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Faculty Grants

Weiser Faculty Grants
Call for Proposals

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) seeks proposals for faculty-led research projects that address themes related to authoritarianism and democracy, broadly understood. All Michigan faculty are eligible to apply.

The grants support both individual and collaborative faculty research. Proposals may include travel to research sites, bringing international collaborators to the University of Michigan, initiating conferences and workshops (such as hosting a workshop to receive peer feedback on an advanced book project), or travel to devise research partnerships with academic institutions or NGOs. Funds may also be requested for pilot projects or to supplement existing projects.

Funds cannot be used for salary support; course release; equipment purchases; or expenses related to publication, such as translation, publishing subventions, or rights to illustrations.

NOTE: All faculty international/domestic travel must adhere to the Warnings & Restrictions implemented by the University of Michigan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grantees will only receive funds if and when their travel and/or research plans are approved by the appropriate U-M offices.  

Awards range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the number of successful proposals. Deadlines for submission of proposals are: October 15, 2021 and April 15, 2022.

Proposals should include:

  1. A WCED Faculty Grant Request Form;
  2. A short CV for each principal organizer/participant;
  3. A research proposal no longer than 1,000 words; and
  4. A detailed budget including all sources of support (pending and confirmed).

Questions? Please contact Derek Groom (

Previous Awardees


Allen Hicken, Political Science; Pauline Jones, Political Science; and Laura Rozek, Public Health. “COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Effects on Trust and Democracy.”

Kriszti Fehervary, Anthropology. “National Consultation on the Coronavirus: The Fidesz Poster Campaign and the Renewal of Authoritarian Politics in Hungary in the Age of Covid-19.”


Allen Hicken, Political Science, and Laura Rozek, Public Health. “A Multinational Study of Social Distancing Policies on Societal Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Pauline Jones, Political Science. “The Variety of Populists: Implications for Regime Stability and Change.”

Jundai Liu, WCED, and Yun Zhou, Sociology. “Shockwaves through the Chinese Bureaucracy? Authoritarian Governance in the Time of COVID-19.”

Yuki Shiraito, Political Science. “Autocratic Legislative Speeches: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan.”

William Zimmerman, Political Science. “Russian Elite Attitudes to Foreign Policy.”


Kathryn Babayan, Middle East Studies, for the symposium “The Iranian Revolution and its Disciplinary Aftereffects.”

Michelle Bellino, Education, for the project “Teaching Peace in a Charged Landscape: The Democratic Potential of Peace Education during Columbia’s Peace Process.”

Barbara Koremenos, Political Science, for the project “Informal Cooperation or Failure to Cooperate? Explaining Low Levels of Formal Cooperation between Certain Authoritarian States.”

Ronald G. Suny, History, for the project “Forging the Nation: The Making and Faking of Nationalism.”


Giorgio Bertellini, Screen Arts & Cultures, for the project “The Likes of Us: From American Photography and Print Culture to Italian Neorealism, and Back.”

Jeremiah Chamberlin, English, for the project “A History of Events That Never Happened: Memory, Identity, and the Future in Contemporary Bulgaria.”

Robert Mickey, Political Science, for the project “Why American Nation-Building Fails: From Post-Civil War Reconstruction to Iraq and Beyond.”

Brian Porter-Szűcs, History, for the project “Austerity and Anti-Austerity beyond Neoliberal Capitalism.”


Fatma Müge Göçek, Sociology/Women’s Studies, for the project “Trajectory of Collective Violence: From the Armenian Genocide to Kurdish Massacres in Turkey.”

Elizabeth King, Public Health, for the project “Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Female Labor Migrants in St. Petersburg.”

Stuart Kirsch, Anthropology, for the project “Diplomacy for a Nation in Waiting: The West Papuan Independence Movement in Post-Suharto Indonesia.”

Mike McGovern, Anthropology, for the project “Culture and Contestation: Non-violent Challenges to the State by Ethnic Minorities in Myanmar.”

Robyn Meeks, Natural Resources & Environment, for the project “The Impacts of Smart Meters on Losses in Electricity Distribution in the Kyrgyz Republic.”

Benjamin Paloff, Comparative Literature/Slavic, for the project “Richard Weiner’s Traumatic Prose,” on the first literary representations of the combat experience in WWI by this Czech author.

Ronald G. Suny, History/Political Science, for the project “The Crisis of Contemporary Democracy: The Fate of an Experiment in the Age of Nationalism, Populism, and Neo-Liberalism.”

Yuri Zhukov, Political Science, for survey research in Eastern Ukraine.

Geneviève Zubrzycki, Sociology, for the project “Jewish Revival, Philo-Semitism, and Pluralism in Contemporary Poland.”


Tatjana Aleksić, Slavic/Comparative Literature, for the project “Slobodna Dalmacja: Feral Tribune.”

Samer Ali, Near Eastern Studies, for the project “Abad Humanism in the Arabo-Islamic Middle Ages: Public Participation and Nonviolent Resistance.”

Dan Brown, Natural Resources and Environment, to support travel for researchers from Mongolia to attend the conference “Socio-environmental Research on the Mongolian Plateau.”

