The A. Regula Herzog Young Investigators Fund

The A. Regula Herzog Young Investigators Fund of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan was established by the students, colleagues and friends of Regula Herzog to honor her as a mentor for young investigators and as a survey researcher of older populations.


The goals of the Fund are to support the research and training activities of junior researchers at the Survey Research Center, with a special preference given to women and to those who are engaged in research on older populations.


Junior researchers, including Research Assistant Scientists, Research Investigators, Research Assistant Professors, Postdoctoral Fellows and Predoctoral Students are eligible. Applicants must be affiliated with the Survey Research Center or one of its projects.

Applicants with a commitment of $4,000 in matching funds from an SRC research program will be given priority. However, matching funds are not required in order to apply.

Form and Scope of Awards

The Herzog Fund will make one or more awards of up to $4,000.

Allowable expenses may include research supplies and services, conference expenses, training opportunities, travel (related to conferences, workshops and training or to support research collaborations across institutions), and memberships in professional organizations. Predoctoral Students and Postdoctoral Fellows may include participation in summer courses offered by SRC and ICPSR.

Awards are intended for use within one year, but may be extended upon request for six more months.

Application Procedure and Deadlines

Applications must include:

  • A brief (3-page) description of the proposed activities and their intellectual relationship to a Survey Research Center project
  • A description of the proposed uses for the money and how these uses will assist in meeting the goals outlined in the prospectus
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of support from the project’s Principal Investigator stating how this work relates to the project and, if relevant, committing a $4,000 match if the proposal is funded.

Applications are accepted in electronic format. Please submit your application in as few files as possible in Portable Document Format (pdf), and named with the applicant’s last name (e.g., Smith-Herzog App.pdf). Applications and questions about the award should be sent to Jennifer Puckett ( Note, letters of support may be sent directly by the writer in either electronic or hard copy format.

Applications will be due on the last Friday in February by 4:00 p.m. Final decisions will be made by March 31st. Funds will be available as early May 1st.

A. Regula Herzog Young Investigators Recipients

2016 – 2017

Erin Ware hopes to better understand how measurement choices on both phenotype and genotype affect the estimated genetic contribution to depressive symptoms. This study aims to evaluate decisions that are made in creating polygenic scores (single summary scores of an individual’s genetic susceptibility to an outcome) for depressive symptoms, which can have downstream implications for the distribution of the score, the percent variability in the outcome explained, and replication efforts in independent cohorts. The project includes three broad goals: 1) to evaluate decisions in creating polygenic scores for depressive symptoms comparing two depressive symptom instruments (Centers for Epidemiological Studies – Depression (CES-D) score and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)) in older non-Hispanic white, African and Hispanic American adults in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), 2) to create public polygenic scores for use by the HRS user community, and 3) promote the HRS open data policy by publishing, collaborating, disseminating, and creating tutorials for other studies, both national and international, to create these scores in their own study populations.


Heidi Guyer’s study will characterize the sleep and diet patterns of women aged 50 to 75 with type II diabetes and determine the risk factors related to poor quality sleep as well as the consumption of organic food, nutritional supplements and a Mediterranean diet in the longitudinal, multi-ethnic Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA). This research project will also further the research conducted by the Survey Research Center in quantifying differences in self-report versus actual measures of health as well as provide information on the potential level of measurement error related to the health measurements conducted.

Apoorva Jadhav aims to study the health and economic well-being of widows in a global context. She is making use of the “internationalization” of the HRS model to study this phenomenon in diverse contexts from the US to Europe and the UK to developing areas of Mexico, China, and eventually her primary lifetime interest in her native India, which will do a baseline survey later this year of 50,000 people. Widowhood in older age compounds the vulnerabilities of gender, age, and social isolation into a remarkably sensitive indicator of the fairness of a society and economy. All fail. Even the most advanced and egalitarian countries fail to adequately protect against the risks of widowhood. Understanding the respective roles of family, policy, and the married couple’s own choices requires the kind of broadly interdisciplinary longitudinal data that the HRS and its international siblings have brought to the field.


Fund deferred.


Fund deferred.


Tara Queen completed her dissertation at North Carolina State University working with Dr. Thomas Hess on Aging and Affective Forecasting. Tara has begun to extend her research interests to questions about wellbeing in later life and to the cognitive processes underlying responses to survey questions about life satisfaction, time use, and activities. The goal of the proposed research is to contrast the influence of health, both physical and mental, on global and experienced wellbeing. She will examine the impact of physical and functional health as well as depression on global and experienced wellbeing evaluations in order to classify the differential effects of health on wellbeing.

2011 – 2012

Jessica Broome‘s research concerns telephone interviewers’ differential success in recruiting potential respondents and, in particular, how their vocal and verbal attributes might affect this. She proposes that interviewers who demonstrate they are competent and responsive to concerns of potential respondents (she calls the latter “tailoring”) will be more likely to obtain interviews, but that the opportunity to demonstrate these qualities is moderated by how long interviewers can maintain telephone contact. She further proposes that interviewers with more attractive voices will be able to maintain contact for more conversational turns and thus be better able to demonstrate they are competent and responsive – if in fact they are. Jessica proposes testing these ideas in a corpus of about 1400 audio-recorded telephone survey invitations that was created for a study that Bob Groves, Jose Benki, Frauke Kreuter and Fred Conrad have been conducting for the last few years.

