Dissertation Fellowship Application


Two CRF Fellowship awards will be made to individuals who have demonstrated superior potential in any area of family research.

One Predissertation fellowship will be awarded in the amount of $10,000, and is intended for individuals who are currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at UMass Amherst. The 2014 competition is open to individuals who have completed some graduate study but have not yet advanced to Ph.D. candidacy for the dissertation. The individual will use the award to either support his/her independent research or to assist a faculty member with his/her research on families for the academic year of the award.

One Dissertation fellowship in the amount of $10,000 will be given to a UMass Amherst Ph.D. student who exhibits the potential to make an outstanding contribution to the field of family research.  The 2014 competition is open to individuals who have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy for the dissertation (ABD-all but defended). The individual will use the award to support his/her dissertation research. The individual will work on their own independent family research project under the advisement of a faculty member.

Applications are due February 28, 2014


This award is available for advanced doctoral students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences or the College of Natural Sciences who:

- Are in the process of writing and defending their dissertation.

- Are actively enrolled in a full time graduate program and is able to commit to a year-long assistantship.

- Demonstrate a strong interest and background in family research.

- Have identified a UMass faculty member who is committed to mentoring and engaging the student in their dissertation research. Students can have their own family research project or support a faculty member’s research.  

The Award

The recipients will be required to attend three roundtable sessions at the Center for Research on Families to briefly present the research assistantship topic to other student award recipients (May 2014 to introduce the project and then during the fellowship year 2014-2015: Oct. 2014 and April 2015).  The student will also be invited to CRF’s awards ceremony.  Awards are processed through the UMass Financial Aid Office and posted to student’s university account. 

To Apply

Please complete the following:

  • Complete the webform below.
  • Respond to the four questions listed below. Please limit your response to a total of three pages, with one single-spaced page per essay question (# 2, 3 and 4). 
  • Upload an up-to-date C.V. (including academic and work experience, publications, etc)
  • Have your faculty mentor send a letter of support directly to CRF. The letter should briefly describe the faculty member’s commitment to working with the student on this family research project for the academic year of the award, as well as their investment in mentoring the student’s own research aspirations. (a second letter of recommendation is optional, if applicants wish to include a second faculty mentor who is integral to their advisement and project)

Short Answer Questions

Please respond to each question. Answers should be one page single-spaced each (for a total of 3 pages).

  1. Please indicate whether you will be applying for the pre-dissertation fellowship or dissertation fellowship.
  2. Describe your research including your hypothesis, objectives, and the key components of your research design.
  3. How will the CRF Graduate Fellowship Award support your dissertation? Please describe the final product/deliverable you hope to produce during your year at CRF and your plan to complete your goals. 
  4. How does your work relate to the field of family research? How does your research impact families? (note: family research can be both a unit of analysis or how famlies are affected by the research being conducted.)


Applications are due February 28, 2014 by 5 p.m. 


Applications will be reviewed and recipients selected by a committee convened by CRF. The awards will be announced on March 28, 2014. 


Please complete the webform below and upload the required documents. Confidential letters of recommendation should be given to Wendy Varner by email (wendy@sbs.umass.edu) or sent via campus mail (622 Tobin Hall) .  Please contact Wendy with questions: 545-3593.


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