Engineering and Arts and Letters Faculty Win Inaugural Rome Global Gateway Research Awards

Author: Joanne Fahey

Notre Dame Research, together with Notre Dame International, have awarded three new grants for faculty to complete research at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway.

The University of Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway, on Via Ostilia, near the Colosseum

Alexander Beihammer, associate professor in the Department of History, will explore the relationship between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Together with two graduate students, he will survey manuscript sources in the Vatican Library, some of which are neither well known nor fully explored.

Speaking about the research grant, Beihammer said, “My graduate students and I are so pleased to have been selected for the Rome Global Gateway Faculty Research Award. Through this program we will be able to open the way for a systematic investigation of Byzantine manuscripts related to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Additionally, as part of the research, we will create a searchable database that will allow researchers from around the world to access and mine this wealth of information from the Vatican collections.”

Heather Hyde Minor, associate professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, will conduct archival research for a book on Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768). Winckelmann, an important scholar, is credited with founding the modern discipline of art history and redefined the way the world thinks about ancient art and civilization. Additionally, he was a mysterious and controversial personality, who worked as a spy and a censor for the Habsburg Empire and died by the hands of a murderer.

Speaking about the opportunity to complete this research in Rome, Hyde Minor said, “I am incredibly excited about this award from Notre Dame Research, Notre Dame International, and the Rome Global Gateway. Not only does it allow me to jump-start this research, but it also provides me with the opportunity to explore archives in Italy that I would not be able to easily access.”

Tim Weninger, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, will establish a research collaboration with the Università degli Studi Roma Tre in information network analysis. Graduate students from Notre Dame and Roma Tre will collaborate on two research questions: can we use information hidden in information networks to reason about the meaning of truth and what effect does social media have on human beliefs, behaviors, and the perception of truth?

Speaking about the award, Weninger said, “I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Rome Global Gateway Research Award, as it provides an exceptional opportunity for me and my graduate students to collaborate with the top Italian scientists. Additionally, it allows my research group to design new systems and perform collaborative experiments that would otherwise not be possible.”

The inaugural Rome Global Gateway Faculty Research Awards were launched in October 2015. The purpose of the now-annual grant is to support internationally significant individual faculty research projects or collaborations with Rome-based research academies, universities, or research groups. Faculty from all Colleges and Schools across the University are eligible to apply. For more information, please visit,, and

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, USA, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world.

Originally published by Joanne Fahey at on December 11, 2015.