Assistantships, Fellowships, & Other Funding

Department of Family Social Science Assistantships

Family Social Science offers both research and teaching assistantships which provide important financial benefits and work experiences for students, but also involve a commitment in terms of time and energy. A 25% assistantship requires 10 hours of work each week, whereas a 50% assistantship requires 20 hours of work each week. The work will vary with the stage in the research process or with the time of the semester in the case of teaching.

Eligibility

You are eligible to hold a graduate assistantship if you are:

Finding a graduate assistantship

More information about graduate assistantships, including tuition benefits, employment benefits, assistantship listings, and more, can be found at the Office of Human Resources


Department of Family Social Science Fellowships

Family Social Science offers a number of fellowship opportunities for current graduate students. The awards are divided into three categories: academic year, summer, and travel awards. Students are welcome to apply for any or all of these awards.

Fellowships and funding are also available at the college and university level.

All applicants must include the Awards & Scholarships Cover Page and the Degree Milestone Checklist (DMC) with their application materials. The DMC only needs to be filled out once per year; you do not need a separate DMC if you are applying for more than one kind of award (academic, summer, or travel).

Award selection criteria

The following criteria will be considered for all awards, and ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent.

Degree Progress
Fit with selection critera of fund/fellowship/assistantship.
Clarity and specificity of work plan.
Aggressive and realistic work plan.
Strength of faculty letter.
Appropriate (for level in program) professional goals and experience.

We invite you to read over some examples of successful applications, in order to make your application as successful as possible.

Strong applications provide a clear plan of work , both conceptually and theoretically. It is your job as the applicant to convince the awards committee that the work you are proposing can be completed; using details and specific examples is an essential part of that process. If you have further questions about the awards or selection process, please contact the department representative.


Academic Year Awards

Mary Ellen McFarland Assistantship

Background: A graduate assistantship was established in honor of Mary Ellen McFarland to recognize her service, achievement, and leadership in home economics and to encourage students to prepare for advanced service in the family field. Mary Ellen McFarland served as President of the American Home Economics Association (AHEA), Chair of AHEA Foundation Board, President of the Minnesota Home Economics Association, and held other national and international offices. Her work with the Minnesota Citizens Committee on the Status of Women, the League of Women Voters, and other civic endeavors further exemplify her leadership. She was awarded the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award.

Purpose: The purpose of the 50% academic year assistantship is to provide a Family Social Science graduate student with support to work on a research or teaching project with a member of the faculty. Students would normally propose: (1) a program of research that would lead to a dissertation, thesis, or research paper; or (2) the co-development of a course or educational program.

Selection Criteria: Master and doctoral students in Family Social Science are eligible. Selection will be based on the potential contribution of the assistantship to the graduate student's scholarly development and productivity; the potential contribution to the student's degree completion; the student's overall professional promise; the importance of the proposal to the family field; the extent to which the faculty member is available to guide, supervise, and to work with the student; and the career goals of the student. The successful applicant must be a full time or full time equivalent student in good standing.

M. Janice Hogan Fellowship

Background: This fellowship honors the work of M. Janice Hogan, professor emeritus of Family Social Science who is well known for her work in family resource management and gender roles. She has focused broadly on families, administration of programs that support families, international students, and administration in the College of Human Ecology.

We anticipate we will award two $6000 fellowships (or one $12,000 fellowship) across fall and spring semesters to support Family Social Science graduate student projects. If one $12,000 award is made, the recipient is not precluded from receiving up to a 25% department assistantship. If two $6,000 awards are made, recipients are not precluded from receiving up to a 50% department assistantship.

Selection Criteria: Projects will be judged on the basis of anticipated benefit to the student and the family field.

David H. Olson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Background: This fellowship honors David H. Olson, a professor emeritus of Family Social Science who is well known for his work linking family theory, research, and practice.

A $12,000 fellowship (anticipated amount) will be awarded across fall and spring semesters for work specific to the dissertation. Recipients are not precluded from receiving up to a 25% departmental assistantship.

Selection Criteria: Priority will be given to a student whose dissertation reflects the innovative and academic spirit of Dr. Olson's work. This includes the development of family theory, couple/family research methods, and the linkage among family theory, research, and application. Publication(s) from the dissertation are an expectation. Dr. Olson will receive a copy of the dissertation abstract and a copy of publications stemming from this project.

David H and Karen Olson Marriage and Family Fellowship

Background: This fellowship is for Family Social Science graduate students interested in the field of marital and family systems.

One $5000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be in good academic standing, with exceptional potential in their field. Preference will be given to students who are interested in projects related to the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. This fellowship will be awarded across fall and spring semesters.

Eva Donelson Wilson Fellowship

Background: This fellowship is for Family Social Science graduate students. It honors the work of Eva Donelson Wilson, a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition from 1934 to 1945. She was an outstanding nutrition educator and writer, and spent time working with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Brazil.

One $5000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing, with exceptional potential in their field.

Ott International Student Fellowship

Background: This fellowship was established by Ms. Irene Ott to provide support to full-time graduate students enrolled in a degree program in the Department of Family Social Science.

One $1000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing, who demonstrate a commitment to international scholarship and have exceptional potential in their field.

Ragnhild E. Edwardson Fellowship

Background: This fellowship was established to promote graduate research in the department of Family Social Science.

One $2000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing. The funds may support thesis, dissertation, independent research, or collaborative research.

Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center Fellowship

Background: The Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center closed in 2011. After all expenses were allocated, funds remained. These funds provide Family Social Science with the opportunity to provide graduate support for a limited time to students pursuing family gerontological topics including family caregiving.

One $1000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing, who demonstrate a commitment to family gerontology and have exceptional potential in the field of family gerontology.

