The three projects, spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, will be based in Abu Dhabi and will cumulatively receive some $20 million over five years.

NYU Abu Dhabi Announces Lead-Off Research Grants

NYU Abu Dhabi today announced the selection of three lead-off research projects which will receive grants through its research center, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute.

The three projects, spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, will be based in Abu Dhabi. The research projects, which will cumulatively receive some $20 million over five years, were selected by the NYU Abu Dhabi Research Review Council, composed of members of the senior leadership of the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses, after an intensive process of internal and external peer review.

“These three lead-off projects in the humanities, social sciences, and science and technology are important initiatives that will inaugurate research at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute with significant and exciting projects,” said David McLaughlin, provost of NYU. “The proposed scholarship and research will advance knowledge in innovative ways, and, importantly, will help reinforce the organic connection and vigorous flow of information, ideas, and people between NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi.”

This fall, NYU Abu Dhabi will announce the next group of recipients of research grants from the Institute’s first full round of competition. Of the 21 pre-proposals that were submitted for consideration, eight were invited to submit full proposals.

In addition, the Institute will begin accepting pre-proposals for its second round of competition this summer, with awards due to be announced in July 2011.

“We look forward to establishing the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute as an internationally recognized center of scholarship, research, and creativity, where knowledge, talent, and insight from around the globe join in collaborative pursuit of deeper understanding and of effective response to the challenges that face our communities and the world,” said Alfred Bloom, vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi. “Moreover, the Institute will allow us to integrate the intellectual vitality of ambitious and significant research into the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi.”


In addition to its role as a research center, the faculty-led NYU Abu Dhabi Institute has hosted more than 35 conferences, workshops, lectures, and other public programs, attracting audiences from Abu Dhabi and the UAE, as well as the worldwide academic and research community. It will continue to develop such events in the future.


NYU Abu Dhabi’s liberal arts and sciences college opens this August with an inaugural undergraduate class of international students drawn from the top high school students around the world.


The selected lead off projects are:

·         The Library of Arabic Literature will produce a library of the classic works of Arabic Islamic literature and culture in parallel-text editions -- Arabic and English running texts on facing pages. The translations – the first of their kind in the Anglophone world -- will be produced in a clear, modern idiom and will be accessible by general readers and academics alike. Editors will include leading Arabic scholars from all parts of the world, each of whom will also discuss his or her work at public workshops and lectures in Abu Dhabi and New York.

Principal Investigator: Philip Kennedy, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU; Faculty Director, NYU Abu Dhabi Institute


·         The Neuroscience of Language Laboratory will explore how the ability to use natural language is implemented in the brain. While most of the existing research in this area is based on English language study, the laboratory’s location in Abu Dhabi will provide researchers with access to speakers of Arabic and many other languages, including Hindi, Bengali, and Tagolog. Professor Ali Idrissi, chair of the linguistics department at United Arab Emirates University, will serve as the lab’s senior research associate.

Principal Investigator: Alec Marantz, Professor of Linguistics and Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU

Co-Principal Investigators:
Liina Pylkkänen, Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU and David Poeppel, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU


·         The Technology Center for Rural Development will be devoted to the study and application of technology as a tool for spurring economic development in poor and rural communities throughout the developing world. The center’s initial projects will focus on innovative mobile phone applications and wireless technologies; future work is expected to focus on developing lower-cost means for providing electricity to rural regions.

Principal Investigator: Yaw Nyarko, Professor of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU

Co-Principal Investigator: Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU


About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute is creating singular opportunities for leading NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU faculty members, in collaboration with scholars from elsewhere, from across the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, and the professions, to conduct research on major issues of disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and global significance.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi will consist of a highly selective liberal arts and science college (including engineering), distinctive graduate programs, and a world center for advanced research and scholarship - all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi will form the backbone of a unique Global Network University, spanning five continents. NYU Abu Dhabi’s first students will arrive in Fall 2010.

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