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Research Scholars Program

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (Center) is a hub of research to improve the lives of low-income Hispanic children and families across four research priority areas:

  1. Poverty reduction and self-sufficiency
  2. Healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood
  3. Early care and education
  4. Cross-cutting topics

The Center is dedicated to providing timely research findings, tools, and scholar opportunities to advance the capacity of the policy, program, and research fields serving low-income Hispanic children and families.

As part of its efforts, the Center created a Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program to support the work of emerging scholars, especially Hispanic scholars and those from underrepresented academic institutions. As part of this program, Center will award up to two Hispanic Center Research Scholars awards in 2019. Each Research Scholar will receive a stipend of $7,500 for a 12-month period.

The goals of the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program are to:

  1. Expand the pipeline of emerging scholars pursuing research on Hispanic children and families that can inform programs, policies, and services to promote the social and economic well-being of Hispanic children and families.
  2. Strengthen the pipeline of scholars of Hispanic heritage and/or emerging scholars from underrepresented academic institutions pursuing research on Hispanic children and families.

The Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program is open to emerging scholars ranging from advanced graduate students (those currently in their third year or higher of a Ph.D. program), postdocs, and early career scholars (up to 5 years post Ph.D.). We seek emerging scholars who demonstrate a strong interest in conducting research with low-income Hispanic populations that will inform programs, policies, and services supporting the well-being of Hispanic children and families.

Learn more about the program and application process below. Interested applicants are required to submit their applications for the 2019 Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program by 5:00 PM ET on May 20, 2019. Candidates will be contacted if they are selected by June 11, 2019. The anticipated start date is August 19, 2019.

Program Description

General: Each Hispanic Center Research Scholar will work remotely on a specific project within one of the four research priority areas—(1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, (3) early care and education, or (4) cross-cutting topics. A list of the current research projects across priority areas can be found here.

Illustrative examples of expected work include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Poverty reduction and self-sufficiency: Collaborate on a project to profile state TANF policies in states with high populations of low-income Hispanic children.
  • Healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood: Collaborate on a project which reviews the curricula of Healthy Fatherhood programs that serve Hispanic fathers.
  • Early care and education: Help support the data analysis and writing for a research brief on ECE cost and affordability among Hispanic families.
  • Cross-cutting topics: Help support the data analysis and writing of a research brief on the education of Hispanic parents.

Mentorship: Each Hispanic Center Research Scholar will be matched with one of the Center’s Priority Area leads who will serve as a mentor. This mentor will meet weekly with the Scholar and help to identify the scope of the work/project to be completed by the Scholar during the program. The Scholar will also receive support from other Center staff, as appropriate, to further support their overall professional development goals.

Networking/Additional Involvement: The Hispanic Center Research Scholar will attend the biweekly Steering Committee calls of the Hispanic Center. They will share their proposed work plan with the Hispanic Center Steering Committee at the beginning of the program and a Final Report at the end. They will have the opportunity to participate in some of the Center’s building capacity efforts, such as developing webinars, interactive data tools, Hispanic Family Facts, data training events, conference presentations, mentoring/networking activities, etc.

Funding: We anticipate funding up to two Hispanic Center Research Scholars in 2019. Each Scholar will receive a $7,500 stipend for a 12-month period. We estimate that the average time commitment to program-related activities to be approximately one day a week. However, the stipend payment is not tied to a specific level of effort.

Experience and Education Requirements

  1. Currently enrolled in a graduate program as an advanced Ph.D. student (third year or higher), a postdoctoral researcher, or an early career scholar (up to 5 years post Ph.D.).
  2. Strong interest in conducting research to support the social and economic well-being of Hispanic children and families, low-income Hispanic populations, and an understanding of the cultural and linguistic diversity among Hispanic
  3. Research or professional experience or interest related to (1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and/or (3) early care and education.

Application Requirements

Interested applicants are required to submit their applications with the following components by 5:00 PM Eastern on May 20, 2019.

    1. Letter of interest (up to four pages) that includes the applicant’s:
      • contact information (e.g., name, address, phone number(s), email address),
      • information about their graduate institution, or current position
      • personal statement that:
        • Describes the applicant’s interest in and what they hope to gain from the Hispanic Center Research Scholars program experience, including their relevant educational and professional development goals.
        • Describes why the applicant is interested in research concerning Hispanic children.
        • Expresses an interest in issues that fall within one or more of the Center’s research priority areas: (1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, (3) early care and education, and/or (4) cross-cutting.
    2. Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) providing information about the applicant’s educational background, publications, presentations, and any professional or public policy experience related to the work of the Center (4-page maximum).
    3. Two letters of recommendation that specifically address:
      • The applicant’s relevant background and qualifications, including training and research experience(s).
      • Professional development goals, interests or needs pertinent to the goals of the Hispanic Center Research Scholars program.
      • For current graduate students, one letter should be from their advisor with verification of the student’s doctoral status and faculty expectations regarding completion of the program’s requirements.

All three components of the application (letter of interest, resume/CV, and letters of recommendation) must be submitted online through this webpage (http://bit.ly/Hispanic-Ctr-Res-Scholars).

Applications will be reviewed by the Center Steering Committee and applicants will be notified of the outcome of the review process by June 11, 2019. If you have any issues with the submission process, please email the combined PDF to (hispanicresearchscholars@norc.org), referencing the “Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Research interests and focus of proposed project/activity fit with one or more of the Center’s Priority Areas.
  2. Professional development goals and the extent to which the Hispanic Research Scholars program and proposed activity will advance those goals.
  3. Quantitative and/or qualitative analytic experience, writing skills, and other relevant research experience aligned with the Center’s areas of research.
  4. Letters of recommendation demonstrate that applicant’s research background, interests and experiences, pursuits and accomplishments thus far, and professional development goals.
  5. Applicant is an advanced doctoral student in good standing (if applicable). 

