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Fostering Interdisciplinary, Translational Research

Connecting faculty in the social sciences to address human and societal concerns that impact people and places

ISCE Interdisciplinary Icon Graphic - Orange

ISCE Graphic Showing Interdisciplinary Focus of the Institute
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    Transdisciplinary research network addresses policy research and education
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    A transdisciplinary community has emerged as a result of the work of Virginia Tech’s Destination Areas. An outgrowth of the Policy Destination Area, the +Policy Network, reflects the original Destination Area’s mission and expands the breadth of engagement across Virginia Tech. The +Policy Network remains dedicated to building capacity for policy research, teaching, and training that connects STEM disciplines with social sciences and humanities.

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    Researchers explore human-centered solutions to environmental grand challenges
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    Finding a solution to grand environmental social challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution requires addressing a host of transdisciplinary research and a human-centered approach. Convergence researchers aim to address such large-scale societal problems by working with a broad range of both scientists and stakeholders. This is the goal of the research project headed by Stanley Grant, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Lab in Northern Virginia.

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    Marrium Mansoor, left, observes Ben Katz, right, as he demonstrates how to use the fNIRS machine, which Diane Devine, center, is wearing on her head.
    Ben Katz

    Everyone knows eating a balanced diet and exercising are important to maintaining one’s physical health, but what about one’s cognitive health — the ability to think, learn, and remember? For over five years, Ben Katz has been studying executive function — working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility—throughout the lifespan. How one stays sharp as they grow older and what happens to the brain during the aging process are questions the Virginia Tech researcher contemplates in his studies.

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    Brenda Davy, Professor of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, standing outdoors, in front of green bushes.
    Brenda Davy

    Over the past decade, Brenda Davy, a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conducting rigorous research on water consumption and other weight management strategies. Davy has received funding from the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE), both as an ISCE Scholar and through unsolicited proposals, to support pilot work related to her water consumption studies as well as some of her other research.

ISCE Features

RFA for 2nd ISCE PREP Program Faculty Cohort Now Available

ISCE is offering an opportunity for a cohort of faculty members in the social sciences who are planning to submit a grant proposal for external funding but are new to the proposal writing process or would like personalized mentoring. ISCE anticipates making up to 6 awards and up to $10,000 per award. Click here for details. Applications due June 7, 2023.

ISCE  2023-2024 Scholars Award Winners Announced

Seven faculty research teams, which include six different colleges, have been awarded funding of up to $30,000 each for their projects. For the names of the faculty and the titles and abstracts of the research, click here.


ISCE 2023 Spring Forum: Behavioral and Social Sciences at the NIH: New and Emerging Directions

On, March 31, 2023, the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE) hosted their annual spring forum, featuring a virtual presentation by Christine Hunter, the acting director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Click here for the slides or recording.