Undergraduate Student Fellowships
Jacqueline Morris was the Center’s first undergraduate honors thesis student. She was a rising senior, majoring in psychology and public policy, when she passed away in a tragic car accident in her native Arizona in 2000. Her parents established the Jacqueline Anne Morris Memorial Foundation to support research by undergraduate students who, like their daughter, are “dynamic, bright, ambitious and idealistic.”
The foundation has endowed two fellowship programs to support students who are interested in conducting research in the following areas:
Morris Fellowship Award for Research on Child and Family Policy
Undergraduate students engaging independent research (e.g. honors thesis, independent study) on topics related to children and families can apply for the Morris Fellowship Award for Research in Child and Family Policy. To qualify, students must fill out an application, agree to share your research product with CCFP, and prepare a poster presenting your research results.
- Each award is for $1,000
Deadline to apply is September 29, 2023
- Apply now
Morris Fellowship Award for Research on Gifted and Talented Education
Undergraduate students engaging independent research (e.g. honors thesis, independent study) on policy issues regarding education of gifted and talented students can apply for Morris Fellowship Award for Research on Gifted and Talented Education. To qualify, students must fill out an application, agree to share your research product with CCFP, and prepare a poster presenting your research results.
- Each award is for $1,000
- Up to six awards may be granted each year
- Deadline to apply is September 29, 2023
- Apply now
2023-2024 Morris Fellows
Morris Fellowship Award Recipients for Research on Child and Family Policy:
- Jeslyn Brouwers is majoring in English and psychology, with a minor in philosophy. Her research project title is "Why Students Hate Group Projects: Understanding the Psychological Barriers to Group Work." Mentored by Bridgette Hard.
- Imani Hall is majoring in neuroscience, with a minor in psychology. Her research project title is “Examining the Importance of Parental Involvement for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Successful Implementation of Child Policies.” Mentored by Megan Golonka.
- Srinjoyi Lahiri is majoring in neuroscience, with a minor in computational media. Her research project title is “Harnessing Nostalgia for Enhanced Creativity and Collaboration in Education.” Mentored by Felipe De Brigard.
- Seth Liyanapathirana, Alekshyander Mishra, and Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan are working together on a research project, titled "Evaluating Mental Health Support and Outcomes for Orphaned and Separated Children in the Udayan Care Residential Care Program." Mentored by Sumedha Ariely. Seth is majoring in neuroscience and global health, with a certificate in health policy. Alek is majoring in biomedical engineering, with a minor in global health. Akhilesh is majoring in global health and public policy, with a minor in psychology.
- Alissa Rivero is majoring in psychology, with a minor in evolutionary anthropology. Her research project title is “How to Help Students ACE Group Projects.” Mentored by Bridgette Hard.
- Emma Xiong is majoring in psychology, with a minor in chemistry and education. Her research project title is “Perceptions of Health Education, School Lunches, and Nutrition Knowledge in High School Students.” Mentored by Susan Wynn.
Independent Study Opportunities
Dr. Kenneth Dodge is the William McDougall Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also a faculty fellow at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, which he founded in 1999. Dodge would like to work with a student who has ambitions to complete an honors thesis. Possible topics include prevention of child abuse and how chronic violence develops across the life span. He can provide access to several large, funded research studies that link social science to clinical practice and public policy.
Dr. Lisa Gennetian is the Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies at Duke University. She is an applied economist whose research straddles a variety of areas concerning child poverty from income security and stability to early care and education with a particular lens toward identifying causal mechanisms underlying how child poverty shapes children’s development. Dr. Gennetian is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years. Her recent work bridges poverty scholarship with a behavioral economic framework. “The Persistence of Poverty in the Context of Economic Instability: A Behavioral Perspective,” describes such a framework for poverty programs and policy, co-authored with Dr. Eldar Shafir and her co-authored publication “Behavioral Economics and Developmental Science,” further advances the application of behavioral economic insights to the arena of children’s development. Gennetian has since launched the beELL initiative; applying insights from behavioral economics to design strategies to support parent and family engagement in, and enhance the impacts of, existing childhood interventions. Dr. Gennetian also has a body of research examining poverty among Hispanic children and families, serving as a PI on several grants and a co-PI directing work on poverty and economic self-sufficiency at the National Center for Research on Hispanic Families.
