Application FAQs

What should I include in my application?

Make sure your statement describes how this proposed assistantship will build upon prior studies and any research experience. Also, describe how working with the faculty member will contribute to your own career development in an area of family research. 

 What is important to include about my faculty advisor?

It's important that the faculty member demonstrates a familiarity with you and your work and is really committed to mentoring and engaging with you in either their research (that you are working closely with them on) or advising your project (and contributing to your own research aspirations).

 What should I use for a writing sample? Would a co-authored article be appropriate or a conference paper?

Either would be appropriate.  The reviewers are looking for academic quality of the writing, is it comprehensive and organized, and analytic skills.  It is recommended that the sample writing focus on a family related issue or research.

Is it required to submit three application packages including three separate letters of support in separate envelopes?

Please submit three application copies and only ONE letter of support in a signed sealed envelope.

What does it mean by the 'date of assistantship' on the application form?

We are looking for the date that you will be taking your assistantship, for example September 2013-May 2014.

Is the graduate fellowship funding disbursement for the entire year, or can it be for only one semester?  

The award is to support a yearlong assistantship project.  However, the funding can be distributed in a way that makes sense for the individual student and faculty member.  Contact us specifically about your situation. 

Are the letters of support confidential?

Yes; only the committee will see the letters.  Please submit only one letter in a signed sealed envelope.

Can I include more pages in my writing sample?

No; we will strictly adhere to the page limits.

I am wondering if my research project is considered family research? how do I know?

Families are a basic unit of human and animal life and research must cross academic disciplines and engage many perspectives to fully understand family functioning. Thus, research at CRF encompasses disciplines as diverse as the life sciences, social sciences, public health and nursing, education, and natural resources and a wide range of topic areas.

I am unclear about the relationship between my proposed research project and the faculty member's research: Should my proposal be for research that is complementary to that of the faculty member or should it be for a collaborative project? Should I be proposing my own research project separate from the research with which I would assist the faculty member? 

Your project can be a separate project with close faculty mentoring and advice or a collaborative project with the faculty mentor.  In other words, it can be either your dissertation with your advisor, or a research assistantship in which you are very involved in your faculty's project and being mentored on the research, and very directly involved. The ultimate goal is to benefit you in your future career pursuits as a family researcher!

The application asks for a "proposed honors thesis and research project with objectives and methodology".  Is this referring to what the specific document approved by Commonwealth College outlining my project, or is this to be written separately?

You may use the description document used by Commonwealth College in your CRF application. Remember, however, that you still need to submit letters of recommendation to complete your application to CRF.