Friends of Family Social Science Fellowship

Background: This fellowship will be used to support an assistantship for a Family Social Science graduate student to work on a research or teaching project with a faculty mentor.

One $2,000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing and include a specific plan of work and a letter of commitment from the faculty/mentor with whom they will collaborate.

Jean W. Bauer Family Economics and Policy Fellowship

Background: This fellowship is established to honor long time researcher, educator and faculty member, Dr. Jean W. Bauer, for her dedicated service to her profession, the University of Minnesota community, and the Department of Family Social Science. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support to students at the University.

One $2,500 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time, graduate students enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development and studying in Family Social Science, with an interest in Family Economics and Policy. Students should demonstrate academic merit. This award may be renewable, provided the recipient demonstrates satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Lucile Garley Blank Fellowship in Ambiguous Loss

Background: This fellowship was established by Dr. Pauline Boss, Professor Emeritus, and Ms. Ellen M. Blank, in honor of her mother, Lucy Garley Blank, to provide funding for graduate fellowships that enrich the study of ambiguous loss.

One $4,000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time students enrolled in the Department of Family Social Science working toward a graduate degree, in good academic standing, with outstanding research skills, and exceptional potential in their field. Preference will be given to students working in the area of ambiguous loss.

Letitia Walsh Memorial Fund

Background: This fellowship was established by Letitia Walsh to support graduate students pursuing research in family education.

One $4,000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing. The funds may support a thesis, dissertation, independent research, or collaborative research in the field of family education.

Shirley L. & Peter D. Zimmerman Fund for Family Policy

Background: A fellowship is to honor Shirley Zimmerman, FSoS Professor Emeritus whose area of expertise and passion was and is family policy.

One $1,000 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing in Family Social Science working on a project or dissertation related to family policy. Projects will be judged on the basis of anticipated benefit to the student and the family policy field.

Robert E. Keane Fellowship in Ambiguous Loss

Background: To support graduate students in the Department of Family Social Science studying ambiguous loss.

One $2,500 fellowship is available.

Selection Criteria: Recipients should be full-time graduate students in good academic standing who demonstrate exceptional potential to their field. Preference will be given to students with an interest in the area of family stress and coping, IF qualified applicants are not studying ambiguous loss.


Summer Awards

Waller Summer Fellowship

Background: These fellowships provide summer support for students who have an aggressive plan for research with stated outcome(s) or goal(s) compatible with the student's stage in the degree program. Up to ten fellowships will be awarded. Students receiving this award must submit a brief report focusing on summer work accomplishments as well as present at a Department colloquium. The report is due to the Director of Graduate Studies at the end of summer.

Awards will be $5000 per student.

Selection Criteria:

  • Making excellent progress toward professional goals. Include accomplishments for each year in the program (see instructions for milestone checklist and abbreviated vita): in addition to the milestone checklist and vita, applicants should list participation in conferences or other professional development activities, and provide information about research experiences with identification of faculty mentor.
  • Aggressive (and realistic) research plan for the summer. Students should clearly indicate the outcome(s) to be accomplished by the end of the summer. Students must provide a specific timeline and a plan outlining concrete steps to accomplish stated outcome(s) (e.g., write special paper and have it ready to submit for review by October 1; collect data for dissertation).
  • No incompletes.

Travel Awards

Graduate Student Travel Fund

The Ruth E. Hall Fund for Graduate Student Professional Development offers gift money from Family Social Science alumni, faculty, and friends is allocated in the amounts of $400 for out-of-state travel and $600 for international travel to support graduate students who present papers at national and international professional conferences.

Students should submit the one-page application, along with documentation (e.g., letter of invitation, program with name listed, and travel authorization form), to 290B McNeal Hall, no later than two weeks prior to domestic travel, and no later than three weeks prior to international travel.

After students graduate, they will be encouraged to contribute to the travel fund for future students' support – a fund built on reciprocity.

Travel grants are also available through GradSEHD.

Neubeck/Maddock Scholarship

The award is to be presented to a student who is giving a paper, who is a recipient of an award, or who is meeting some other professional responsibility at NCFR or other organization appropriate to the content of Family Social Science. Preference will be given to a student presenting a research paper/poster. Each student applying must provide proof of acceptance of the paper or delegation of the professional responsibility.

At least two grants of up to $600 may be awarded to Family Social Science graduate students working towards a master's or doctoral degree. The department sends out an announcement in September when applications are due.

Selection Criteria:

  • Statement of objectives of paper/poster to be presented. If student is not presenting, but is receiving an award or is meeting some other professional responsibility, clearly state and describe reason.
  • Reasons for requesting scholarship funds.
  • Brief budget.
  • Identification of organization accepting paper/poster, award, or other professional responsibility (with proof of acceptance)

Preference will be given for the following two reasons:

  • Student is presenting a research paper or poster
  • Student is attending NCFR.

College Opportunities

The College of Education and Human Development maintains a listing of college awards and scholarships, scholarships and awards available through private institutions, financial aid resources, and more. These listings cover specialties and fields from CEHD departments other than Family Social Science, and may not always apply to FSoS students, though students are encouraged to explore these opportunities for funding and support.

University Opportunities

Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. This fellowship of $16,000 (in 2004) plus tuition and a portion of health insurance assists graduate students in completing their doctoral dissertation. The department recommends approximately one student per year to the Graduate School for this award. Approximately sixty of these fellowships are awarded each year across the entire university.

Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship. This fellowship of $16,000 plus tuition and a portion of health insurance is awarded for full-time study. The Fellowship may not be deferred to another academic year. It is a non-renewable award, the taxability of which is governed by the 1986 Tax Reform Act.

More fellowship information from the Graduate Fellowship Office.

OneStop Student Services: Finances. Information on tuition and fees, financial aid, as well as links to your student account can be found at OneStop.