Research Scholars Program


The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (the Center) invites advanced doctoral students (those with All-But-Dissertation, or “ABD”, status) and early career scholars (up to five years post-Ph.D.) to submit applications for its Research Scholars Program. Up to two awards will be given to scholars to work remotely with a Center mentor in an applied research setting and be part of a collaborative research team. Scholars will collaborate with Center investigators on an existing project in one of the following areas: early care and education; poverty reduction and self-sufficiency; and cross-cutting topics (click here for a description of each area).

Mentorship: Each Scholar will be matched with and mentored by one of the Center’s investigators. This mentor will meet weekly with the Scholar and help identify the scope of the Scholar’s work to be completed during the Program and support their professional development. The Scholar will also receive support from other Center staff to further advance their overall professional development goals, as appropriate. Learn more about the Center investigators.

Collaboration and Networking: Scholars are expected to attend biweekly calls with the Steering Committee (composed of the Center’s Director, Co-Investigators, and Federal Program Officers) and will have the opportunity to share their proposed work with and receive feedback from the Committee. They will also have opportunities to participate in Center capacity-building and professional development activities, such as webinars; conference panels; mentoring and networking activities; developing interactive data tools, Hispanic Family Facts, or data training events; and training in accessible writing and applying a race equity lens to research communications.

Funding: We anticipate funding up to two Scholars in 2021. Each Scholar will receive a $10,000 stipend for a 12-month period. The estimated time commitment to Program-related activities is approximately one day’s worth per week.

Our team values equity and recognizes that systemic discrimination has negatively impacted the well-being of individuals, families, and communities who also are underrepresented in the research field. As researchers, we aim to be accountable for promoting equity by centering the lived experiences of these individuals in our research. We strongly encourage scholars from Hispanic-serving institutions and/or populations that are historically underrepresented in research and academic fields (e.g., Hispanics, first-generation graduate students, first-generation immigrants) to apply.

The 2021 application period is now closed. 

2021 Research Scholars

Abigail Palmer Molina, MA, LCSW, is a PhD candidate at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Her research seeks to promote the well-being of low-income young children and families by advocating for the expansion of two-generation and whole-family approaches across service sectors, including early childhood education, children’s mental health, and home visiting. She is interested in understanding the effects of ecological risk factors on maternal mental health, parenting, and child development, and supporting mothers from historically marginalized populations, particularly Latina mothers. Her NIMH-funded dissertation uses a transformative mixed methods approach to examine the effectiveness and implementation of a maternal depression intervention for predominantly Latina immigrant mothers in the Head Start program. Abigail completed her MA at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and subsequently held a fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center.

Diana Cordova-Cobo, MA, is a PhD candidate in the Sociology and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is also a research associate at the Center for Understanding Race and Education. Her research interests focus on Latinx families’ experiences with education and housing. Most recently, her work explored the gentrification of public schools and neighborhoods in New York City (NYC) and how schools and public policies best serve the interests of lower-income families of color in the context of gentrification. Diana’s dissertation explores Latinx parents’ decision to either stay in gentrifying city neighborhoods or leave for nearby suburbs in the NYC metropolitan area post-2000. Prior to starting her PhD program, Diana was a middle school teacher in NYC. She holds an MA in Social Studies Education from Teachers College and a BA in Political Science with honors from the University of Florida.

2020 Research Scholars

C. Andrew Conway, MSW, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, where he serves as a research assistant in the Latinx Immigrant Family Experiences (LIFE) Lab. His research interests focus on the mental health and well-being of immigrant Latino families. He is also interested in the unique Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) of immigrant Latino youth. Andrew completed his Master of Social Work degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, followed by a post-graduate fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. As a 2020 Research Scholar, Andrew is working with Dr. Maria Ramos-Olazagasti on a project examining the mental health status of Hispanic parents in low income households and exploring variation across nativity, country of origin, and acculturation level.

Ying-Chun Lin, MSW, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University’s Social Science Research Institute. Her research interests focus on the intersections of early care and education (ECE), the well-being of economically disadvantaged children and children of immigrants, and public policy. Her dissertation examined access to center-based ECE among children of immigrants with a particular focus on structural factors. Ying-Chun completed her Master of Social Work degree at Washington University in St. Louis and holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a 2020 Research Scholar, Ying-Chun is working with Dr. Danielle Crosby and Dr. Julia Mendez on a project examining how state Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) policies are implemented in North Carolina and how differing practices affect Hispanic families’ experiences in accessing CCDF subsidies.

Past Research Scholars

2019 Research Scholars

Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Ph.D.

Megan Finno-Velasquez, Ph.D.

2016 Research Scholars

Zoelene Hill, Ph.D.

Christina Padilla, M.P.P., Ph.D.

2015 Research Scholars

Wyatt Clarke, Ph.D.

Soojin Oh Park, Ph.D.

2014 Research Scholars

Marta Alvira-Hammond, M.A.

Arya Ansari, Ph.D.

Henry Gonzalez, Ph.D.