Global Synergy Research Grant

By fostering innovation and excellence in international and global research in the College of Liberal Arts, the Global Synergy Research Grant enhances Purdue’s national and international reputation of research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It provides financial support for three kinds of research projects: (a) research proposed in collaboration with an individual faculty member at an international institution; (b) collaborative projects among faculty in the liberal arts at Purdue partnering with faculty at an international institution; and (c) collaborative projects at the institutional level that involve the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University and an international institution. Emphases will be given to projects that engage partnerships in strategic geographic areas identified by the University including Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia; however, research projects in other regions will also be considered.


2016 Purdue Liberal Arts Faculty 

Faculty Global Synery Grant

Tithi Bhattacharya is a professor of South Asian History in the Department of History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2005).  Professor Bhattacharya is a founding member of a research collaboration titled the “Global Cities Research Network.” The Network involves The American University in Cairo (Egypt), the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), the University of East London (UK) and the East China Normal University (Shanghai, China). The Network held its first meeting in Mumbai on September 14-15, 2015 and a second meeting is scheduled to take place in Spring 2016 in Cairo.  The Global Synergy grant will support a third meeting of the network at Purdue in Fall, 2016.


Faculty Grant Winner Olga Dmitrieva is an assistant professor of Russian and Linguistics in the School of Languages and Cultures and School of Interdisciplinary Studies.  Professor Dmitrieva's research investigates how speech sounds are produced and perceived by humans.  She has been focusing on the multifaceted nature of speech sounds, inquiring into the way multiple acoustic properties are coordinated in order to create the sensation of a particular sound quality, such as voicing – the quality responsible for the difference between sounds like ‘b’ and ‘p’.  The Global Synergy Grant aims to collect and analyze acoustic data from a languages with a four-way voicing distinction - Marathi, an Indo-Arian language spoken in Western India. Data will allow to examine the patterns of acoustic coordination in this typologically rare type of voicing distinction and compare them to the well-studied binary contrasts in languages such as English. Ultimately, the results will contribute to our understanding of gestural and acoustic coordination in speech production necessary for optimizing spoken language as a communication system.


Dino Felluga is an associate professor in the department of English.  Professor Felluga's research focuses on British Literature, nineteenth-century literature (especially poetry), media studies, and critical theory.


Faculty Grant Winner

Michael T. Light is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and has been awarded a Global Syngery Research Grant for his project “Legal Inequality in an International Perspective: Evidence from the Netherlands”.  The number of noncitizens imprisoned in foreign countries has increased dramatically in recent decades, yet we know relatively little about the treatment of foreign nationals in the legal system, especially in an international context. Attempting to address this gap, we will leverage criminal court data from the Netherlands to examine the punishment consequences of lacking state membership. Combining quantitative analysis of court records and qualitative analysis of interview data with Dutch prosecutors and judges, this study will be one of the first to empirically evaluate the relationship between citizenship and punishment in an international perspective.  


Faculty Grant WinnerSorin Matei is an associate professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and a Discovery Park Fellow. Professor Matei studies the relationship between information technology, social structures in knowledge markets. Professor Matei will initiate a series of global education and research capacity building activities in collaboration with US and French scholars, experts, and authors that aim at creating a forum of debate about the global implications and reflection of the American electoral process and communication in the global arena.  He will also enhance the civic and intellectual preparedness of Purdue students for understanding US politics from a global perspective. Finally, Professor Matei, will create research and practice connections with a major political communication European author. His project includes a public, campus wide forum, working meetings, and a seminar for graduate and undergraduate students, and opportunities to connect with Mr. Joseph Daniel, a leading French communication practitioner and author of the volume “The presidential word” (Daniel, 2014).


Kimberly Marion Suiseeya is an assistant professor in the departent of political science in the College of Liberal Arts.  Professor Marion Suiseeya received this award for work on her research project From Presence to Influence: Examining the politics of Indigenous Representation in Global Environmental Governance.


2016 Purdue Liberal Arts Students

Edward Gray, Department of History



Jessica Pauly, Brian Lamb School of Communication



Savannah Schulze, Department of Anthropology



Marcus Smith, Department of History



Jessica Pauly, Brian Lamb School of Communication



Matthew Schownir, Department of History


Anne Snider, Department of History


Aleksandra Swatek, Department of English


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