Doctoral students awarded funding to conduct collaborative research with undergraduate students

Congratulations to Fatmah Behbehani and Zhiqiu Jiang, School of Architectural PhD students, who have have been awarded "Double 'Hoo" research awards, which fund pairings of undergraduate and graduate students to conduct collaborative research.  Each project is awarded up to $6,000 toward research expenses, plus $500 to compensate a faculty mentor.

This year’s winners were selected from a pool of 52 pairs of applicants. The research grants were funded through the University’s Cornerstone Plan, which supports many student, faculty and staff aspirations organized around the theme of leadership.

“The Double ’Hoo Award fosters meaningful interactions between the University’s undergraduate and graduate students,” said Brian Cullaty, director of UVA’s Office of Undergraduate Research. “The graduate students gain valuable mentoring skills that will serve them well in their future careers, and the undergraduate students benefit from the learning that comes from serious scholarly inquiry."

“In addition to the benefits that pursuing research provides, the Double ’Hoo program also helps graduate students develop skills in supervision and management which will be important as they take on leadership roles in industry or academia upon graduation,” said Archie Holmes, UVA’s vice provost for academic affairs.

Fatmah Behbehani, UVA School of Architecture doctoral student studying urban and environmental planning, will collaborate with Caroline Alberti of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a third-year student majoring in global studies, environments and sustainability and in French. They are researching private-public partnerships in the provision of housing projects in Morocco, particularly the impact the private-public partnership model has on community development and how civic partners affect the delivery of housing projects.

Zhiqiu Jiang of Ya'an, China (second year PhD in the Constructed Environment student) has been developing her research in transportation planning and will work with Max Zheng of Herndon, a second-year computer science and economics major. Together, they will combine data gathered from social media as well as an on-site questionnaire to assess the public’s opinion towards driverless technology, to be used in transportation planning and policy decision-making.