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Research advancing insights into climate and disease crises, maternal and infant health, wildlife management, local fiscal resilience and race relations are 2021 Michigan Applied Public Policy Research grant winners.

Matt Grossmann, director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), announced winners selected from nearly 30 proposals. Awards distribute more than $150,000 in total for grants of up to $30,000 for applied research linking faculty work to current policy discussions.

“We are excited to name these MAPPR winners,” he said. “State policy informed by research evidence is critical for problem solving and the advancement of Michigan.”

Titles, winners and proposed 2021-2022 research include:

Climate Extremes and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Advancing Resilience of Michigan Communities.  Tapping into public sentiment surrounding health crises, this research asks policymaker and community input regarding multiple hazards. It seeks to develop guidelines for integrated risk management. Wonmin Sohn, assistant professor in the Landscape Architecture Program in MSU’s School of Planning, Design and Construction, leads the research.

Impact of Child Tax Credit Payments on Maternal and Infant Health. Research will assess experiences of Michigan parents receiving child tax credit payments. A plan will be developed for assessing and quantifying the impact of child tax credit payments on pregnancy outcomes. The faculty lead is Claire Margerison, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the MSU College of Human Medicine.

Informing Public Policy and Planning for Wolves and Wolf Management. The research asks what Michigan residents think about the state’s wolf population and the factors that inform their attitudes and opinions about wildlife management practices. Shawn Riley, professor of MSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, proposed this applied policy research.

Use, Impact and Challenges of ARPA Dollars on Local Units in Michigan. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was initiated to restore financial stability to local communities struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this research, the allocation, uses, challenges and barriers to ARPA funds will be broadly assessed. It will ask citizens about perceptions of ARPA utilization and include case studies of ARPA funds at work in select communities. Lead researcher: Eric Scorsone, director of the Center for Local Government, Finance and Policy in MSU Extension.

How Does Policy Narrative Shape Public Attitudes and Behaviors? Survey research questions will be tapped to determine perceptions and opinions of racial theories’ role in local education policies and practices. The award named Rebecca Jacobsen, professor of educational administration, Department of Educational Administration, MSU College of Education.

Past MAPPR research papers address education, energy, health policy, children and families, the environment and agriculture, infrastructure and urban and local government policy and are published on IPPSR’s website. Click here to read them. 

MAPPR grants cover research activities for one year, and are to conclude with a detailed paper made available to the public and policymakers. At least one Michigan State University faculty member must serve as the lead investigator. Collaboration among faculty and cross disciplinary research is encouraged, as is the engagement of graduate student researchers.

Grants made for the 2021-22 academic year funds research expected to be completed by summer 2022.

IPPSR, a unit in MSU’s College of Social Science, is a center for grants, extensive databases and survey research that helps build and translate evidence-based research for scholars, legislators and government leaders. It is also home of MSU’s Public Policy Forums and Michigan Political Leadership Program.