Academic Venture Fund grant recipients announced

Grants promote collaboration between WUSTL, Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., and Washington University in St. Louis announced recipients of grants from the joint Academic Venture Fund (AVF).

The purpose of the AVF is to support collaboration between scholars at WUSTL and the Brookings Institution, particularly longterm projects that impact research, education and policy.

The grant awardees and projects are:

  • Darrell West, PhD, vice president and director of Brookings’ Governance Studies Program and director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, and Patrick Crowley, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering at WUSTL, for “The Identity Theft and Possible Remedies Project.”

    With extensive personal data available online through banks, brokerage houses, health care organizations and retail establishments, thieves are able to access websites, steal personal information and benefit from other people’s identities. Cyber-security impacts the general public in tangible ways. This project seeks to improve understanding of cyber-security issues and suggest solutions for problems in this area.

  • Charles R. McManis, JD, the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law at WUSTL, and Charles K. Ebinger, PhD, director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings, for “Materials Sustainability Standards: A Comparative Analysis.”

    Certifications and standards relating to the ecological impact of building materials, or materials sustainability standards (MSS), have grown at a rapid pace. This project aims to provide impartial and rigorous analysis of MSS to help consumers, designers, manufacturers, regulators and enterprises evaluate MSS and make critical decisions using objective and meaningful information. Liane A. Hancock, senior lecturer, and Hannah Rae Roth, lecturer, both of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, as well as Jorge Contreras, JD, senior lecturer and acting director of the intellectual property program at the School of Law, also will contribute to this project.

AVF grants are available in amounts from $20,000 to $50,000. Interested fellows, faculty, staff, centers, institutes and programs can continue to submit proposals for review in summer 2011.

The AVF also offers smaller grants for events or travel by Brookings and university personnel. These proposals can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. A committee from Brookings and the university will review the proposals.

The AVF program is under the direction of law Dean Kent D. Syverud, JD, the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor and associate vice chancellor for Washington, D.C., programs.

The academic partnership between the university and Brookings began in 2009. The institutions now offer joint programs, including internships, lectures and other educational activities.

The Olin Business School also leads management of the Brookings Center for Executive Education.

For more information about the AVF grants, call Tomea Mersmann at (314) 935-6486 or e-mail