The Transformative Food Systems Fellowship

The Transformative Food Systems (TFS) Fellowship at the University of Michigan is rooted in the idea that bold leaders are urgently needed who reflect the communities most affected by intertwined environmental, health and economic food systems crises. 

During the two-year fellowship, TFS Fellows study food systems from diverse disciplinary angles and gain critical skills needed to construct truly transformative food systems that are more equitable, health-promoting and ecologically resilient. 

While obtaining a master’s degree from the Michigan Public Health Department of Nutritional Sciences, the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), or the University of Michigan Taubman College’s Urban and Regional Planning Program (URP), TFS Fellows will gain the scientific and organizing aptitude needed to construct more equitable, health-promoting and ecologically resilient food systems.

View the application form.

Students and Eligibility 

Funding for the TFS Fellowship covers 12 incoming master’s degree students in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, SEAS and URP who identify as underrepresented, first-generation or low-income, and who aim to study food systems.

The fellowship will support two cohorts of six students each, enrolling in Fall 2022 and Fall 2023. 

Student Funding

TFS Fellows will receive an $18,500 stipend for each year of their two-year master’s program. Students who conduct summer field research or an internship internationally will also be eligible for an additional $2,750 to cover travel and cost of living.

Student Requirements

TFS Fellows will be required to:

  • Enroll in Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems
  • Enroll in Food Literacy for All class
  • Enroll in the TFS Seminar every semester for two years
  • Complete a field experience, which can be double counted with School of Public Health requirements, either through an internship or thesis project

TFS Fellowship Leadership and Advisors

Directors

Leslie Hoey
Lesli Hoey
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
Taubman College

Ivette Perfecto
Ivette Perfecto 
James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor of Environmental Justice
School for Environment and Sustainability

Co-Directors

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences
School of Public Health

Cindy Leung
Cindy Leung
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
School of Public Health

Jennifer Blesh
Jennifer Blesh
Associate Professor of Ecosystem Science and Management
School for Environment and Sustainability

Meha Jain
Meha Jain
Assistant Professor of Geospatial Data Sciences
School for Environment and Sustainability

Brendan O'Neill
Brendan O’Neill
Assistant Research Scientist, Ecosystem Science and Management
School for Environment and Sustainability

Fellowship Funding

The TFS Fellowship is funded by two grants secured through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) program. 

Learn More

TFS FELLOWSHIp