Graham Sustainability Institute

Fellowship in Sustainability & Survey Methodology Accepting Applications

Friday, February 7, 2014

U-M doctoral students interested in fostering sustainability using social science research are invited to apply for a unique Fellowship in Sustainability and Survey Methodology by March 10, 2014.

The Robert and Judy Marans & Kan and Lillien Chen Fellowship covers tuition for one early-level Ph.D. candidate to pursue a 15- to 16-credit Certificate in Sustainability and Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research (ISR) over the course of two years.

"It takes more than engineering and technology to tackle wicked sustainability problems," says Don Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute, which co-administers the biennial fellowship with ISR. "This fellowship is a valuable opportunity for doctoral candidates to supplement their skills and research with survey methods expertise.”

U-M Doctoral Candidate Sarah Mills, who received the inaugural Marans/Chen Fellowship in 2012, is doing just that. Her doctoral research examines wind turbines as a potential farmland preservation tool, and she’s using survey methodology as a valuable component of her work.

“By funding tuition for summer survey courses, the Marans/Chen Fellowship provided me with a much richer understanding of survey research,” says Mills, who is on target to receive her Ph.D. from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning this spring, and to start a postdoc at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in the fall. “It was also influential in helping me fund a large-scale survey for my dissertation and to document the impact that wind farms have on rural land owners.”

To learn more about the Marans/Chen Fellowship, and how to apply, please visit or