Rita Chin, History, for the project “Britain’s Socialist Worker's Party: A Multiethnic Political Experiment.”

H. Erdem Çipa, History/Near Eastern Studies, for the book project “Popular Uprisings in the Early Modern Ottoman World.”

Krisztina Fehérváry, Anthropology, for the project “Commodified Teeth and Individuating Tattoos: Self-branding Practices in Contemporary Hungary.”

Allen Hicken, Political Science, for the project “Electoral Dynamics in the Philippines.”

Shazia Iftkhar, Communication Studies, for the book project “Mediating Frenchness: How French News Covered the Veil Debates.”

Gergana Kodjebacheva, Health Science and Administration (U-M Flint), for the project “Folic Acid Use among Romani Women in Bulgaria: Knowledge and Behaviors.”

Oksana Malanchuk, Research Center for Group Dynamics, for the project “Development of Ukrainian Identity in Eastern Ukraine.”

Katherine Mendeloff, Residential College, to attend the Gogol Theater Festival Collaboration in Kiev, Ukraine.

Brian Min, Political Science, for the project “Not Performing and Winning: Why Disengaged Legislators Win Elections.”

Rudolf Mrazek, History, for the project “Forgetting and Celebration in Post-War Europe: The Case of Terezin.”

Anna Muller, History (U-M Dearborn), for the photo exhibition and workshop “From Estonia to Hamtramck.”

Scott Spector, German/History/Judaic Studies, for the project “Invisible Empire: Memory and Forgetting in Post-Hapsburg East Central Europe.”

Yuri Zhukov, Political Science, for the project “Crisis in Ukraine: Violence, Corruption, and Politics.”

William Zimmerman, Political Science, for the project “Russian Foreign Policy Perspectives: The Seventh Wave.”


Irina Aristarkhova, Art & Design/Art History/Women’s Studies, for the symposium “Art and the State.”

Michelle J. Bellino, Education, for the project “Education, Democracy, and Transitional Justice: Truth Commissions and Legacies of Reform.”

Geoff Eley, History, for the project “Conservative Revolution in British Perception, 1918-1930.”

Johannes Foufopoulos, Natural Resources and Environment, for the project “"Evaluation of EU Subsidies on the Sustainability of Livestock Management Practices in Mediterranean Europe.”

Fatma Müge Göçek, Sociology/Women’s Studies, to complete the Turkish translation of her book Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence against Armenians, 1789-2009.

Scott Greer, Health Management and Policy, for the project “Federalism in Good Times and Bad.”

Christiane Gruber, History of Art, for the project “Geza Graffiti: Resistance and Visual Culture in Contemporary Turkey.”

Daniel Halberstam, Law, for the project “EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights after Opinion 2/13.”

Allen Hicken, Political Science, for the project “Democracy or Strong Leaders.”

Elizabeth King, Health Behavior and Health Education, for the project “Linkage to HIV Services for Vulnerable Women in Russia.”

Gergana Kodjebacheva, U-M Flint School of Health Professions & Studies, for a project promoting the use of eyeglasses among Romani children in Bulgaria.

Mikhail Krutikov, Judaic Studies/Slavic, for the project “Reading Jewish Space in Russian and Yiddish Literature.”

Oksana Malanchuk, Institute for Social Research, for the project “Ukraine at the Crossroads: Regional Divisions Revisited.”

Shaun McRae, Economics, and Robyn Meeks, Natural Resources and Environment, for the project “Household Responses to Energy Price Reforms in Kyrgyzstan.”

Robert Mickey, Political Science, for the project “Trouble in the Fields: Political-Economic Obstacles to Nation Building in Iraq, the American South, and Beyond.”

Brian Min, Political Science, to support the conference “Accountability and Development.”

Farina Mir, History, for the project “Producing Modern Muslims.”

Benjamin Paloff, Comparative Literature/Slavic, for the project “Worlds Apart: Real-Life Fictions of Concentration Camps, Ghettos, and Besieged Cities.”

Endi Poskovic, Art and Design, for the project “Futures in the Present: Polish Graphic Sensibility and the Krakow International Print Triennial.”

Svitlana Rogovyk, Slavic, to establish internships for U-M students in Ukraine.

Cindy A. Schipani, Business, for the project “Institutions, Corporate Governance, and Society: The Role of the Firm in the U.S. and Italy.”

Magdalena J. Zaborowska, Afroamerican and African Studies/American Culture, for the project “A Tale of Two Museums: Exhibiting Race, or Blackness and Jewishness from the U.S. to Poland.”


Natalie Bakopoulos, English, for a collection of essays on Greece and her book “Take Water with You.”

Rita Chin, History, for the London- and Berlin-based project “The Rise and Fall of Multiculturalism in Europe.”

Zvi Gitelman, Political Science/Judaic Studies, for his book project, “The Consequences of Politicized History: World War Two and the Holocaust in the USSR.”

Christopher House and Linda Tesar, Economics, for the project “The Transmission of the Great Recession.”

Gergana Kodjebacheva, U-M Flint School of Health Professions and Studies, for her study “Eye Care among Romani Children: Focus Groups with Parent and Eye Care Providers,” taking place in Bulgaria.

