Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 24, 2013

ISR awards $250,000 to young, innovative researchers

The Institute for Social Research has awarded more than $250,000 in fellowships to 54 graduate students and researchers in its ongoing effort to support young scholars and innovative social science research.

The fellowships and awards include:

• The Philip Converse and Warren Miller Fellowship in American Political Behavior was given to Elizabeth Mann and John Jackson, a team affiliated with the Department of Political Science and ISR's Center for Political Studies. Mann is examining the evolution of partisanship among the U.S. electorate and what factors explain changes and stability in individual and aggregate partisanship over time.

• The Elizabeth Douvan Junior Scholars Award in Life Course Development was awarded to Johnny Berona, a doctoral candidate in psychology. Berona is examining how sexual fluidity — variability over time in sexual attractions, behaviors and identities — may affect suicidal behavior among non-heterosexual youth.

• The Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues was given to Kristen Elmore, a joint doctoral candidate in social work and psychology, and the Daniel Katz Dissertation Fellowship in Psychology was awarded to George C. Smith, a doctoral candidate in the psychology. Elmore and Smith are collaborating on field experiments in a Detroit-area school to learn how to improve academic effort and achievement among low-income minority youth by using small-scale interventions to positively frame difficulties in reaching goals.

• The George Katona Economic Behavior Research Award was given to Peter Hudomiet and Nitya Pandalai Nayar, both doctoral candidates in the Department of Economics. Hudomiet is examining how factors including memory and mental status, fluctuations in earnings and untaxed side jobs affect how people answer survey questions on annual earnings. Pandalai Nayar is working to identify consumer sentiment shocks — sudden changes in consumer beliefs about the economy that are not driven by a change in the economy's productivity — in the U.S. and abroad and examining their impact on international business cycles.

• The Kenneth Organski Scholars Award was presented to Timm Betz and Andrew Kerner, a team affiliated with the Department of Political Science and the Center for Political Studies. Betz and Kerner intend to show that countries that finance their debt by issuing bonds denominated in foreign currencies are more likely to horde hard currency reserves and more likely to pursue trade disputes at the World Trade Organization in order to protect trade-based access to hard currency.

• The Population Studies Center Alumni Graduate Student Support Fund gave awards to two doctoral candidates in sociology. Nelson Saldaña is integrating culture and spatial analyses into demographic methods to determine how their combination can better assess the contours of gentrification and other neighborhood change. Sarah Seelye is conducting field research in a depopulated Detroit neighborhood to explore mobility decisions and to better understand the experiences and sense of place of those who remain in neighborhoods with significant population loss.

• The Roy Pierce Scholars Fund supported research by two teams of researchers affiliated with the Department of Political Science and Center for Political Studies. Srinivas Parinandi and Jenna Bednar are investigating whether legislators are more likely to pursue moralistic policymaking when economic conditions are bad, and if so, why. Andrew Feher and Rocio Titiunik are examining the 15 states in the U.S. that currently impose term limits on their legislatures to see how that affects legislative behavior, the composition of state legislatures and the influence of other institutional actors in relation to the legislature.

• The Marshall Weinberg Population, Development, and Climate Change Fellowship was awarded to Ellen Compernolle, a doctoral candidate in sociology, and Sara Meerow, a doctoral candidate in natural resources and environment. Compernolle is studying how male labor migration to Persian Gulf countries is affecting family dynamics and local resources in Nepal. Meerow is studying how to improve urban resilience to climate change in Manila through both mitigation, in the form of reducing emissions, and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.