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Our Funded Research

The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies awarded more than 300 faculty and student research grants in FY2019—totaling $1.7 million. Our funding seeds Cornell’s international research in every region of the world across a range of academic disciplines. Find out how to apply.

Recent Awards


Person gardening at Pompeii

Reconstructing a Garden of Pompeii 

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, the Casa della Regina Carolina—a large house at Pompeii, with an extensive domestic garden and outdoor spaces—was buried under 20 feet of ash. Researchers excavating the site are employing a breakthrough method of extracting fossilized pollen grains from the ancient plaster. Combining field work with laboratory analysis, Barrett, codirector Dafna Langgut (Tel Aviv University), and colleagues are identifying the plants that adorned this ancient Roman garden. The project will reveal the plants elite Romans and working people encountered every day, the ways people used garden space, and environmental conditions in Roman Italy.

Investigator: Caitlín Barrett (IES) 


Illustration of Indonesian people

Building Health and Nation in Indonesia 

Indonesian women’s bodies became a site for nation-building in the first half of the twentieth century, as colonizing and colonized men and women in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (later Indonesia) competed to set the terms of “progress” (kamadjoean) and “health” (kesehatan). Formichi is traveling to Australia to analyze rare Dutch and Malay home and health periodicals that uncover the tension between Western and indigenous ideas about healthy practices. Examining women’s writing about nutrition, family health, and home economics will shed light on women’s political participation and the buried connections between women’s domestic work and the sociopolitical project of building a modern Indonesia. 

Investigator: Chiara Formichi (SEAP) 


Seagrass Channel Islands, California

Identifying Global Seagrass Viruses

Seagrasses prevent coastal erosion, buffer storm impacts, and shelter young fish and invertebrates, but human activities and climate change threaten seagrasses and bring diseases that cause habitat loss. The effects hit developing economies the hardest. Hewson and his team are examining samples from around the world to identify viruses that may affect seagrasses, track their regional distribution, and determine human impacts. The team is training scientists in viral surveillance techniques, working with collaborators in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and South Korea. Understanding seagrass viruses will allow scientists to predict their potential to spread, so that we can take action to conserve vital marine habitats. 

Investigator: Ian Hewson    


Colombian farm with cows

Sustainable Practices for Colombian Farms 

Small farms produce more than 75 percent of the food in tropical Latin America, but changes in land use and a warming climate threaten farmers’ food security. These farmers are on climate change’s front lines, with the livestock they rely on posing serious environmental threats. Kessler, Katja Poveda, and their team are testing climate-smart agricultural practices—combining managed grazing (silvopasture) and push-pull intercropping—on smallholder farms in Colombia. The project will identify local plants for intercropping and test crop yield to optimize pest resistance, soil quality, and livestock productivity. Farmers in Colombia will reap the benefits of healthier crops, cattle, and land.

Investigator: Andre Kessler (LASP)