The Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues

The Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues is offered by the Institute for Social Research.

The Fellowship Fund was established by the students, colleagues, family and friends of Robert Kahn to honor his lifelong commitment to using the best social science to generate new insights on major social problems and point toward their solutions. The Kahn Fellowship was created in this spirit.


The Fellowship will provide dissertation support for one doctoral candidate each year from the University of Michigan community who is committed to using empirical science to help solve the deep and abiding challenges confronting society. The Fellowship will be awarded to the candidate whose research gives most promise of dealing innovatively with some major social problem.


Applicants must have been admitted to Ph.D. candidacy (or equivalent progression in a professional school).
Applicants must be eligible to accept the fellowship and after receiving the fellowship funds must plan to finish within a year.


The Fellowship will cover tuition and Grad Care and will include a stipend of $25,000. In most instances the term of the award will be limited to twelve months. If departmental, collegiate, or extramural monies complement the ISR award, the term may be extended up to a total of 24 months, but this is discouraged.

Application Procedure and Deadline

Lisa Marchiondo

Lisa Marchiondo, 2011 Kahn Fellowship winner. Read her profile.

Application materials should include:

  • An up-to-date U-M transcript.
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vita.
  • Three letters of nomination, including one from the department chair, dissertation advisor or committee members stating the strengths of the application and vouchsafing the candidate’s eligibility as well as supporting the likelihood of completing the dissertation in one year.
  • A brief [three-page, single-spaced] description of the project, including the description of the social issue of interest to the applicant and the way(s) in which the applicant’s research addresses that issue. The statement should be written with an interdisciplinary faculty review panel in mind; i.e., reviewers would NOT necessarily be familiar with the technical vocabulary of a specific field.

Applications are accepted in both electronic and hard copy format. Send electronic applications to Jennifer Puckett in pdf (portable document format). Hard copy applications should be sent to or dropped off at 6065 ISR (Campus Mail 1248). Note, letters of recommendation may be sent directly by the recommender in either electronic or hard copy format.

The deadline for submission is Friday, February 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm for the award starting in Fall 2015. The winner will be notified by March 31, 2015.

Kahn Fellows

2014-2014: Suntae Kim, Department of Management & Organizations, Ross School of Business. Entrepreneurial Imagination in Detroit: Ethnography of Post-Corporate Entrepreneurship.

2013-2014: Kristen Elmore, School of Social Work, Joint Program with Psychology. Improving Academic Effort and Achievement among Low-Income Minority Youth using Small Scale Interventions.

2012-2013: Traci Kennedy, College of Literature, Science and Arts, Psychology. Who, What, When, and Where? The Differential Impact of Community Violence Exposure on Youth’s Psychological Well-Being.

2011-2012: Lisa Marchiondo, College of Literature, Science and Arts, Psychology. Investigating the Mechanisms by which Interpersonal Mistreatment Undermines Organizational Life

2010-2011: Joel Adam Cobb, Stephen M. Ross School of Business Management & Organization. From the ‘Treaty of Detroit’ to the 401(k): The Development, Evolution and Consequences of Privatized Welfare in the United States