Candidates will be contacted if they are selected by June 11, 2019. The anticipated start date is August 19, 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of the Research Fellowship Program?

The goals of the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program are to: 1) expand the pipeline of emerging scholars pursuing research on Hispanic children and families that can inform programs, policies, and services to promote the social and economic well-being of Hispanic children and families; and 2) strengthen the pipeline of scholars of Hispanic heritage and/or emerging scholars from underrepresented academic institutions pursuing research in this area.

Who is eligible for the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program?

The Hispanic Center Research Scholars program is open to individuals currently enrolled in a graduate program as an advanced doctoral student (third year or higher), a postdoctoral researcher, or an early career scholar (up to 5 years post Ph.D.).

How long does the program last? Are the dates flexible?

The program will span a 12-month period starting August 19, 2019.

  • We recognize that academic schedules vary considerably from one university to another. As such, the specific dates of the program can be negotiated, as necessary, to match the selected applicants’ academic institutional schedule, while still meeting the requirements of the Scholars Program.
  • We estimate that each Scholar will spend approximately one day a week, on average, on Center-related activities. However, the stipend payment is not tied to a specific level of effort.

What is expected of me as a Hispanic Center Research Scholar?

The Research Scholar will:

  • Work remotely on one of the Hispanic Center’s current research projects within one of the four research priority areas—(1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, (3) early care and education, or (4) cross-cutting topics. A list of the current research projects can be found here.
  • Be matched with one of the Center’s Priority Area leads who will serve as a mentor. This mentor will work with the Scholar to identify the scope of the work/project to be completed by the Scholar during the program. The Scholar will also receive support from other Center staff, as appropriate, to further support their overall professional development goals.
  • Meet with their mentor by phone or video conference call to develop their Initial Work Plan and will then present their proposed work plan to the Hispanic Center Steering Committee at the beginning of the Research Scholars program. Scholars also will submit a Progress Report at the mid-point of their project period, and a Final Report at the end, summarizing their experience and documenting the completion of any specific reports, briefs, or other products proposed in the Initial Work Plan.
  • As appropriate, contribute to other capacity building and/or research products or activities that are part of the Center’s work plan.
  • Participate by phone in the biweekly Center Steering Committee meetings.
  • Submit their work to one or more professional conferences, such as the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium (CCEEPRC), Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD), National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC), Population Association of America (PAA), National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) or Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS).
  • Participate in webinars and work with Center staff on a range on other Center-related projects, including research projects, publications, and social media outreach.

What type of guidance will be available to me as a Scholar?

  • Each Hispanic Center Research Scholar will be matched with one of the Center’s Priority Area leads to further develop and/or expand upon one of the current research efforts underway within that respective priority area. The Scholar will also receive support from their mentor and other Center staff, as appropriate, to further support their overall professional development goals.
  • The Hispanic Center Research Scholar will be integrated into the biweekly Steering Committee calls of the Hispanic Center. They will also be able to participate in some of the Center’s building capacity efforts, such as contributing to the development of webinars, interactive data tools, Hispanic Family Facts, data training events, mentoring/networking activities, etc.
  • Scholars will receive feedback on their work from the Center’s Steering Committee.
  • The Center will actively facilitate the Scholars’ connections to other emerging scholars (including those from prior cohorts and/or other DC-based fellowship programs), researchers in the field, key organizations, and federal agencies that may be of interest to the Scholars’ longer-term professional development.

Where is the Hispanic Center Research Scholars program located?

The Hispanic Center Research Scholars program will be remote. The Scholar will have regular check-ins with their mentor and with the Center leadership.

Do Hispanic Center Research Scholars receive funding?

Research Scholars will receive a stipend of a total of $7,500 for the program. The stipend is meant to provide as a subsistence allowance to help defray expenses during the Research Scholar’s program experience.

How many Hispanic Center Research Scholars will be funded this year?

The Center anticipates awarding two Research Scholar awards for the year 2019-2020.

I have other research projects and grants underway. Will it still be possible for me to continue work on them during the Hispanic Center Research Scholars program period?

The remote, part-time Hispanic Center Research Scholars program is expected to occur concurrently with outside graduate school work or post graduate work. We estimate that the time commitment devoted to the Research Scholars Program related activities to be approximately one day a week. However, the stipend payment is not tied to a specific level of effort.

Who should apply for a Hispanic Center Research Scholars award?

Individuals enrolled in a graduate program such as an advanced doctoral student (third year or higher), a postdoctoral researcher, or an early career scholar (up to 5 years post Ph.D.) who have:

  • A strong interest in conducting research to support the social and economic well-being of Hispanic children and families, low-income Hispanic populations, and an understanding of the cultural and linguistic diversity among Hispanic
  • Research or professional experience or interest related to (1) poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, (2) healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, (3) early care and education, or (4) cross-cutting topics.

Can postdocs apply for the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program?

Yes, the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program is open to emerging scholars ranging from advanced graduate students (those currently in their third year or higher of a Ph.D. program), postdocs, and early career scholars (up to 5 years post Ph.D.).

Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply for the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program?

The position does not have citizenship requirements. However, all Scholars must be authorized to work in the United States and will be asked to complete USCIS form I-9 on their first day.

How do I know if my research interests are a good fit with the Center?

Please see the description of the Center and our current research projects to determine if your interests are a good fit.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program?

If you have any questions, please contact hispanicresearchscholars@norc.org, with “Hispanic Center Research Scholars Program” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Past Research Scholars