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CRF Announces 6 New Scholars to its Family Research Scholars Program now in its 11th year at UMass Amherst

The UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families (CRF) is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Family Research Scholars.  Six faculty members from across campus were selected to participate in the 11th cohort of the Family Research Scholars Program on the basis of their promising work in family-related research.

Photo : Top Row L-R (Elizabeth Harvey, Agnes Lacreuse, Joya Misra) Bottom Row L-R (Jonathan Rosa, Gwyneth Rost, Lisa Troy)

The Family Research Scholars Program provides selected faculty with the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal for their research support.  The goal of the program is to bring together a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of faculty from the UMass community to foster innovation and collaboration across research areas related to the family. 

The selected faculty for the 2013-2014 Family Research Scholars Program represents an array of disciplines and research interests and draw from three Colleges (SBS, CNS & Public Health) and five departments.   The new Scholars include Elizabeth Harvey, Ph.D. (Professor of Psychology) who studies the development of children with ADHD. She will develop a grant proposal for a project entitled, “A Longitudinal Study of Emotion Regulation in Preschool Children with Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” Agnès Lacreuse (Associate Professor of Psychology) addresses the biological factors that contribute to differential aging trajectories in males and females. She will develop a grant proposal for a project entitled, “Sex Differences in Cognitive and Brain Aging.” Joya Misra(Professor of Sociology and Public Policy) focuses her research on gender inequality among advanced welfare states. In her grant proposal entitled “National Gender Earnings Inequality Dynamics,” she plans to analyze eighteen different advanced industrialized countries from 1985 through 2010. Jonathan Rosa (Assistant Professor of Anthropology)examines the linguistic characteristics that influence culture and identity in the Latino community. Rosa is developing a grant entitled, “Learning Latina/o Ethnolinguistic Identities across the U.S.” Gwyneth Rost(Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders)studies how children learn language, and focuses on youth who have language impairment. She will develop a grant proposal entitled “Is disability incriminating? Language impairment in the juvenile justice system.”Lisa Troy(Assistant Professor of Nutrition/Commonwealth Honors College Professor of Nutrition)is interested in the effect of overall diet quality and components of a healthful diet on under-nutrition, obesity, metabolic syndrome and risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.  Her grant proposal is entitled, “How Diet and Exercise Improve Sleep: Implications for Diabetes and Heart Disease.” More information on the selected Family Research Scholars can be found here.

Over the year, the Scholars participate in an interdisciplinary faculty seminar that includes concrete instruction on the details of successful proposal submission and the resources of the university, individualized methodology consultation, and information about relevant funding agencies. This process culminates with the submission of a research proposal to a major funding agency.    For Scholars, the program offers extra time (through a course release), support and expertise.  One current Scholar lauds the program for giving him “the time, space, structure, and guidance to understand and get started in the world of large grants in a way that would not have been possible otherwise as an assistant professor.” Since the program first began in 2003, 56 Family Research Scholars have submitted over 141 proposals.

The Center for Research on Families’ mission is to increase research on family issues, to build a multidisciplinary community of researchers who are studying issues of relevance to families, to connect national and internationally prominent family researchers with UMass faculty and students, to provide advanced data analytic methods training and consultation, and to disseminate family research findings to scholars, families, practitioners, and policy-makers.    Research at CRF encompasses disciplines as diverse as the life sciences, social sciences, public health and nursing, education, and natural resources.  

The Family Research Scholars program was recently highlighted by UMass Research NEXT after having its most successful year. CRF scholars boasted grant acceptance rates well above the national average and its flagship program has yielded upwards of $15 million in external funding— nearly $10 million of which was awarded within the past year. The full article can be found here.

CRF is a research center of the College of Natural Sciencesand the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and has affiliated faculty from departments across campus.  For more information on the Family Research Scholars Program or the Center for Research on Families, please contact:  wendy@sbs.umass.eduor (413) 545-3593.