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Faculty Win Grant to Study Russian Disinformation Campaigns

An interdisciplinary research team from communications, anthropology, and political science will study Russian disinformation campaigns in three former Soviet republics as part of a $1.6 million Minerva research grant awarded through the United States Department of Defense.

UT researchers were one of only 12 academic groups nationwide selected for the prestigious Minerva Research Initiative awards this year.

The research team for the project consists of faculty members from five departments: Maureen Taylor (advertising and public relations), Catherine Luther (journalism and electronic media), Suzie Allard (information sciences), Michael Fitzgerald and Brandon Prins (political science), and Alex Bentley (anthropology). Also closely involved in the project are Natalie Rice, research associate for the College of Communication and Information’s Center for Information and Communication Studies, and Oleg Manaev, global security fellow at the UT Institute of Nuclear Security.

“The study will monitor and analyze the content of Russian information warfare and measure the effectiveness the tactics have in shaping opinion in Eastern European nations Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus,” said Taylor, director of the School of Advertising and Public relations and principal investigator for the study.

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