Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, September 24, 2010

Graham Institute, Center for Global Health to fund sustainability pilot studies

Sustainability is a global challenge that increasingly calls for strategies that integrate economic, environmental and health concerns. To address this challenge, the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and the Center for Global Health are collaborating to fund up to five pilot studies in this crucial area.

For more information
• To learn about the application process, go to the Integrated Assessment section of the Graham Institute website and click on “International Project.”
• Questions may be sent to

As a first step, the two U-M organizations are announcing a “Call for Proposals” for pilot studies to determine the feasibility for an Integrated Assessment (IA) of a major issue regarding climate and/or water and their impact on health inequities in an international setting.

The pilot-study grants, which are for up to $20,000 each for one year, are available to instructional faculty and research scientists who meet the criteria of a U-M principal investigator. Funded projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2011. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15. Letters of Intent (optional) are due Oct. 15.

“The collaboration of the Center for Global Health with the Graham Sustainability Institute is based on the insight that the physical environment — and the impact of human industry and development on that environment — has an enormous influence on health,” says Dr. Sofia Merajver, director of the Center for Global Health and professor of internal medicine at the Medical School.

“This is true in every region and every country, from our doorstep on campus to the far confines of human habitation on the globe. A multi-dimensional approach that integrates innovative science in global health and sustainability is needed to pursue global health equity, and that is what this collaboration achieves.”

Don Scavia, director of the Graham Institute and special counsel to the U-M president on sustainability, thinks the IA process ideally is suited to help address issues of sustainability and global health.

“Sustainability problems and health inequities are very complex, and they often lack a clear cause or solution,” he says. “Integrated Assessment, however, provides a valuable and innovative process for delineating core challenges — and for analyzing how different policy options can help to address them. We are pleased to be able to partner with the Center for Global Health to see where and how the interdisciplinary IA methodology can be put to good use in this pressing area.”

After the pilot studies are completed, some grantees will be encouraged to submit fully developed proposals from which the Graham Institute and the Center for Global Health will select a limited number to support at approximately $100,000-$150,000 per year over two to three years.