Sunghee Lee is one of the first doctorate recipients in the field of methodology from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland who spent a number of years the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research working on the California Health Interview Survey, one of few on-going health surveys that include a large number of racial/ethnic/linguistic minority samples. Her focus includes cross-cultural measurement properties of the five-point scale self-reported health (SRH), a widely studied item in gerontology as a clinically proven predictor of mortality. She intends to further this research by formulating and testing hypotheses for the SRH context-language interaction and identifying the context where SRH will be measured most equivalently across language.

2010 – 2011

Joanne Hsu’s research has two primary research questions: how do people formulate their expectations of future cognitive decline? How does the household’s management of finances change in response to the cognitive decline and impairment of one of its members? She will investigate these questions using a number of data sources using the Cognitive Economics (CogEcon) survey, with supplementary analysis using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) supplement to the HRS. Hsu is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics.

2009 – 2010

Jennifer Ailshire’s research uses data from the Chicago Community Adult Health Survey and the Health and Retirement Study to examine associations between neighborhood social context and levels of social engagement among residents. In addition to identifying neighborhood characteristics related to participation in social activities and contact with others, this research seeks to determine if neighborhood influences on social engagement are stronger among older residents. Ailshire did her graduate work in Sociology and Demography at the Population Studies Center. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California.

Brooke Helppie’s research examines the interactions between the personal and professional lives of early-career PhD economists. Using data from an original, multi-wave web survey project, her work examines how dual-career constraints at the time of economists’ first PhD-level job search influence career decisions and personal relationships. Helppie is a PhD candidate in Economics. Her collaborators on this project are Marta Murray-Close (PhD candidate, Economics) and Robert J. Willis (Professor, SRC and Economics).

Lauren Hersch Nicholas’s research examines the role of public policy in improving health care quality, health and retirement outcomes for the elderly population. This project uses linked Health and Retirement Study survey data and administrative Medicare records to understand patient decisions about elective surgery. This research considers the contributions of individual and health systems characteristics in the decision to receive surgical treatment and in the choice of low vs. high quality hospitals. Nicholas is a research fellow in the Population Studies Center and the Survey Research Center.

Lindsay Ryan’s research examines interindividual differences and intraindividual change in cognition and well-being across adulthood. A key goal of this research is to expand on traditional models of individual development to include the analysis of the larger social context. Specifically, it examines how the characteristics of a spouse as well as couple characteristics are related to an individual’s cognitive performance and well-being. Ryan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Jacqui Smith in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research.

2008 – 2009

Ishtar Govia’s research uses multiple waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine the longitudinal associations between women’s relationships and their health. The first goal of the project is to explore the social determinants of the mental and physical health of aging women. The second goal is to investigate the extent to which stressors and role conflicts that women experience are associated with their mental, physical, and cognitive health outcomes and their adoption and maintenance of health risk behaviors over time. Govia is a Ph.D. candidate in Personality and Social Contexts Psychology in the Department of Psychology.

2007 – 2008

Jessica Faul’s research examines the influence of lifecourse socioeconomic position on cognitive function and change in older age. Using longitudinal data from Health and Retirement Study (HRS) the goals of this work are to estimate the effects of childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position on trajectories of cognitive change and to determine whether accumulation of socioeconomic disadvantage and social mobility from childhood to adulthood affects cognitive function in later life. Faul is a Ph.D. student in Epidemiology in the School of Public Health.

2006 – 2007

Elena Gouskova’s research draws on data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to investigate the relationship between commuting time on health. Gouskova investigates the roles of selection, heterogeneity in preferences and health behavior, and time constraints as potential mechanisms underlying this relationship. Gouskova’s graduate training is in Economics and Statistics and she is a Research Investigator in the Survey Research Center.

Sonja Ziniel’s research examines the influence of cognitive aging on response strategies, with specific attention to behavioral frequency measures. A key goal of the study is to develop and validate interventions that can be used to improve estimation accuracy in survey questions. Ziniel is a Ph.D. student in the Survey Methodology Program in SRC. Her primary collaborators on the project are Fred Conrad (SRC) and Norman Brown (University of Alberta).

2005 – 2006

Leticia Marteleto’s study is on “Divorce and Intergenerational Transfers in the Health and Retirement Study.” The research focuses on the influence of marital instability and its timing on intergenerational relations and exchanges in later life, and whether this influence differs by parents’ gender. Marteleto did her graduate work in Sociology and Demography and is a Research Investigator in the Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center.

Ayse Uskul’s research examines whether there are systematic differences in how questions influence responses in different cultures, with a particular focus on rating scales. To address this question, Uskul will undertake data collection in Hong Kong, Turkey and the U.S. The study will help inform questionnaire design for cross-cultural and cross-national research. Uskul has a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology and is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD). Her primary collaborators on the study are Daphna Oyserman (RCGD) and Norbert Schwarz (SRC and RCGD).

2003 – 2004

Gwenith Fisher’s research examines the complex interrelationships between work, health and retirement choices. The study, which utilizes longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study, will advance our understanding of the role of occupational experience in the aging and retirement process and have implications for job design for older workers. Fisher is a Senior Research Associate in the Survey Research Center. The project builds on her graduate training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and prior research on quality of work life.