CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2021 MAST Center Small Grant Program

Application period has closed

The MAST Center’s Small Grant Program provides a financial stipend (up to $750) to up to 10 emerging scholars in an HMRE-related field (e.g., human development, family science, sociology, demography, psychology, program evaluation) to cover costs associated with certain professional development activities.

The stipends will be awarded in August 2021 and can be used to cover professional development costs during the 2021-2022 academic year. Approved professional development activities include conference registration costs, secondary data licenses, research-related training opportunities (e.g., short courses), journal publishing fees, professional conference travel fees, or other activities that directly support professional development.1 During the 2021-2022 academic year, award winners will also have the opportunity attend a virtual networking event with MAST Center scholars.

Our team values equity and recognizes that systemic discrimination has negatively impacted the well-being of individuals, families, and communities from groups who are also underrepresented in the research field. As researchers, we aim to be accountable for promoting equity by centering the lived experiences of disabled, socioeconomically disadvantaged, LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, and people of color in our research. We also believe that people who have lived experience in the criminal justice and foster care systems bring important perspectives that are too often missing in research. Hence, we strongly encourage people with these lived experiences and identities to apply.


  • Applicants must be a graduate student—currently enrolled and in good standing in a graduate program as a master’s or Ph.D. student—or an early career professional (within 3 years of completing a master’s or Ph.D program).
  • Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in further developing their research expertise in 1) marriage, romantic relationships, and families and/or 2) HMRE program implementation and effectiveness.

Application Details

Applicants will need to submit:

  • Letter of interest that includes:
    • The applicant’s contact information (e.g., name, address, phone number(s), email address)
    • The applicant’s graduate institution, program, and expected completion date (for current students), or current position and graduation date (for recent graduates)
    • The name and contact information of two references.
    • A personal statement (no more than 500 words) that speaks to the following four dimensions:
        • Demonstrates how the applicant’s research agenda and work supports the HMRE field (i.e., marriage, romantic relationships, and families and/or HMRE program implementation and effectiveness).
        • Describes any relevant background, experiences, coursework, and skills that will inform the applicant’s ability to center equity and cultural responsiveness in their work.
        • Identifies the specific professional development activity/ies the award will fund (please include the cost for each specific activity).
        • Details how the activity/ies support(s) the applicant’s professional development in the HMRE field
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the applicant’s educational background, publications, presentations, and any other relevant professional or personal experience
  • Unofficial graduate school transcript

Submission Guidelines

Application period has closed

Please submit your letter of interest, CV, and graduate school transcript (in one PDF if possible) to [email protected] by July 15, 2021, 5:00 PM ET. Please reference “MAST Center Small Grant Program” in the subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered. We will email a confirmation that your application was received within 2 business days. No phone calls please. Applicants will be notified of the success of their applications by August 26, 2021.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Includes all components of the application and demonstrates eligibility.
  • Adequate discussion of the four dimensions requested in the personal statement: (1) alignment of research interests with HMRE field; 2) demonstrated ability to center equity and cultural responsiveness in the applicant’s research or previous work; 3) identified professional development activity(ies), and 4) the extent to which the professional development activity will advance the applicant’s professional goals and the HMRE field.
  • The application is clearly written and copy edited.


1 The award will not support memberships to professional organizations.

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