Lights, Camera, DARE: New Video Series Celebrates Drexel’s Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives


After M. Brian Blake, PhD, executive vice president and the Nina Henderson Provost, first came to Drexel University in 2015, one of the first programs that his office developed was … daring.

The Drexel Areas of Research Excellence (DARE) scholarly initiative provides resources and support for small groups of faculty and students to spend a year developing an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research signature that could elevate Drexel’s leadership and reputation in a specific field or scholarly area. One of the key requirements for faculty and staff proposing a research area is that the project has to involve at least three of Drexel’s 14 schools. Consequently, this initiative and many other faculty-led efforts have elevated Drexel’s research expenditures to the highest in history this year.

Recently, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research created a series of short videos to promote not only the initiative, but also demonstrate how research is developed and fostered at the University. These short videos are directed toward potential and current students, staff and donors, and aims to teach those audiences about these DARE programs.

“Being a leader in research nationally really is about creating a different type of invention — a different type of innovation — that can solve problems and develop solutions that are quite unique and quite new,” Blake said in an introductory video about DARE.

To learn more about the projects, take a look at the explanatory videos listed below.

Biologically-Inspired & Resource-Conserving Advanced Materials (BRAVE)

DARE | Biologically-Inspired & Resource-Conserving Advanced Materials (BRAVE)
Biologically-Inspired & Resource-Conserving Advanced Materials (BRAVE) is a research institute that focuses on enabling new solutions for envisioning a more sustainable future for energy and water consumption and deriving inspiration from biological materials and physical phenomena to drive new frontiers in materials design and processing innovation. BRAVE is one of the first recipients of funding through the new initiative Drexel Areas of Research Excellence (DARE). Visit for more information. Featuring Michele Marcolongo, PhD | Steve May, PhD | Yury Gogotsi, PhD

One of the first recipients of the DARE seed funding, BRAVE is a research institute involving 30 faculty from six different Drexel colleges and schools. It is dedicated to the pursuit and use of new materials and methods that could be used to create sustainable energy and water consumption solutions.

Experiential Learning through the Cooperative Education Lifecycle (EXCEL)

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EXCEL, which is also composed of faculty and staff from six different schools and colleges at Drexel, researches and focuses on experiential learning and STEM education innovations developed at the University.

Integrated Design Research, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (iDream)

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Faculty and staff from four different Drexel entities comprise iDream, which is dedicated to the research and study of functional fabrics —  a new industry in which textiles and technology are meshed together.

Neuroinflammation and Gender (N&G)

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N&G, which is composed of faculty and staff from six Drexel colleges and schools, is investigating the difference in neuro-inflammation and chronic pain as experienced by men and women.