Dr. Ben Goodman is a research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy. Trained as a developmental and prevention scientist, his work at the Center focuses on program evaluation, population approaches to promoting child and family health and well-being, and development of early childhood systems of care. His research also examines how sources of stress and support shape the quality of parent-child relationships, parents’ own well- being, and child development. Current research includes examining the implementation and impact of two universal interventions, Family Connects and Community Navigation, on population rates of child and family health and well-being.
Dr. Tamar Kushnir is a Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University, and the director of the Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory. Kushnir's research examines learning and conceptual change in young children with a focus on social learning and social cognition. Her work is motivated by a long-standing curiosity about the developing mind, and in particular by how children learn about themselves and others from actively exploring the world around them. Research topics include: mechanisms of causal learning, the developmental origins of our beliefs in free will and agency, cultural influences on early social and moral beliefs, normative reasoning, and epistemic trust, and the role of imagination in social cognition, motivation and decision making.
Dr. Jennifer Lansford is the director of the Center for Child and Family Policy and research professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. Dr. Lansford's research focuses on the development of aggression and other behavior problems in youth, with an emphasis on how family and peer contexts contribute to or protect against these outcomes. She examines how experiences with parents (e.g., physical abuse, discipline, divorce) and peers (e.g., rejection, friendships) affect the development of children's behavior problems, how influence operates in adolescent peer groups, and how cultural contexts moderate links between parenting and children's adjustment.
Dr. Helen Milojevich is a research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy. Dr. Milojevich is a developmental psychologist with a focus on program evaluation, quality improvement, and innovation of evidence-based interventions. She conducts research on the prevention of child maltreatment, as well as the impact of early adversity on children’s well-being and health.
Dr. Katie Rosanbalm is a research scholar with the Center for Child and Family Policy. Trained as a child clinical and quantitative psychologist, her work at the Center has focused on program evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, self-regulation development, and early childhood systems. Current research topics include: evaluation of a preschool social-emotional curriculum, coordination of child mental health and child welfare systems, and creation/evaluation of trauma-sensitive schools.
Dr. Anna Rybińska is a Research Scientist with the Center for Child and Family Policy. Trained as a social demographer and family sociologist, she is interested in family formation patterns and the differentiation of family behaviors across social and regional contexts. In her work, she ask questions about who has children and how many, when individuals have children, and how these transitions impact the well-being of parents and their children. Her research has addressed the following topics: childbearing intentions and unintended pregnancy; timing of childbearing; pregnancy spacing; pro-natalist policy interventions; prevention of child maltreatment/neglect; the role of social policy in perpetuating income inequality and family inequality.
Dr. Ann Skinner is a Research Scientist with the Center for Child and Family Policy and trained as a developmental psychologist. Most of her research includes partnerships with international colleagues to examine parent-child relationships, family functioning, and the development of aggression, anxiety, and depression in youth. Much of her work has focused on the impact of community-wide stressors like political and community violence on family wellbeing. She is also currently involved with research examining young adult substance use and self-regulation, and several projects examining the impact of COVID-19 on families internationally.
Dr. Liz Snyder, a research scientist with the Center for Child and Family Policy, is trained as an experimental psychologist, with a focus on cognitive development. Since joining the Center in 2006, her work has focused on program evaluation within the child welfare and mental health systems. Currently, she serves as the evaluation co-director for the SAMHSA child mental health initiative in Durham, North Carolina. This grant builds upon Durham’s System of Care by targeting transition-age youth (16-21) who are experiencing mental health challenges. Another project includes the evaluation of the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI), which is modeled after the acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), and seeks to provide a pipeline of services and supports that allows children to become high academic achievers and successfully complete college or vocational training. A third evaluation project includes the Book Babies Home Visiting program in Durham.