Collaborative Research Fellowship

The U.S.-China Student Collaborative Research Fellowship is designed to support research projects by Vermont Law students in collaboration with law students in China on subjects of international and comparative environmental and energy law. The substantive research topics will help solve important environmental and energy law problems in China.

The purposes of the fellowship are four-fold: 1) expose Vermont Law and Chinese Law students to the laws and culture of each others' countries; 2) train students in the analysis of environmental law and policy in a comparative setting; 3) develop reform proposals relevant to problems of Chinese and U.S. law and regulation; and 4) develop and strengthen individual and institutional ties between Vermont Law School and partner law schools in China.

Students are required to enroll in a seminar course that meets during both the fall and spring semesters. Students can earn either 3 credit hours (30-35 page paper) or 4 credit hours (40-45 page paper) for the year. Past collaborative projects have focused on topics of U.S.-China comparative environmental law as well as empirical studies of China's environmental governance and legal system. Projects will be supervised and sponsored by Vermont and Chinese law faculty and subject to approval by the Faculty Director of the U.S.-Asia Partnership for Environmental Law. Students are required to present their findings in a presentation on the VLS campus in the spring or their fellowship year.

We anticipate sponsoring 2-5 fellowships for 2015-2016, and will send out the call for applications in spring 2015.

Past Fellowship recipients and their project topics include:


  • Rebecca Smith – "Regulating CAFOs in the U.S. and China"
  • Kristin Campbell – "Regulating PM2.5 in the U.S. and China"
  • Kyle Sullivan – "Application of International Transboundary Watercourse Law to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basin"
  • Andrew Homan – "Making Aquaculture Accountable Through Third-Party Certification and Consumer Protection Law in the U.S. and China"
  • Emma Hempstead – "Sustainable Agriculture in China and the United States"
  • Nancy Lin – "China's Plastic Bag Restriction Policy"
  • Thomas Sheltra – "Pipelines or Pipedreams: Chinese Energy Security and an Assessment of Two Transnational Pipelines"
  • Robin Seila, "Toxic Tort Litigation Principles Of A Tort System Applied To China"
  • Abi Barnes, "China's Bottled Water Blues: How A Deregulated Market Could Compromise The Industry's Future"
  • Jim Smith, "Reducing Lead Emissions From Stationary Point Sources in China"


  • Jeffrey Polubinski, "Nuclear Energy Regulatory system"
  • Brian Marshall, "Vehicle Emission Standards"
  • Sara Imperiale, "Environmental Justice in Incinerator Siting"
  • Nat Green, "Renewable Energy Policy and Local Implementation"
  • Heather Croshaw, "Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative"
  • Allison Cameron, "Environmental Impact Assessment of Dam Construction"


  • Erica Lewis, "Water Pollution Permitting"
  • Joshua Harvey, "Unconventional Gas"
  • Inga Caldwell, "China's Toxic Wast Management"
  • Kate Swartz, "Multinationals and Environmental Compliance"
  • Allie Silverman, "Green Jobs"


  • Joseph Starnes, "Nuclear Power in China"
  • Michael Rohwer, "China's Eletric Renewable Energy Regulation"
  • Patrick Munson, "China's Environmental Footprint Abroad"
  • Brandon Gillin, "Household Garbage Management in China"
  • Amy Driscoll, "E-waste in China"


  • Ashley Laney, "Comparative China-India Environmental Law"
  • Anna Skubikowksi, "Privatization of Public Sewage Treatment Systems"
  • Tom Baker, "Water Pollution Enforcement"
  • Shannon Cosentino-Roush, "Drinking Water Pollution Prevention"
  • Caroline Alderman, "Pollution Trading"


  • Camille Dalmacio, "Eminent Domain"
  • Joshua Belcher, "Environmental Taxation"
  • Natalie Firestine, "Energy Law"
  • Timothy Riley, "Corporate Environmental Information Disclosure"
  • Jack Sautter, "Climate Change"


  • Quoc Nguyen, "Environmental Dispute Resolution"
  • Linda Tsang, "Soil Contamination"
  • Jesse Moorman, "Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessments"
  • Martin Eng, "Public Participation in Environmental Regulation"
  • Heather Jarvis, "Air Pollution Trading"

A selection of past research papers can be found here.