ASU health researcher, engineer awarded Google Research Award

Using Google Hangout, team members meet to discuss their research project.

ASU faculty members Eric Hekler and Winslow Burleson have won a Google Research Award for their proposal, “A DIY Self-Experimentation Toolkit for Fostering User-Driven Behavior Change.”

Google Research Awards are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class, full time faculty members at top universities around the world. 

Hekler and Burleson’s proposal was chosen from more than 500 applicants from 50 countries. Using an iterative design process, they plan to design a healthy living application they say will be customizable, easy and fun to use.

Hekler is an assistant professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and Burleson is an assistant professor in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering.

“There is an explosion of smartphone apps and other technologies being developed that tell you strategies on how to live a healthier lifestyle, but few health interventions truly help you learn how to create behavior change solutions for yourself,” Hekler said. “This grant will help us explore ways of simplifying the process by creating an overarching system designed to help people lead healthier lives.”

Hekler and Burleson, along with Bob Evans from Google and Jisoo Lee, a doctoral student under the direct mentorship of Burleson, are the primary team on this project. They are seeking student participants to apply to work in Hekler’s Designing Health Lab. Both undergraduate and graduate students are needed to support programming efforts, conduct user testing of prototypes and explore ways to evaluate the system. More information here.

For more information about the awards, click here.