Research News

Fall Sesquicentennial grant award winners announced

The fall 2022 Sesquicentennial grant cycle has funded 15 proposals, with awards being made to projects led by individuals and teams of faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 150th year of our founding, these wide-ranging, ambitious projects encapsulate the Vanderbilt spirit of discovery and radical collaboration,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “They engage with the university’s history, look ahead to its future and reflect what makes Vanderbilt a distinctive global institution.”

Diermeier announced this week that Vanderbilt will kick off its Sesquicentennial the weekend of March 24–25, 2023.

Among the 15 winning proposals are:

  • a project that will support research for a public commemoration of Vanderbilt’s 19th-century Cherokee and Chickasaw students;
  • supporting the development of a lunar gravitational-wave observatory;
  • an exhibit and interactive online experience to chronicle the creation, expansion and influence of Study Abroad at Vanderbilt;
  • a student-led exhibition interpreting the stories of women and underrepresented minorities associated with the Vaughn Home since its construction in 1875;
  • an animated, time-lapse watercolor video focusing on Vanderbilt’s unique contributions to college athletics, including a special focus on the university’s leadership in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • support for learning and collaborating in large-scale virtual reality environments; and
  • a student-led photography exhibit and book capturing the essence of Vanderbilt through the faces of students, faculty and staff, and the environments in which they study, work and relax.

“Our self-portrait project applies the unique photographic gaze onto a significant moment of Vanderbilt University history. Using analog film photography, along with other formats, we will create a time capsule of our diverse community. We are grateful to receive the Sesquicentennial grant funding, as it will allow us to turn our creative endeavors into reality,” said students Allen Zeng and Richard Zhang, Professor of Art Vesna Pavlovic and university librarian Yvonne Boyer.

Read the full list of winning proposals and grant recipients »


The submission deadline for the second round of grants is Jan. 23, 2023. Awards will be announced in March. Proposals not selected in the first round will be eligible for the next round of funding.