Funded Projects

With over 210 grants totaling more than $35 million in funded projects each year, research plays a vital role in the CSUN educational experience, enhancing learning and preparing students for the jobs of the future. Spanning the oceans, deserts, and urban environments, research activities engage students in a rich breadth of studies of the human and natural world.

Following are just a few of the growing number of exciting research projects happening at CSUN each and every day.

Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Project CREATE

There is a critical need for highly qualified professionals to serve infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities and their families. Dr. Zhen Chai is working with early childhood educators to build culturally relevant competencies in teaching focused on low-income families, dual language learners and children with developmental delays. Participating scholars will be eligible for the California Education Specialist Credential in Early Childhood Special Education.

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College of Engineering and Computer Science

Promoting student engagement and success through assistive technology

In this project, Dr. Li Liu and collaborators explore the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the development of assistive technologies. With expertise in computer science, kinesiology, art and communication disorders, the team will create new opportunities for students across disciplines to improve the quality of life for individuals with vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, and learning disabilities.

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College of Health and Human Development


Dr. Patchareeya Kwan leads a community-engaged research project, COVID-19 and Southeast Asian Americans (SEA US, HEAR US), funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The goal of the project is to understand the social, ethical, and behavioral implications of COVID-19 testing and vaccination disparities among Southeast Asians living in the Greater Los Angeles area.

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College of Humanities

Project Rebound

Most CSUN students are from LA County, which incarcerates more people than any other county in the state. Students of color and low-income groups are disproportionately impacted by incarceration. Project Rebound is a CSU systemwide initiative to support formerly incarcerated individuals with a successful wrap-around service model. In this project, Dr. Martha Escobar supports formerly incarcerated students and students impacted by the incarceration of a loved one by providing the tools and resources to succeed in their college career.

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College of Science and Mathematics

Predicting ecosystem metabolism of rocky intertidal communities in warming and acidifying oceans

The recent devastating impacts of global warming and ocean acidification on rocky intertidal ecosystems are expected to increase as the oceans continue to warm and acidify. Loss of critical foundation species as a result of extreme heating events and ocean acidification lead to feedback loops that further alter ecosystem functioning. In this project, Dr. Nyssa Silbiger examines how shifting environmental variability and loss of foundation species interact to affect ecosystem functioning in rocky intertidal communities in order to predict how ecosystems may change in the future.

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Mutualism faces the heat

Joshua trees, which are cultural icons and ecological keystones of the Mojave Desert, are exclusively pollinated by highly specialized moths. The moths lay eggs in Joshua tree flowers, then deliberately apply pollen to fertilize the flowers so that, when the flowers develop into fruit, the moth’s larvae can eat some of the seeds inside. This unique and mutually beneficial relationship is under threat by changes in land use and climate across the Mojave. Dr. Jeremy Yoder is working to understand how Joshua trees and their pollinators can survive for future generations.

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