Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships

Since 2006, the Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship program of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center has provided grants to University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. students who are pursuing research in decision making under risk and uncertainty.  The research fellowships are named in honor of an endowment provided to the Wharton School by the Anheuser-Busch Charitable Trust.  Professor Emeritus of Management Science, Russell Ackoff’s work was dedicated to furthering our understanding of human behavior in organizations.

For 2022, the program will provide a small number of grants to doctoral students conducting research directly related to the Risk Center’s current research agenda. Potential topics to receive funding must align thematically with one of our five research labs: (1) disaster risk management, (2) business, climate, and the environment, (3) risk communication & decision-making, (4) behavioral science & technology, and (5) political risk.  We encourage students to visit the lab websites to better understand current priority topics.

The fellowship provides up to $4,000 for research support. Proposals can reflect a broad range of theoretical and methodological perspectives.  The funds may be used only for data collection, surveys, and other direct research expenses.  Conference registration fees will also be supported if the student is presenting their research.

Award recipients are required to write at least one blog post for the Risk Center’s blog, Lab Notes, based on their research. Blog posts should generally be 1,000-2,000 words in length and be written for an educated, lay audience. Award recipients will also be invited to participate in the Center’s Seminar for Early Career Research, designed to provide early-stage scholars with the opportunity to present their research and receive feedback on their work.

Recent recipients of the Wharton Risk Center Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships:

Please contact Carol Heller at for more information.