What's Been Funded by the Reilly Center


A Portal Through Time: An Enhanced, Immersive Adaptation of the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center’s African American Landmark Tour

Miriam Moore

Having developed an augmented reality tour of the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center’s African American Landmark Tour, Moore sought to attend the Space and Place global meeting at Oxford to explore how mobile phones compress space and extend presence among others all while enabling us to inhabit new spaces. This project will engage the public in dialogue about current civil rights issues through events and exhibitions. The Civil Rights Heritage Center is committed to the advancement of civil rights and social justice research, education, and outreach in the South Bend/Michiana area. The organization advocates for the poor, LGBT community, ethnic minorities, and other groups that benefit from civil rights advances.

IXTOC I and Deepwater Horizon: Documenting the Path Toward Restoration in the Aftermath of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spills

John Haley

Learning from filmmaker Jeff Price, this mini-grant project allowed Haley to collaborate with the University of South Florida to document the restoration—environmentally and financially—of the communities affected by oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Networks of James Bryant Conant—the Philosophy of Science, Values, and Public Policy

Christopher Hamlin, PhD

This research project investigates archives chronicling James Bryant Conant—chemist, science policy advisor, and Harvard President—to further develop writings situating Conant’s role in the emergence of the history of science in higher education during the 1940s and 1950s. Conant believed in the role of history of science in science policy; he was an early advocate of solar energy and expressed deep concerns over the safety of nuclear energy.

Uranium Mining Legacy: Advocating for the Remediation of Navajo Land

Teresa Baumer and Rachel A.K. Lopez

During the nuclear arms race, the United States incentivized a “uranium rush,” which targeted mines on uranium-rich land in the American southwest—Navajo Nation. Mining companies stripped the land of its resources and then abandoned the sites without taking proper measures to remediate their actions. Mill tailings and waste pits, containing radioactive materials and heavy metals, were left unmarked and exposed to the environment. The companies responsible for the devastation of the Navajo homeland no longer exist, leaving no party to be held accountable for the remediation of these sites. Improper management of abandoned mines has led to vast contamination of the Navajo lands and waterways where residents lack the funding, education, and resources to be able to identify and decontaminate polluted areas.
This research project analyzes several sites on the Navajo Nation to further understand the extent of contamination that has resulted from uranium mining. This research includes analyzing for uranium, its decay products, and other heavy metals. This collected information will help members of the Navajo Nation petition the US government for remediation and assistance in the health and environmental fallout of uranium mining on Navajo land.

Aquatic Conservation & Science Diplomacy Laboratory

Diplomacy Lab art

Whitney Conard, Salvatore Curasi, Chelsey Fattal, Raven Forrest-Fruscalzo, Rachel Oitdman, and Katherine O’Reilly

The Diplomacy Lab Project partners the Department of State with universities across the country allowing the DOS to harness the knowledge of students and faculty to research issues of importance to U.S. foreign policy through “course sourcing.” Twenty universities currently participate in this program broadening the DOS’s research base, directly engaging students in the United States’ diplomatic missions. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Notre Dame hosted two Diplomacy Lab courses taught by Dr. David Lodge. The Mini-grant program funded the Science Diplomacy Lab to attend a course in Washington, D.C.

Lecture by Robert Pennock

Dr. Thomas A. Stapleford

A three year research project, “Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science,” brought Dr. Robert Pennock, philosopher of science from Michigan State University, to speak about intellectual virtue in his work about evolutionary biology and cognitive science.

Greenhouse Gas Awareness Day

Fabrizio Sabba and Tessa Clarizio

On April 14, 2016, two students convened local policymakers, scientists, and activists to raise awareness of the nexus of greenhouse gas emission and water treatment facilities. Using trivia, formal presentations, and question and answer panels, the day educated students at the university and encouraged the local community to use its science and engineering expertise to push for policies which required more sustainable water treatment technologies.


Explaining the Emergence of French Neurology to Prevent Scientific Violations of Human Dignity

Brandon Sepulvado, Graduate Student in the Department of Sociology

This project uses social network analysis to understand the development of neurology in France from 1825-1900. Two research questions guide the project: What leads to a new form of knowledge becoming institutionalized in a way that radically improves our understanding of human health while simultaneously promoting the domination of entire social groups? How can we foster scientific innovation in the service of human dignity? Funding supports archival research that allows for acquiring information that will be used in the social network analysis. 

Science Policy Initiative at Notre Dame (SPI@ND)


Eve Granatosky, Graduate Student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Josh Mason, Graduate Student in the Department of Biological Sciences and a Reilly Center SRR Fellow
Co-founders and co-directors of SPI@ND

The Science Policy Initiative at Notre Dame seeks to engage students and postdoctoral scholars in issues at the intersection of science and public policy. SPI@ND unites individuals with a passion for science and a desire to affect policy change, and who seek to communicate the value of scientific research to society at large. This project is accomplished using three intrinsically connected strategies:

  1. Spark a dialogue on campus about science policy by providing an environment for students to discuss relevant science policy issues in the context of their lives as both scholars and citizens.
  2. Encourage young scholars to become more involved in science policy by increasing awareness of careers related to science policy and providing professional development opportunities for interested students.
  3. Engage the local community and strive to communicate to policy-makers and the general public the importance of science and technology for the advancement of society.

Follow SPI@ND on Facebook

Citizen Science in South Bend: A RiverWatch Outreach Project

Jennifer Krauser
Academic Coordinator for the Film, Television, and Theatre Department at the University of Notre Dame
Certified Hoosier RiverWatch volunteer

The RiverWatch Outreach Project reaches an economically and socially challenged area of South Bend and creates environmental stewards through citizen science activities. Funding buys supplies for a RiverWatch Kit that are used in citizen science activities that train people how to conduct water quality monitoring sampling in their neighborhood and how to protect their natural environment. Most activities center on Bowman Creek and involve the local community, Notre Dame students, local businesses, and organizations. 

Learn more at hoosierriverwatch.com.


Pieris Project: a partnership between scientists and the public to address important questions about how human activities affect biodiversity

Peiris rapae

Sean Ryan, Graduate Student in the Department of Biological Sciences and GLOBES student
Pieris Project Founder and Director

The Pieris Project enlists the help of the public (outreach) to collect an invasive species, Pieris rapae or the cabbage white butterfly, from all over the world. It promotes learning on how organisms adapt to changes in their environment (research). The research findings and information on related topics such as climate change, invasive species, evolution, and habitat loss are shared with the public (education). 

Learn more at pierisproject.org.