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The James J. Gallagher Dissertation Award was established in 2002 to provide support for dissertation research projects focused on issues related to child development or family support. Priority is given to research that focuses on young children, children with disabilities, or gifted children and has relevance to child and family policy. Dr. Gallagher was the director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) from 1970 to 1987. He passed away in January 2014. The dissertation award is funded by an endowment established in his honor. Dr. Gallagher’s work focused on children at both ends of the developmental spectrum—those with disabilities or risk conditions and those who are gifted.

The amount of the award for 2016 is $3,000. The recipient must be a graduate student currently enrolled at UNC-CH who has successfully defended his or her dissertation proposal and has an approved plan of research or will have an approved plan by August 2016. The research may already be underway or just beginning. The funds may be used to support research expenses such as data collection, mileage, copying, participant payments, or salary support for the dissertation student or data collectors. The award should not supplant other funds that are already committed to the student’s research and the award cannot fund tuition.

Proposals are due on Friday, April 22, 2016 and are limited to 5 pages. The proposal should include a description of the research questions and procedures, the policy relevance of the work, an explanation of how the award would be used, and contact information for the student. The proposal should also include a letter from the faculty advisor summarizing the student’s academic work to date (not to count in the 5-page limit). If the proposed work is not yet approved by the student’s committee, the advisor’s letter should indicate the date by which approval is expected.

In granting the award, the review committee will consider the importance of the topic and its relevance to child and family policy, the extent to which the research will contribute to the scientific knowledge base in the field, the extent to which the findings will result in information that can be used in designing or improving programs for children and their families, the originality of the proposal, the quality of the student’s academic work, and need. The award will be announced in early summer. The recipient will be expected to attend the FPG annual meeting in the fall and to make a presentation on the research at a FPG seminar in spring 2017.

Proposals (including letters of reference) should be submitted either electronically or hard copy. Electronic submissions should be sent to Hard copies should be sent to Marie Huff at CB# 8180, FPG Child Development Institute. Please call Marie Huff with questions about the application process (919-966-1702).

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