Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship

The Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship provides partial support to social work doctoral candidates who are engaged in dissertation research in welfare policy and practice. The fellowship program was established in 1987 as a tribute to Dr. Eileen Blackey, who was the Dean of the University of California-Los Angeles School of Social Welfare and a pioneer in the planning and use of staff development programs in public welfare agencies and in the U.S. Veterans Administration.

About The Fellowship And Its Namesake

Dr. Eileen Blackey (1902-1979) was known for methods that enabled professionals to identify and address the social needs of society from the unique social work perspective. She also was instrumental in establishing schools of social work at the University of Hawaii and the University of Puerto Rico. She had a capacity to sort out the needs in a society in which social work has a unique contribution and to shape a curriculum geared to prepare students to effectively meet those needs. Dr. Blackey is a member of the NASW Social Work Pioneers®.  To learn more about her achievements, please follow this link to her NASW Pioneer biography.

Eileen Blackey Fellowship Guidelines

The Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship is awarded based on the projected annual earnings to the fund and contributions. In recent years, the fellowship has been awarded in the amount of $4,000 to $6,500. One fellowship is awarded to a social work doctoral candidate whose dissertation focuses on welfare policy and practice. Dissertations that include a diversity component are encouraged. Diversity is taking on broader meaning and includes race and ethnicity, as well as the sociocultural experiences of people of different genders, social classes, religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, ages, and physical and mental abilities.

The fellowship award will be disbursed directly to the recipient's university. Funds in the amount of $500 will be earmarked for conferences and professional development. As part of the award, the recipient will be expected to attend and participate in NASW's National Leadership Conference in 2021 and submit a final dissertation to the NASW Foundation upon completion. Expenses for conferences and professional development must be approved through the NASW Foundation and funds will not be disbursed directly to the recipient.

Application Requirements For The Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship

  • NASW member in good standing. Awardee must remain a member in good standing throughout the award period.
  • Application form.
  • Three-page proposal summary (double-spaced). The summary must include objectives of the project, statement of relevance and significance, project design and methodology, the expected dissertation completion date, and itemized budget. If the applicant's university requires an administration fee to process and administer the award, the maximum amount that can be paid with fellowship funding for this indirect expense is 10% of the total of the award.. 
  • Written statement from doctoral dissertation chair verifying doctoral candidacy.
  • Student profile or curriculum vitae.
  • Signed release of information. 

Only completed applications will be considered. Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • relevance and timeliness of project, i.e., need in the field; 
  • quality of project design; and,
  • potential for completion.

Questions should be directed to: naswfoundation@socialworkers.org.

Eileen Blackey Fellowship Recipients

  • 2020-2021  Shih-Ying Cheng, MSW, Washington University in St. Louis. "Lethal Violence against Female Intimate Partners: Analysis of Recent Trend and Racial/Ethnic Differences in the U.S."
  • 2019-2020  Kess L. Ballentine, MSW, MA, University of Pittsburgh. "An Examination of How Single Parents Navigate Work, School, and Home Systems to Promote Child Well-Being While Working Low-Wage Hospital Jobs."
  • 2018-2019 — Jon D. Phillips, LSW, University of Denver.  "Working Together to Achieve Safe and Timely Reunification: A Mixed-Methods Study of Interprofessional Collaboration in Child Welfare."
  • 2017-2018 — June Paul, University of Wisconsin-Madison. ''In search of understanding: Support networks for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) young people aging out of foster care.
  • 2016-2017 — Jennifer O'Brien, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Risk Factors, Protective Factors, and Identification Practices For Child Welfare Involved Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Survivors."
  • 2015 — Stacia West, University of Kansas, longitudinal analyses of the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation to discern if and how financial fragility is related to housing instability for a representative sample of household headed by a single mother to inform social welfare policy that may help prevent financial fragility for single mother headed households.
  • 2014 — Jennifer Scott, Doctoral Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin."Working on the Margins: Latino Immigrants, Citizenship and Low-Wage Labor in Texas." 
  • 2013 — Jacqueline Richardson-Melecio, PhD Candidate.  University of Albany, NY, School of Social Welfare. "The Integration of Cultural Competency in the Delivery of Mental Health Services to Latinos, A Social Work Perspective." 
  • 2012 — Award not given.  Award panel determined no proposal meeting all of the criteria and guidelines was received.
  • 2011 —  Benjamin Roth, The School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago."Immigrant Integration in Two Chicago Suburbs."  
  • 2010 — Jennifer Courtney, University at Albany – SUNY, School of Social Welfare. "The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Family Workshop: A Pilot Study of Preliminary Outcomes and Effect Sizes of an Attachment-Based Intervention for Family Members of Veterans with Combat-Related PTSD."
  • 2009 — Miguelina Leon, National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University of America. Examine the relationship between socio-economic status, social capital and HIV-related sexual risk behavior among African American and Latina women. 
  • 2008 — Laura Brierton Granruth, National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University of America. "The Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Selected Children’s Educational Health and Economic Outcomes: An Exploratory Study."
  • 2007 —  Anna L. Zendell, School of Social Welfare, University at Albany. "Decision-Making Processes among Sibling Caregivers of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities." 
  • 2006 — Patricia M. Carlson, University of Connecticut, School of Social Work. "The Influence of Employment Related Supports and Services on Successful TANF Exists: A Sequential Explanatory Mixed Methods Analysis." 
  • 2005 — Award not given.  Award panel determined no proposal meeting all of the criteria and guidelines was received.
  • 2004 — Award not given Award panel determined no proposal meeting all of the criteria and guidelines was received. 
  • 2003 — Mona Basta, University of Pennsylvania. "The Role of Information Flow and Trust Dynamics in Child Care Decision Making: The Case of Philadelphia." 
  • 2002 — Silvia Domínguez, Boston University. "The Role of Social Networks and Social Services in Shaping the Mobility Prospects of Latin-American Women Living in Public Housing." 
  • 2001 — Award not given.  Award panel determined no proposal meeting all of the criteria and guidelines was received.  
  • 2000 — The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. "The Benefits and Costs of the Virginia Domestic Violence Policy and their Implications for Law Enforcement and the Social Services." 
  • 1999 — Louisiana State University. "Impact of New Federal Welfare Law on Domestic Violence, Employment, and the Well Being of Welfare Recipients." 
  • 1991 — Marcia Meyers, University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1990 — Pamela Strother, State University of New York, Albany.
  • 1989 — Shirley McSharry, University of Utah.
  • 1988 — Helen E. Petracchi, University of Wisconsin.
  • 1987— Allison Zippay, University of California, Berkeley.
Three Social Work HEALS Scholars At 2018 NASW National Conference

Social Work HEALS Scholars following a luncheon the June 2018 NASW National Conference in Washington, DC. Left to right: Eun Ha Namkung, MSW, June Paul, MSW, and Sara Green, MA. HEALS Scholars participate in NASW Conference as part of scholarship requirements.

2017-2018 Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellow - June Paul, MSW

2017-2018 Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellow, June Paul, MSW, dissertation research: "In search of understanding: Support networks for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) young people aging out of foster care in Wisconsin.''

Young Woman Engrossed In Application At Table


MSW Scholarship Applications will be accepted through March 8, 2023.

The Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship program is paused for the 2023-2024 academic year. No fellowships will be given. Please check back in 2024 for updated information.

Read bios of current NASW Foundation Scholars and Fellows by following this link



Please contact us at governance@socialworkers.org.

 Your Search For All Things Social Work Begin With NASW Press.