Duke University’s Program on Climate-Related Migration (PCRM) serves as a cross-disciplinary platform that brings together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to look more deeply into the interconnected nature of climate change and global migration. With ongoing research projects around the world, we strive to include findings from both the social and natural sciences. 


Rigorous Research


Migration & Development in Ethiopia

In "Migration and development in Ethiopia: Exploring the mechanisms behind an emerging mobility transition," the impact of Ethiopia’s historical development on the nature, volume, and direction of internal and international migration is examined. This detailed case study contributes to a growing body of research on the ‘mobility transition’ by revealing how a society’s entire mobility complex changes—not only levels of international migration—as the social transformations associated with modern-day development proceed.


Climate Game Changers & Migration Models

Working through USAID’s Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC), the PCRM team led a review of current literature on the following areas:

Public Engagement

Duke University researchers work with practitioners and experts from around the world to influence ongoing debates and inform the questions researchers are asking about climate-related migration.


Conference on Climate-Related Migration

The 2023 Conference on Climate-Related Migration brought together researchers, policymakers, sector experts, donors, NGOs and other stakeholders to address the intersection between climate change and migration.

Read about the event

Rural Development and the Capability to Stay

As part of an award from the Social Science Research Council, Kerilyn Schewel organized two workshops and a virtual speaker series focusing on advancing sustainable rural development in a way that enhances a person’s capability to stay and flourish in rural places.

Read about the award

How Climate Change Catalyzes More Migration in Central America

In an interview with U.S. Institute for Peace, Sarah Bermeo discussed how looming climate challenges are exacerbating Central America’s struggles with poverty and insecurity, leaving many with no choice but to migrate.

Read the interview

Rural Transformations

Sarah Bermeo joined Robert McLeman in the "Climate Change, Adaptation and Migration" webinar in the Rural Transformation series co-hosted by DCID and the Center on Modernity in Transition. Kerilyn Schewel co-moderated the conversation.

Climate Change, Adaptation and Migration webinar

BBC News

Sarah Bermeo discussed climate-related migration in the BBC News segment, "Climate crisis: Where will it be too hot to live?"

Climate crisis: Where will it be too hot to live? segment

Listen to Climate Change: America and the World

Sarah Bermeo discussed the implications of climate change induced migration on the "Migration and Forced Movement" episode of the Listen to Climate Change: America and the World podcast.

Migration and Forced Movement episode

Policy Impact

Our team is committed to translating cutting-edge research to findings that can be applied to pressing policy challenges.


Rural poverty, climate change, and family migration from Guatemala

This Brookings Institution report examines key drivers of migration from Guatemala to the U.S.

Read the report

Evaluating Climate-Related Migration Forecasting Models

This brief shares findings from a review of 20 forecasting models relevant to USAID's strategic interests to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of different modeling approaches.

Read the brief

Enhancing Adaptation Program Impact to Address Climate Game Changers

This brief provides findings and actions that could potentially advance the efficiency and effectiveness of the development response to impacts of climate change.

Read the brief

Student Opportunities

PCRM provides funding for full-time undergraduate and graduate students at Duke University to work on research topics related to climate change and migration, to attend relevant conferences, and to organize public engagement activities.


Funding requests may include costs of research materials, domestic and international travel, and other directly related expenses. All expenses should have a clear justification in the Project Statement.

Average awards range from $250 to $1500, depending upon the activity or project. Applicants are encouraged to apply for additional awards from Duke and other sources. Please note that your budget should include the total cost of the project and not just that portion requested from PCRM.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The number of awards is subject to the availability of funds in the next fiscal year.

Applicants must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program at Duke University during the academic year in which the award is used.

Please complete and submit the online application. Included in your application, you will submit the following:

  • Cover Letter
  • Project Statement (one to two pages) indicating:
    • Title of the proposed project
    • Description of research/activities
    • Plans and general timeline
    • Significance of proposed project for future research
  • Itemized Budget
  • Curriculum Vitae (for graduate students) or Personal Statement (for undergraduate students)
  • A Supporting Letter from a faculty member who is familiar with your academic work (submitted directly from faculty member via Qualtrics (Have faculty e-mail supporting letter to climatemigration@duke.edu)
  • Confirmation of International Travel Registration for all international travel
  • Letter of invitation from organizing/partner institution, if applicable
  • IRB approval (not required upon proposal submission, but required to receive award if applicable)

Foreign Nationals

Be aware that your award will be assessed a 34% tax. A Form-1099 will be issued in December, which will enable you to file for its return at the start of the next calendar year.

research involving human subjects

For graduate and professional school students whose proposed research involves human subjects, you should be aware that it is necessary for you to obtain approval of your research from the Institutional Review Board.  Please consult with the Office of Research Support about the policies concerning research with human subjects at Duke University. Information can be found on the Office of Research Support website at https://campusirb.duke.edu/

Duke’s COVID-19 Travel Policy

If you are awarded a Graduate Award that involves travel, it will be necessary for you to complete all requirements for approval of your international travel in accordance with the current Duke Global Travel Policy and COVID-19 Addendum, including via the Duke Travel Registry.  The approval process is not automatic and can take time, so you are encouraged to begin this process at the time of application for the research grant.  Do not wait until you receive an award notification.  No fellowship funds can be released until the necessary registry and approval requirements have been fulfilled.  This is a University rule.

Please consult with Global Administrative Travel Support at globaltravel@duke.edu, if you are considering research-related travel and have any specific travel-related questions.

Program Directors

Sarah Bermeo is an associate professor of public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy. Her research lies at the intersection of international relations and development, with a particular focus on relations between industrialized and developing countries.

Kerilyn Schewel is a lecturing fellow in the Duke Center for International Development. Her research examines the root causes of human migration and immobility, with an emphasis on the themes of gender, youth, rural development and climate change.


PCRM co-directors Kerilyn Schewel (left) and Sarah Bermeo

Contact Us

Send us an email at climatemigration@duke.edu and follow us on X at @DukePCRM.

Funding Acknowledgement

The PCRM is supported through the generosity of Duke University’s Office of the Provost and Office for Global Affairs.