University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Now Accepting Applications to the Family Research Scholars Program

Family researchers at CRF study the functioning and structure of families, both human and animal. Researchers look at the influence of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors on families, and how they impact the physical and mental health of family members. Family research is broadly defined as research on issues affecting families and thus encompasses all disciplines.   

Family Research Scholars Program 2013-2014

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Notification: February 4th, 2013  

Apply by January 16th to be a part of the Family Research Scholar Program (FRSP) now in its 10th year at UMass.  Since its inception in 2003, the program has yielded $15 million in new external funds for family research at UMass.

What can I expect?

The FRSP provides a course release, technical expertise and mentorship for up to six faculty members to each produce and submit a major grant proposal for family research.  Faculty members participate in a year-long interdisciplinary faculty seminar that includes presentations and discussions of the Scholars' developing proposals, instruction on the details of successful proposal submission and individualized methodology consultation. Each Scholar benefits from the ability to invite a national expert to campus, who provides individual consul­tation on their specific projects along with a public research lecture. 

Will the Scholars program improve my chance of getting my research funded?

With Federal sponsors often explicitly demanding evidence of interdisciplinary sophistication, participation as a Family Research Scholar provides concrete evidence of this and ready access to knowledgeable collaborators and consultants from other disciplines. The success rate among our CRF scholars for NSF applications is 62.5% (with a national average hit rate of 22%). The success rate for NIH applications is 32% (with a national average hit rate of 18%).

The deadline for applying is January 16, 2013. (Recipients will be notified by February 4th, 2013.) 

For full details of the program and how to apply go to our website:  Contact Wendy Varner: or David with questions about the program.

Past research projects:

How stereotypes emerge from  infants' perceptual development  

How binge drinking can affect the developing brain during adolescence  

How robotic technology can improve the lives of stroke survivors and their caregivers  

How individuals with chronic aphasia can recover language and improve quality of life  

How fragmentation of sleep may interrupt memory processing in older adults

The stressors foryoung dual-job low-income families  

Unpredictable work schedules impact on families  

What helps families make decisions about passing on land to the next generation 

How to build resiliency in teens at risk of suicide in Alaska's native communities   

The physiological processes by which marital relationships affect our health  

Past scholars' praise for the program:

"CRF provided a safe environment in which I could develop ideas, be mentored by senior faculty and staff, and get critical feedback from my peers."

"The CRF program provided me with a unique opportunity to acquire the tools I needed to better understand the process, not to mention an unparalleled support network and continued resources that have made it possible  to imagine myself for the first time as a grant writer. "

"The network of scholars I met and the information about applying for grants I obtained as a CRF scholar have proven invaluable for me over the years."