The University of Michigan International Institute (II) has awarded a total of $150,000 to 52 U-M students through its Individual Fellowships program. Students will travel abroad between May 2015 and May 2016 to conduct research or intern in 39 countries.  

This year’s recipients represent diverse disciplines: the humanities, medicine, law, business, social and natural sciences, and architecture. The projects range from organizing and cataloguing the archives of the Jinja District in Eastern Uganda to improving the health and human rights of gay and bisexual men in Kenya, to internships with the U.S. Embassy, the World Health Organization, and NGOs.

Melissa Rice is a master’s student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She will travel to India to assess the impact of the Forest Rights Act, a law allowing local indigenous people to claim rights to the land they have subsisted on for centuries. “I’ve wanted to study forest land rights in India for years, and the II Individual Fellowship has made it possible to conduct my summer fieldwork,” she says. Her goal is to formulate an impact evaluation of the Forest Rights Act, something that has been lacking in India and other developing countries. “I hope my findings can guide policymakers and community activists in India and other countries.”

The highly-competitive, merit-based program is open to U-M undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students enrolled in a degree program. There is no preference for particular fields of study; the aim is to fund a diverse array of students and projects. For more information on Individual Fellowships, please visit the II Individual Fellowships website.

The complete list of 2015 II Individual Fellows can be found HERE