Nikita Lad
 COVES Fellow Profile

Nikita Lad

  • Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Science and Public Policy
  • George Mason University
  • State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

“My interactions with stakeholders gave me an insight into the formulation of legislation and expanded my perspective beyond that of a traditional scientist to view issues from a policymaker’s perspective.”

Summer Responsibilities: Nikita investigated the need to support basic research at Virginia’s public universities. Her report entailed examining existing laws, policies, and practices and conducting interviews with government leaders, universities’ chief research officers, private sector CEOs, and association leaders. She contextualized and communicated scientific information to Virginia’s policymakers.

Background: Nikita is interested in bridging the gap between policy and science. As an avid nature lover, she gained an interest in promoting sustainability through social science research. She is now studying ways to assess sustainability in higher education as well as the challenges faced by various universities to promote sustainability literacy on campus. She has a keen interest in evidence-based policymaking and hopes that her research will aid policymakers to make laws that encourage sustainability literacy and culture within higher education.


  • Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Science and Public Policy, George Mason University
  • M.Sc., Bioanalytical Sciences, University of Mumbai (India)
  • B.Sc., Microbiology, Pune University (India)