Hiram E. Fitzgerald Engaged Scholar Fellowship


Hiram E. FitzgeraldHiram Fitzgerald, PhD began his academic career at Michigan State University in 1967. He was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology who studied the development of infants and very young children. His research on the long-term impacts of adverse childhood experiences on infants and young children is evidenced in over 500 scholarly works, including journal articles, chapters, books and technical reports. In recognition of the impact of his research, teaching and community engagement, Michigan State University conferred him with the title of University Distinguished Professor in 1998.

Fitzgerald served as President and executive director for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the International Association for Infant Mental Health. He was a founder of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, for which he served as Executive Director for 16 years. He was a founder and President of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. He served many years on the steering committees of the Native Children’s Research Exchange, the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, the National Evaluation of Early Head Start and the Tribal Family and Children’s Experiences Survey national study. For 30 years he was associated with the Michigan Longitudinal Study of Family Risk for Alcoholism over the Life Course. Fitzgerald has received the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Association’s Selma Fraiberg Award, the ZERO TO THREE Dolley Madison Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Development and Well Being of Very Young Children, was named an Honorary President of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, and is a Fellow the Association of Psychological Science, and of 5 Divisions of the American Psychological Association. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the Michigan Campus Compact, and was elected Member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship and was named to the International Association for Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

Eligibility and Application Information

Recipients shall be MSU graduate students in any field of study who are engaged in practice and/or research that has to do with adverse childhood experiences whether or not their work is focused on children. Their work does not have to be on young children or parents of young children exclusively – it can extend to populations of any age as long as it is connected to the impacts of adversity in childhood.

The desire behind this Fellowship is to support students who are practitioners and/or researchers who will use the funding to learn more about a subject that will make them more effective in the area of preventing or addressing the impact of adversity in childhood.

Due to travel constraints in 2020-21, there will be two application deadlines, August 3 and October 19. The call for applications for the August 3 date opens June 29, 2020. The call for applications for the October 19 date opens September 28, 2020.

The application must include:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. A short statement (1-2 pages) that addresses each of the following points:
      • Briefly describe your area of community-engaged research and/or practice. Please include specific examples.
      • How is your research and/or practice related to early childhood well-being or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)?
      • How will receiving this Fellowship enhance your work?
      • Please include a budget for how you will use the funds from this Fellowship and any specific information such as the name/date/location of the conference or training.
  3. Current CV or resume.
  4. An endorsement by your major professor or graduate program director.

Funding of the Award

Based on the number of applications, multiple awards may be made during each application period. Due to travel constraints in 2020-21, the minimum amount of the award will be $500. The funds will be awarded as a fellowship during Fall Semester (for the August 3 deadline) and Spring Semester (for the October 19 deadline). Students must be enrolled in the semester in which they receive the funding. The awardees will express acceptance and appreciation of the award in writing to donors within two weeks of notification in order to receiving the funding.

Given the uncertainty of the current circumstances, plans may have to change (conferences may be cancelled, travel may not be possible, etc.). If that is the case, it is assumed that awardees will use the funds to further their education and enhance their own learning in some other meaningful way. Within 30 days of using these funds or by the end of the academic year, whichever comes first, awardees must send a brief report of how they were able to make use of the funds and reflections about what they gained from the experience. This response does not need to be more than a paragraph or two.

Suggestion on Travel or Professional Development

The current pandemic has canceled many in-person conferences. Thus other options for using the Hiram E. Fitzgerald Engaged Scholar Fellowship include (but are not limited to) traveling to a job interview, participating in an online training session, attending a virtual conference, presenting at a virtual conference.