Seed Grant Program

Seed grants are awarded with funding provided by the Binghamton University Road Map through the Provost's Office and the Division of Research.

The goal of these seed grants is to encourage faculty to develop collaborative projects that stimulate the advancement of new ideas that can build Binghamton University's expertise toward a national reputation in the broad area of citizenship, rights and cultural belonging. This competitive, peer-reviewed program is providing initial support for proposed long-term programs of collaborative research that have strong potential to attract external funding.

The call for proposals for seed grant funding for the 2020–2021 academic year, including an overview, an explanation of the process and eligibility, a proposal cover page and a proposal budget page is available on this website. The deadline to apply for a Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging TAE seed grant is March 1, 2020.


For the 2020-2021 academic year, the following seed grants were awarded:

Storytelling and Public Engagement

Lisa Yun, English and Barry Brenton, Center for Civic Engagement

This project consists of a series of workshops in which participants will share ongoing initiatives that operate at the convergence of storytelling, community engagement, public humanities, and digital humanities. The workshops will thematically cohere around concerns of migration, immigration, memory, belonging, and social justice.  These workshops will bring in three directors of such initiatives that touch on all those areas, from: The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, The Tenement Museum, and The Brooklyn Historical Society. Their participation in the workshop with faculty, staff, students, and community members will open dialogue about leading edge developments that involve engaged teaching/learning/research/collaboration. The workshop will be followed by a next steps planning meeting. This is for faculty and grad students to drive conversations toward projects of mutual interest and increase transdisciplinary teaching/research. For full program information, please see:

Humanization of Money

Jakob Feinig, Human Development, Diren Valayden, Human Development, and Joshua Price, Sociology

This project investigates the racial and class dimensions of the contemporary United States through the lenses of critical race studies and Modern Monetary Thought (MMT). Research on race and class have a long interdisciplinary history: concepts such as intersectionality and racial capitalism now straddle academic and popular discourses. However, this is the first time that critical race studies and critical monetary thought are brought within the same framework of study. Our goal is two-fold. First, we propose a new historicization of racial and class formations in the United States through the investigation of crosscutting processes of dehumanization involved in the making of racial and monetary power. Although the focus is on North America, we believe that the project opens up discussions for a broader theoretical reconsideration of race and capitalism. Secondly, we argue that our framework also makes possible policy recommendations targeted towards programs such as the Job Guarantee.

Fifty and Beyond: New Transdisciplinary Approaches in African Studies, A Scholarly Symposium (will take place 2021-2022)

Nathaniel Mathews, Africana Studies and MENA; Titilayo Okoror, Africana Studies and Public Health; Patricia Lespinasse, Africana Studies, English, and LACAS; and Elikem Nyamuame, Africana Studies, and Music, Theater and Dance

The faculty of Africana Studies is convening an interdisciplinary symposium on new topics and research in Africana studies, in celebration of our fiftieth anniversary of the department (1969-2019). This project will spark new, African and African-diaspora centered interdisciplinary conversations across Harpur College and the university. We are particularly interested in papers that integrate new critical race and intersectionality theory into their methodological approach. Depending on the papers submitted, we will propose a special journal issue of The Black Scholar, a journal that also celebrated fifty years in 2019.


For the 2018–2019 academic year, the following seed grants were awarded:

Technologies of Human Rights Representations - a SUNY Conversation

Alexandra Moore, English, and John Cheng, Asian and Asian American studies

With the support of the TAE in Citizenship, Rights, and Cultural Belonging, the Human Rights Institute will organize an ambitious two-day conference on Technologies of Human Rights Representation - A SUNY Conversation in spring 2019. The goals of the conference are to: showcase the excellent, sustained, and transdisciplinary work currently undertaken by Binghamton University faculty and to underscore its leadership within the SUNY system in human rights-related research; to bring scholars from different disciplines, schools, and universities together to share and discuss the challenges of making our different quantitative and qualitative methodologies legible to one another; and to explore new conceptual and technological frontiers in human rights representations. This conference will also provide a forum for leading human rights scholars at Binghamton and within the SUNY system to share research, with an eye toward the development of future collaborative projects, and for students to be exposed to the breadth of work in this field. Selected conference presentations will be chosen for expansion and inclusion in a volume, edited by Alexandra Moore, also entitled Technologies of Human Rights Representation. Professor Moore has an advance contract for this volume from SUNY Press.

Human Trafficking Data Project

Suzy Lee, human development, Olubunmi Oyewuwo-Gassikia, social work, Charles Hounmenou, social work, and David Cingranelli, political science

The Human Trafficking Data Project proposes to create a large-scale dataset on human trafficking in the U.S., using the data gathered by the Department of State through its T-visa application process. Each year, nearly a thousand individuals apply for immigration relief through the T-visa, which provides non-immigrant visa status to victims of 'a severe form of trafficking.' These applications present a publically available record of human trafficking incidents that include not only basic demographic data, but detailed accounts of life histories and the circumstances of the trafficking itself. The project will address the long-standing problem of sparse data in anti-human-trafficking scholarship and policy-making. Our goal is to provide a better picture of human trafficking in the U.S., and to create a dataset that scholars and activists can use to test theories and propose interventions.

Race, Economic Disadvantage, and Out-of-School Suspensions: Data, Dialogue and Opportunities for Reform

Sean Massey, women, gender and sexuality studies, and Mei-Hsiu Chen, mathematical sciences

Racial disproportionality in school discipline is a pervasive problem throughout the U.S. (Annamma, Morrison, & Jackson, 2014) and may widen the achievement gap (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, 2010), increase students' risk of dropping out entirely, and even accelerate entry into the school to prison pipeline (Krueger, 2010). Although research points to the role that overt and implicit bias play in the disciplinary process (Carter, Skiba, Arredondo, & Pollock, 2017), it has had a limited impact on disciplinary policies and practices. Teachers and administrators frequently resist suggestions that racial bias plays a role in their own disciplinary practices (Skiba, Poloni-Staudinger, Simmons, Feggins-Azziz, & Chung, 2005), pointing instead to the other variables like poverty (Skiba & Williams, 2014). This project uses statistical methods to estimate rates of racial dispropotionality in out-of-school suspensions in New York state, after adjusting for the effects of poverty. It then uses these findings to explore policymaker and stakeholder resistance to these findings, with the ultimate objectives of (a) developing a theoretical model for disciplinary process that identifies standard practices and highlights areas where racial bias may enter that process, and (b) utilize this information to develop, implement, and evaluate a research-based intervention aimed at reducing racial disproportionality in disciplinary practices in schools.