From uncovering the ancient histories of viruses to investigating interethnic cooperation in war-torn areas, the 2023 winners of the Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research are going to impressive lengths to explore uncharted territory.
This year marks a decade of ambitious, out-of-the-box research made possible by the support of James A. Star ’83, Josh Friedman ’76, M.B.A. ’80, J.D. ’82, and Beth Friedman.
Established with Star’s generosity in 2013 and expanded five years later by the Friedmans, the challenge provides seed funding to Harvard affiliates for innovative research in the life, physical, and social sciences.
This year’s faculty review committee, chaired by Charles Alcock, Donald H. Menzel Professor of Astrophysics, awarded funding to seven groundbreaking research projects.
On May 11, the principal investigator of each project presented the research proposals. As Alcock noted in his introduction to the event, such open, accessible communication is crucial to any relevant academic undertaking. “One of the requirements of success is explaining what you want to do and why it’s important,” said Alcock.
The projects reflect the vision that guided the creation of the Star-Friedman Challenge. Although each proposal involves some element of risk, they have the potential to make significant advances for science and the wider world.