Principal Investigator Dr. Lauren Davis and her cross-disciplinary team at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have secured a five-year, $3 million grant through the National Science Foundation’s Research Traineeship (NRT) Program. The NRT grant will support food insecurity research in a project called “Improving Strategies for Hunger Relief and Food Security Using Computational Data Science.”

In addition to Davis, the research grant involves four additional co-principal investigators, Dr. Seong-Tae Kim, Dr. Kenrett Jefferson-Moore, Dr. Steven Jiang and Dr. Albert Esterline. The team represents talent and expertise across three N.C. A&T colleges: the College of Engineering, the College of Science and Technology and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

“Until now, no formal training existed to help students acquire the interdisciplinary knowledge needed to derive insight from big data generated by the food aid supply chain,” explains Davis. “This research will use data from the domestic humanitarian hunger relief supply chain as the basis for an innovative, evidence-based, scalable approach to training the future workforce.”

The grant will provide a unique and comprehensive training experience for a total of 50 masters and doctoral students, including 45 funded trainees, by combining disciplines in industrial and systems engineering, computer science, mathematics, agricultural economics, sociology and public policy.

Originally published Aug. 30, 2017.