The Patricia F. Waller Scholarship

The Patricia F. Waller (PFW) Scholarship was created to honor Dr. Waller and is intended to fund scholarships for U-M graduate students and senior undergraduate students who elect a thesis, dissertation, or special project that addresses the human aspect of transportation policy or practice. Students may apply from all U-M departments and schools who are interested in conducting research on transportation equity, mobility, or safety with a focus on improving transportation for people. 


  • Applications will be accepted for two deadlines: July 31, 2021 and November 30, 2021.
  • Maximum funding: $5,000.
  • Multiple awards are possible depending on application funding needs.
  • Send completed application to:
  • Scholarship questions can be addressed to Dr. David Eby (


  • Applicants must be a U-M graduate student or senior undergraduate student, who will complete the research/activity while they are still enrolled as a student.
  • Applicants must have a faculty supervisor who will oversee the research/activity and the expenditures for the scholarship funds.
  • Must agree to provide the PFW Scholarship Committee with a final report that documents the research/activity and give permission for their likeness to be used in reporting on and promoting the PFW Scholarship program. 
  • If possible, the student must present on the project/activity at UMTRI’s Student Research Symposium.

Acceptable Use of Funds:

  • Funds can be used for direct expenses connected with the project, such as subject payment, copying, computational services, etc.
  • Travel can be funded to support presentation of project outcomes.
  • Funds can be used to cover the student’s employment.
  • Funds can be used for tuition support.
  • Funds cannot be used for faculty salary.
  • Other expenses may be covered outside of the above categories, but must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the PFW Scholarship Committee.

Patricia F. Waller
Dr. Waller had a distinguished career as a leading research scientist and advocate for policy reform in the area of transportation safety and injury control. She worked tirelessly to ensure that research findings were implemented through legislative and administrative measures, and to ensure that injury control and the health and human dimensions were incorporated into the national transportation agenda.   Dr. Waller also was devoted to nurturing and encouraging students who showed an interest in applying their scientific training and skill to improve the safety of the transportation environment.

In 1989, Dr. Waller was appointed director of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, where she also held academic appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and the Department of Psychology. She retired from the University of Michigan in 1999, but continued to be actively engaged in research projects around the world, authoring publications until shortly before her death on August 15, 2003.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Dr. Waller served as Associate Director for Driver Studies at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), and she was a faculty member of the UNC School of Public Health. In 1987, she became the founding director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, a center of excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She joined the HSRC in 1967 after practicing and conducting research as a clinical psychologist.

Past Recipients

2018  Victor Le, Mechanical Engineering ($5,000) Read more.
2018  Aritra Guha, Statistics ($5,000) Read more.
2017  Ke Liu, Industrial and Operations Engineering ($5,000) Read more.
2007  Nancy Gallagher, School of Nursing ($5,885)
2010  Andi Eisman, School of Public Health, Health Behavior & Health Education ($5,000)
2012  Rebecca Mandell, School of Public Health, Health Behavior & Health Education ($5,000)
2013 Alana LeBron, School of Public Health ($6,403)