The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Ph. D. candidate Rhian Dunn is one of 24 doctoral students who have been awarded the 2023 Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency for the United States Department of Justice, which aims to promote research dedicated to improving “knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science” (nij.ojp.gov/about-nij). Specifically, the Graduate Research Fellowship program supports doctoral students engaging in research that advances the NIJ’s mission.
Rhian will use the funds to cover expenses related to her dissertation research, titled “Sampling and Section Bias in Research using Documented Skeletal Collections.” She intends to identify potential sources of bias encountered in the initial research phase for forensic and biological anthropological studies using data from documented human skeletal collections. The fellowship begins January 1st, 2024 and will run until May of 2025. She hopes that this dissertation research will enable forensic and biological anthropologists to better understand the extent of bias introduced in the research process and how such biases might affect the validity of historic methods still in use. Rhian acknowledges the support she has received from her committee members and her dissertation committee chair and advisor, Dr. Joseph T. Hefner, the PI on this grant.