pilotte and Gates Professor of Biology Steven Williams along with Lisa Reimer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom were awarded a Grand Challenges grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Together they are developing a simple and inexpensive approach to monitor diseases caused by parasites that thrive in mosquitos based on detection in mosquito feces. 

The Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) received funding from the Highland Street Foundation for the inaugural “Free Fun Friday” at the museum (    Over the course of the day, the SCMA hosted 1,126 guests, providing an exciting atmosphere for first-time visitors.

The Henry Luce Foundation awarded Smith College a grant in support of the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship in Computer Science and Statistical and Data Sciences. This grant of $499,975 allowed Smith to hire a high caliber, tenure-track candidate at the beginning of her academic career.  Katherine Kinnaird will begin her tenure as the CBL Professor in July 2018.

The Manton Foundation awarded Smith a $1,000,000 grant in support of the new Neilson Library (   In October 2016, Maya Lin unveiled designs for a new Neilson Library.  Groundbreaking on a reimagined library building—the college's largest capital project in a decade—took place on October 19, 2017.  The project began in summer 2017 and will be completed for the fall semester of 2020.

The Smith College Museum of Art received a $195,000 grant from The Brown Foundation for an initiative to educate and mentor emerging museum professionals for the 21st century.  Funding will allow the SCMA to strengthen the field of museum studies by creating links among undergraduates, emerging museum professionals, and Smith alumnae working in museums and cultural organizations.

In December 2016, Smith College became the recipient of a $496,638 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC).  Funding will permit equipment acquisition to expand and enhance the training that occurs in both the Center for Molecular Biology and the Center for Microscopy and Imaging.  Specifically, MLSC funding will enhance the infrastructure of both centers and support training in genomic and light microscopy research – foundational skillsets needed for life science careers.  Instrumentation will directly support Smith College undergraduate and graduate training through course-based and independent research experiences, as well as research training of primary and secondary teachers through the college’s existing outreach programs.