Josh Newell, Natural Resources and Environment, for a study of forest consumption in the Russian Far East and Northern Eurasia titled “On the Trail of the Global Russian Pine Tree.”

Damani Partridge, Anthropology/Afroamerican and African Studies, for the course “Filming the Future of Detroit” and residency of filmmaker Silvana Santamaria.


Giorgio Bertellini, Romance/Screen Arts and Cultures, for the book project “Emir Kusturica: Illustrating a Monograph.”

Eric Calderwood, Romance, for the project “Islam in Contemporary Spain: Identities and Representations.”

Geoff Eley, History, for a research project on German liberalism between the 1860s and 1930s.

Andrew Herscher, Slavic/Architecture & Urban Planning/History of Art, for the project “Grupa Spomnik Monument Group Publication.”

Allen Hicken, Political Science, for the project “Combatting Vote-Selling: A Field Experiment in the Philippines.”

Pauline Jones Luong, Political Science, for the project “The Nature and the Impact on Central Asia’s ‘Islamic Revival’.”

Olga Maiorova, Slavic/CREES, for the program “Ann Arbor in Russian Literature.”

Robyn Meeks, Natural Resources and Environment, for the project “Economics of a Light Bulb.”

Damani Partridge, Anthropology/Afroamerican and African Studies, for the project “Democratization as Exclusion.”


Scott Greer, Public Health, for the international conference “Governing through Data: Comparative Rankings and Policy Change in the European Union.”

James Hathaway, Law, to hire graduate student research assistants to develop an EU taxonomy based on the Refugee Case Law Site.

Lisa Kane Low and Ray DeVries, Nursing, for the comparative study “Models of Maternity Care: Lessons Learned through a Process of Comparative Analysis of the Dutch and U.S.-Based Systems to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes.”

Pauline Jones Luong, Political Science, for the conference “Islam, Society, and Politics in Central Asia.”

Svitlana Rogovyk, Slavic, to establish a partnership with the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation, developing course materials and exploring internship possibilities for students.

Anca Trandafirescu, Architecture, to conduct research for the project “Agree to Disagree – Phase 1.”

Geneviève Zubrzycki, Sociology, for the research project “Philo-Semitism and the Jewish Renaissance: Stretching the Symbolic Boundaries of the Nation in Democratic Poland.”


Pamela Ballinger, History, for an interdisciplinary conference on “Law and Human Rights in Global History.” 

Ted Brader, Political Science, for a collaborative project on the “Development of Partisanship in Emerging Democracies: Bulgaria and Moldova.” 

Zvi Gitelman, Political Science, for a program of cooperative, video-based seminars taught jointly by faculty at U-M and European University St. Petersburg. 

John E. Jackson, Political Science, for a research collaboration with the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Science entitled, “A Tale of Two Economic Tigers: Poland and Ireland.” 

Alaina Lemon, Anthropology, for the 2012 Symposium of the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group (SOYUZ) at U-M. 

Endi Poskovic, Art and Design, for travel to Mostar to gather visual data for large-scale drawings that reveal a personal tale of discovery and displacement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ramona Uritescu-Lombard, Germanic Languages & Literatures, for a one-time mini-course entitled “Twentieth Century Romania: Screening the West in the East.”


Barbara Anderson, Sociology, and Oksana Malanchuk, Institute for Social Research, to develop a survey methodology for the January 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine. 

Andrew Herscher, Architecture and Slavic, for a project titled “Cultural Politics of Preservation in Globalization.” 

Ramaswami Mahalingam, Psychology, for a comparative study of Czech and U.S. female engineers. 

Olga Maiorova, Slavic, for a workshop at U-M, “Imperial Nation: Tsarist Russia and the Peoples of Empire.” 

Peter Sparling, Dance, for “The Bodytalk Template,” a comparative, intercultural study of male dancers around the world. 

Jindrich Toman, Slavic, for continuation of the project “(Un)managed Memory,” a study of the status and functioning of cultural-heritage associations in the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution. 

Anca Trandafirescu, Architecture, for the design, construction, and installation of an inflatable monument commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Romanian revolution in Timişoara, Romania. 

Geneviève Zubrzycki, Sociology, for a comparative research project on religion, nationalism, and democratization in Poland and Quebec.


Joshua Cole, History, for sequential conferences at U-M and the University of Minnesota, “From Colonial History to Post-Colonial Societies: (Re) placing the Maghrib at the Center of the Twentieth Century.” 

Alexander Knysh, Near Eastern Studies, for a workshop at U-M, “Teaching Islam in Eurasia.” 

Arland Thornton, Sociology, for a workshop in Brno, Czech Republic, “Freedom, Development, Family, and Demography.” 

Jindrich Toman, Slavic, for a project on the transformation of cultural initiatives in the Czech Republic from the 1990s to the present. 

Magdalena Zaborowska, American Culture/CAAS, for a collaborative community-based project in Sejny, Poland. 

William Zimmerman, Political Science; Zvi Gitelman, Political Science; and Mikhail Krutikov, Slavic/Judaic Studies; for a series of video-based seminars to be taught jointly with faculty at the European University at St. Petersburg.