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K-State Today

January 26, 2024

2024 GRIPex awards announced

Submitted by the Office of the Vice President for Research

The Office of the Vice President for Research announces the recipients of the 2024 GRIPex: AI in the Disciplines awards. GRIPex aims to increase interest and capacity in leveraging artificial intelligence across university disciplines and is a follow-up program to the larger Game-Changing Research Initiation Program launched in 2022.

Relative to the first GRIP, this year's program is less directly focused on building interdisciplinary teams and center-level organization. It is wider reaching and is intended to encourage exploratory research by asking faculty to consider what exciting concepts they can envision for AI in their research. It is an opportunity for them to follow passions in meaningful, game-changing work.

A total of 21 commendable proposals were submitted, requesting $3.8 million in support. After careful review by faculty peers both within and external to K-State, five proposals were selected to receive funds totaling more than $950,000.

The 2024 GRIPex awardees are:

  • Daniel Rolles, physics: "AI-based Molecular Image Analysis for Ultrafast Laser Experiments," $179,249.
  • Cydney Alexis, English: "Collaborating with AI: A Project to Develop Writing Studies-Informed Applications of Generative AI for Teaching in Higher Education," $100,356.
  • Tianjun Sun, psychological sciences: "Training Artificial Intelligence Conversational Agents to Detect Early Cognitive Decline," $224,438.
  • Ajay Sharda, biological and agricultural engineering: "Mapping Seed-to-Plant Life Cycle to Predict Yields — Integrated Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Approach," $248,173.
  • Brian Spiesman, entomology: "AI for Pollinators: Developing a Global Hub for Collaboration, Data Sharing, and Pollinator Research," $199,395.

"We are excited to be able to foster and support faculty exploration and discovery using AI in their disciplines," said David Rosowsky, vice president for research. "In particular, we are eager to learn how AI can be used to transform and extend their research, open new lines of inquiry and successfully compete for funding."

The GRIPex awards program is part of K-State's mission to grow research expenditures, sponsored programs and awards to become the next-generation land-grant university.