The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Elizabeth Evans, 2018 PEP Fellow, featured on WGBY's Connecting Point discussing her collaboration with sheriff's offices on a opioid treatment program

2018 PEP Fellow, Elizabeth Evans, is among scientists at a dozen institutions nationwide that will form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), an ambitious, $155 million effort to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced. Evans, and a colleague at the UMass Medical School-Baystate will receive a $10 million grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to examine a pilot opioid treatment program for jail detainees in seven Massachusetts counties. The treatment program, including community-based follow-up care after detainees’ release from jail, was mandated by the Massachusetts Legislature. Story covered on Medicine Newsline,, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Associated Press, Western Mass News,, WFXT-TV Fox 25 Boston, NECN, WWLP-TV and News Office release.

2019 PEP Fellow, Elizabeth Schmidt, writes article for The Conversation on how the public is changing corporate behavior.

2019 PEP Fellow, Elizabeth Schmidt, writes in The Conversation that consumers, investors and workers are changing corporate behavior by demanding that companies act more responsibly  . She explains that most Americans are no longer comfortable with companies' profit-driven single-mindedness, and workers are increasingly looking to work for companies that share their values. She concludes that, " The shareholder value doctrine is not dead, but we are beginning to see major cracks in its armor. And as long as investors, customers and employees continue to push for more responsible behavior, you should expect to see those cracks grow." Reprinted in The Houston Chronicle.

PEP Co-Director, Linda Tropp, receives 2019 Nevitt Sanford Award from ISPP

PEP Co-Director, Linda Tropp, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Nevitt Sanford Award from the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), in recognition of professional contributions to political psychology. Recipients of the award are “engaged in the practical application of political psychological principles, or creating knowledge that is accessible and used by practitioners to make a positive difference in the way politics is carried out.” Read more here.

2017 PEP Fellow, Julie Brigham-Grette Speaks at UN Climate Change Event in Germany

2017 PEP Fellow, Julie Brigham-Grette, chair of geosciences and chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board, was an invited speaker in late June at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held at Bonn, Germany. Her presentation at the event was organized by the International Climate and Cryosphere Institute based in Burlington, Vermont and Stockholm, Sweden. She spoke at an event related to the conference and participated in a press conference discussing future changes in ice sheets, sea level rise and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Read more here.

Rebecca Spencer, 2015 PEP Fellow, quoted in The Scientist story about new research on rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and processing emotional memories overnight.

Rebecca Spencer, 2015 PEP Fellow, comments in The Scientist about new research that finds poor quality rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep can interfere with processing emotional memories overnight. She says, “While it’s good that I can learn to put up with hearing myself sing, it may not be good for me to habituate to gunfire in my neighborhood.” She also says the study had a small sample size but did seem to draw a strong correlation between REM sleep interruptions and adaptation of the amygdala portion of the brain.

PEP Steering Committee member, Lee Badgett, appointed to NASEM Committee

Lee Badgett, PEP Steering Committee member, has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Review of Data and Research on Social Outcomes for LGBTQ+ Populations. The committee will work on a review of what we know and don't know about economic and social outcomes for LGBTQ people. 

Research by 2018 PEP Fellow Elizabeth Evans on the VA as health care safety net or last resort for women veterans featured in Health Medicine Network.

Research by 2018 PEP Fellow Elizabeth Evans, and colleagues at UCLA and at the Veterans Administration (VA) in Los Angeles, looked at why many women military veterans turn to the VA only as a health care safety net or last resort.  The research, featured in Health Medicine Network, cites bureaucratic hurdles, limited knowledge about VA eligibility and a dislike of the VA's military-like setting among factors deterring women from using VA services.