Michele Zemplenyi Awarded Djokovic Fellowship

Congratulations to doctoral student Michele Zemplenyi who was recently awarded the Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the Novak Djokovic Foundation!

The Center and the Novak Djokovic Foundation launched the Djokovic Fellowship in 2016, with the aim of creating a new generation of leaders who will leverage science for innovation in early childhood policy and practice settings to make research actionable. The Fellowship program fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and builds each Fellow’s capacity to design, conduct, and translate research into practices and policies that will improve outcomes for children facing adversity.

The year-long fellowship experience is designed around a cohort model that prioritizes the development of a multi-disciplinary learning community. Fellows are encouraged to share learning across their respective fields and constructively question their own thinking as well as each other’s. Fellows attend training in the IDEAS Impact Framework TM, a new science-based innovation approach to program development and evaluation. They attend workshops to learn strategies for effectively framing and communicating their research to non-scientific audiences, as well as how to develop effective policy design and good leadership practices. Fellows give a capstone academic roundtable to an invited group of interdisciplinary Harvard experts. This unique opportunity allows Fellows to receive different perspectives and constructive feedback on their research.

Michele’s research examines the intersections of genomics, environmental science, and children’s health. She will receive a grant to support her independent dissertation research on “utilizing biostatistics to determine the effects of prenatal exposures to toxins,” mentored by Professor Brent Coull. Michele received a A.B. in statistics and a Secondary Field in chemistry from Harvard College, and an A.M. in biostatistics from Harvard University.