Undergraduate Assistantship Application

One assistantship award in the amount of $3,000 will be given to a UMass Amherst undergraduate student (rising junior or senior) who exhibits the potential to make outstanding contributions to the field of family research and seeks further mentoring in this area. This student will assist a faculty member with his or her research on families.

Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be due on March 4, 2016.


Applicants must be undergraduate students, currently in their sophomore or junior year at UMass Amherst, who have demonstrated an interest and background in family research. Applicants must be full-time students who are able to commit to a year-long assistantship from September 2016 to May 2017. 

The Award

The recipient will be required to attend two roundtable sessions at the Center for Research on Families during the year of the assistantship. These sessions, in October 2016 and April 2017, will provide an opportunity to briefly present the research assistantship topic to other student award recipients. The student will also be invited to an awards luncheon and reception in the spring. Awards are processed through the UMass Financial Aid Office and posted to student’s University account. 

To Apply 

  1. Identify a faculty member and confirm his or her willingness to mentor you in a family research project for the following year. Faculty are eager to find talented students to help with their research, so make contact with them right away to discuss working with and learning from them. 
  2. Once the project scope and topic is clarified, complete the application below. Please make sure to submit all information and provide a project title for the research assistantship.
  3. Write a statement of interest that describes what you will be doing on the research project and the intended value of the assistantship to your academic development. (This should be no more than four pages double-spaced, with standard 1" margins and 12-point Times font.) Make sure the project is meaningful and important to you. Get advice from your faculty mentor. Upload this statement below when submitting the application.
  4. Ask your mentor for a nominating letter of support. The letter should indicate the specific research project in family research with which you will assist, the faculty member's commitment to working with you for an academic year, and the faculty member's investment in mentoring you as you develop your research practices. Letters of support should be sent with attention to CRF's Director, Lynnette Leidy Sievert, via email to crf@psych.umass.edu.


Complete applications, including the faculty member's letter of support, are due no later than March 4, 2016 by 5 PM.


Applications will be reviewed and recipients selected by a committee convened by CRF. The awards will be announced in late March.


Please complete the webform below and upload the required statement of interest. Confidential letters of recommendation should be sent to Lynnette Leidy Sievert using the instructions above.


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