The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund

Each year, The Pearson Institute’s Research and Innovation Fund provides grants to University of Chicago faculty and PhD students conducting research on global conflict. Studies must be rooted in innovative, data-driven research that seeks to understand and reduce global conflict and demonstrates public policy impact.

Researchers awarded a Pearson Grant explore topics that are regionally and topically diverse, each with a focus on using quantitative social science to advance the study of conflict and the potential to advance public policy involving global conflict.

The application for the 2020-2021 grant cycle is now open. The deadline to submit an application is December 11, 2020. Application materials and instructions are available for download at the links below.

The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund 2020 Awardees


2020 Awardees

M. Albertus

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Pacifying the Countryside in Spain

G. Bates

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

Holding their Feet to the Fire: Negotiated Accountability in the Shadow of the International Community

M.A. Bautista, L. Martinez

Assistant Professors, Harris Public Policy

The Political Consequences of Restrictions to Higher Education under Dictatorship

L. Bursztyn

Professor, Department of Economics

Propaganda, Excuses, and Conflict

A. Chinchilla

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

Aid, Arms, and Advisors: Limited Intervention in Conflict

F. del Villar

PhD Student, Department of Economics

Corruption and Law Enforcement in the Mexican Drug Trade

J. Decety

Professor, Department of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Promoting prosocial behavior among children in the Great Lakes Region

J. DePoyster

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

Conflict and Coercion within African Political Parties

S. Henn, R. Sanchez de la Sierra

Postdoctoral Scholar and Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

"Democracy" without a monopoly of violence?

B. Herre

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

Ideology, Redistribution, and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Democracies and Dictatorships

K. Klaus

PhD Student, Divinity School

Unintended “Others”: Excesses of Confidence Building and Development in Cyprus 

Z. Luo, M. Nalepa

Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Testing a Theory of Authoritarian Backsliding with a Survey Experiment in Poland

L. Montenegro Helfer

PhD Student, Harris Public Policy

Setting the Foundations for Apartheid: The Politics of Economic Distortion in the Cape of Good Hope

M. Morales

PhD Candidate, Harris Public Policy

Forced Migration and Social Tensions: The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

R. Sanchez de la Sierra

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Who joins armed organizations? Moral sentiments, economic incentives, and social norms

A. Uribe

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

Democratic Capture and Competitive Statebuilding in Civil War

The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund 2019 Awardees


2019 Awardees

M. Albertus, N. Schouela

Associate Professor & PhD student, Department of Political Science

Rural Unrest and Land Reform in Portugal

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G. Bates

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Holding Their Feet to the Fire: Institutions, Elites, and Accountability During and After Conflict

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N. Beckmann Tessel

PhD candidate, Department of History

The Terrorism Threat in Iran: Causes, Responses, and Consequences

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L. Burzstyn

Assistant Professor, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics

Disguising Xenophobia through Economic Narratives

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A. Chilton

Assistant Professor, The Law School

Promoting Peaceful Migration – the Role of International Treaties

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A. Chinchilla

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Aid, Arms, and Advisors: Limited Intervention in Conflict

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M. Cremin

PhD student, Department of Political Science

May It Please the Court: Explaining Variation in Effective Prosecution of Organized Crime

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J. DePoyster

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Party Youth Violence in New Democracies: Intra-Party Conflict in West Africa

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M. Gonzales

PhD student, Harris Public Policy

Unintended consequences of anti-corruption programs

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B. Herre

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Ideology, Economic Policy and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Democracies and Dictatorships

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K. Klaus

PhD student, Divinity School

Restoring Heritage, Developing Peace

L. Li

PhD candidate, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics

Build roads, not arsenals: the effect of foreign infrastructure investment on reducing domestic armed conflicts

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R. Mardini

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Social Networks, Wartime Consolidation, and the Regeneration of the Islamic State

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L. Martinez

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Initial Conditions and Nation Building: Evidence from East Germany

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M. Morales

PhD student, Harris Public Policy

Forced Migration and Social Tensions: The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

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M. Nalepa

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Post-Authoritarian Purges and Regime Institutionalization: A Global Dataset

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A. Uribe

PhD student, Political Science

Grievance and Participation in Violent Democracies

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A. Wright & K. Sonin

Assistant Professor & John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor, Harris Public Policy

Counterinsurgency and Peacebuilding through Influence Campaigns

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The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund 2018 Awardees


2018 Awardees

M. Albertus & V. Gay

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
& PhD student, Department of Economics

Land Tenure and Rural Rebellion in Pre-Revolutionary France

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G. Bates

PhD student, Department of Political Science

The Impact of International Pressure on Institutional Design in Colombia

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M. Bunn

PhD Candidate, School of Social Service Administration

Restoring Social Bonds in Refugee Survivors of Torture and Severe Violence

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M. Cabal

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Autocratic Nation Building: Public Schooling and Political Control in Mexico’s Indigenous South

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N. Campbell-Seremetis

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Reasoning with Madmen: The Impact of Perceived Irrationality on Preferences for Diplomacy vs Force

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J. DePoyster

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Electoral Coercion and Local Democratic Representation in Ghana

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C. Fratto

PhD candidate, Department of Economics

Effect of Mobility Restrictions on Firms’ Performance in the West Bank

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B. Herre

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Political Coalitions and Social Conflict

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I. Hock

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Violent Entrepreneurship in South Africa: Political Violence, Rent Seeking and Informal Urban Transitions

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M. Laverde & A. Wright

PhD student & Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Civilian Collaboration and Violence in Civil Wars

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B. Lessing

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Armed Electioneering as Effect and Measure of Criminal Governance

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R. Mardini

PhD student, Department of Political Science

The Unraveling of Iraq's Tribal State: Intra-Ethnic Dynamics and the Rise of the Islamic State

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L. Martinez

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Long-Term Effects of Sexual Violence During Conflict: Evidence from the End of WWII

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E. McFee

PhD student, Department of Comparative Human Development

Postconflict Precarity: Trust Building and Community Interventions after War in Colombia

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A. Mir

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Mapping Political and Military Violence in Algeria, 1954-1962

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M. Morales

PhD student, Harris Public Policy

Limited Legal Status and Human Capital Investments: The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

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M. Nalepa

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Transitional Justice and the Quality of Political Representation: Testing the Empirical Implications of a Formal Model

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A. Uribe

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Grievance and Governance in Civil War

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K. Weng

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Explaining Armed Actor Co-optation by Weak States: The Mixed Success of Nationalist China

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A. Zarychta

Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration

Fostering Political Tolerance in Times of Crisis: Attitudes toward Syrian Refugees in Turkey

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The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund 2017 Awardees


2017 Awardees

M. Albertus

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Land Reform and Civil Conflict: Theory and Evidence from Peru

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M.A. Bautista

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Long-Term Effects of Human Rights Violations during the Pinochet Dictatorship

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M. Bunn

PhD Candidate, School of Social Service Administration

Restoring Social Bonds in Survivors of Torture and Severe Violence: A Study Exploring the Effects of Group-Based Treatment on the Social Resources of Syrian Refugees

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A. Mann Carey

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

‘I Felt the Hand of the Government in my Womb’: Black Women, State Violence, and the Transnational Struggle for Life in Brazil and Colombia

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J. DePoyster

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Evaluating the Effects of Anti-Electoral Violence Policies on Democratic Consolidation in Ghana

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A. Wright & T. Fetzer

Assistant Professor & Visiting Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Security Transitions

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M. Gonzales

PhD student, Harris Public Policy

National Resource Shocks, Social Conflicts, and Preferences for Redistribution—Evidence from Peru

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I. Hock

PhD student, Department of Political Science

Urban Violence in Young Democracies: Evidence from South Africa

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S. Jaffrey

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Authoritarian Origins of Vigilante Violence and Quotidian Order in Democratic Indonesia

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L. Martinez

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Trade Liberalization and Political Violence: Evidence from Colombia

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A. Mir

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science

Explaining Effectiveness in Modern Counterinsurgency

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O. Namen

PhD candidate, Harris Public Policy

Human Capital Accumulation under Threat of Insurgent Violence

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P. Staniland

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Revolutionary Insurgency in Democracies: Theory and Evidence from Southern Asia

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G. Velez

PhD candidate, Department of Comparative Human Development

Youth as ‘Peace Builders’: An Analysis of the Colombian Peace Education Law

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Syrian boys at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

Young Syrian boys having fun at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in northern Jordan, across the border from Syria, under a blue and cloudy winter sky.

Guido Dingemans, De Eindredactie/Getty Images