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Patrice L Engle Dissertation Award For Global Early Child Development

As a legacy to Pat Engle, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, along with her friends and colleagues, have established the Patrice L Engle Dissertation Award For Global Early Child Development to provide opportunities for junior scholars from or working in developing countries to conduct dissertation research in global early child development.

The award includes US$5000 to support dissertation research and a 2-year student membership to the Society for Research in Child Development.

For more information about the award see or request information from

Patrice L. Engle, Ph.D. (1944-2012) was a pioneer and leader in global early child development. Following formal training in psychology at Stanford University, she launched a highly productive career that included positions in academia and international agencies. She worked to ensure that children throughout the world received the health care, nutrition, nurturance, and early learning opportunities they needed to be successful. Recognizing that disparities early in life (even before birth) often interfere with children’s ability to reach their developmental potential, she sought to evaluate and identify effective intervention programs that could be integrated with other systems and scaled up. Pat’s contributions included hands-on programmatic work with field staff, scholarly analyses with interdisciplinary colleagues, and advocacy with country-level policy makers. The best legacy to Pat is to ensure that junior scholars are well trained in the science-to-policy model that guided her work in global early child development.

To read more about Pat's life and accomplishments click here

Applicant Eligibility and Responsibility

  1. Dissertation research in global early child development with a one-year Grant for $5,000. The developmental focus of the research should include children, prenatal to 6 years of age living in low- or middle- income countries, as defined by the World Bank.  Potential topics could include (but not limited to):
    • The effectiveness of different models of parenting support on early child development.
    • Examination of how child care programs promote child development and family involvement. 
    • The effectiveness of 2-generation programs that provide maternal and child support.
    • Innovative strategies to integrate programs that promote early child development with health or nutritional services for young children.
    • Innovative strategies to integrate child development interventions with social protection services or programs to promote maternal mental health or education.
    • Innovative strategies to involve fathers and other extended family members in early child development programs.
    • Development of measurement strategies, indicators, and assessment tools for children and family interactions that can be implemented with reliability in low resource settings.
    • Strategies for effective scale-up of demonstration programs. 
  2. ​If selected to recieve a grant, applicant will be provided with a free 2-year SRCD student membership.
  3. Grantees are encouraged to submit an abstract to the SRCD Biennial meeting following the completion of their research. Grantees from low- or middle-income countries are encouraged to apply to SRCD for international travel funds to attend the SRCD Biennial meeting. 

Applicant Eligibility:

  • Any field of study that links to global early child development is acceptable;
  • Attend a recognized university in the United States or a recognized non-US university  that is able to receive and process grant awards from the United States, with preference given to students from low- or middle-income countries;
  • Be enrolled and in good standing in a doctoral program at a degree-granting university, and have advanced to candidacy and completed required coursework;
  • Be committed to completing a dissertation in global early child development, as demonstrated by approval from  a dissertation committee;
  • Agree to report progress to The Patrice L. Engle Grant Committee by submitting an interim report 6 months following the receipt of funds, a final report at 12 months, and notice of delays or irregularities.
  • Advisor must agree that the applicant is in good standing, is ready to complete the dissertation, and that the advisor will supervise the applicant and ensure that the reports are submitted.

Selection Criteria:

  • Career and project relevance to global child development;
  • Promise of research plan in terms of creativity, innovation, significance, and intellectual rigor;
  • Need for funds to conduct the research;
  • Likelihood for success including advisor support.

Grantee Commitment:

  • Acknowledge support from the Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant in Global Early Child Development within the dissertation and in publications that result from the Grant;
  • Secure Human Subjects approval (or exemption) if any portion of the project involves human subjects and provide the Grant Committee with a copy of the approval (or exemption);

Application Instructions

The dissertation application is for one year and should be able to document measurable results by the end of the Grant period. The application should address global early child development, with an emphasis on low- or middle-income countries. Applicants may be from any country; only one proposal will be accepted from any student. Budgets may not exceed US $5,000. The applications will be reviewed by The Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant Committee. The number of applications approved depends on the amount of funding available. Plans are to continue the dissertation grant annually, as long as funds are available.

The 2013 Deadline for the Application is April 30th. Applications must be sent via email to Applicants will be notified of decisions by June 30, 2013. Funds will be disbursed after Grantees have met the commitments outlined above.

Application Format
The application should not exceed 6 single-spaced, typed pages with font size no smaller than 11. Proposals not sent in this 6-page format or received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be submitted by email ( and will be acknowledged upon receipt. Previous Grant winners are not eligible for a second Grant.

Cover page must include: (1 page)

  • Institutional Assurance – including institutional signature (i.e., Grants & Contracts/Sponsored Research Office), signifying the institution’s acceptance of guidelines and acknowledgement of application.
  • Name and contact information (email, fax, phone, address) for applicant; name and contact email of advisor
  • Title, 2-3 sentence description of the proposed project
  • Anticipated date of graduation, discipline, and degree 

Application narrative: (2-3 pages)
All of the following points must be presented and discussed:

  • Title and abstract
  • Background of the project and conceptual frame
  • Aims /objectives and significance
  • Methods 
  • Data analysis plan
  • Timeline
  • Implications of the project
  • Applicant’s future goals
  • Brief paragraph summarizing the applicant’s past educational/professional history
  • Assurance that the applicant will submit an interim report (6 months after initial receipt of funds) and final report (12 months after receiving funds) to The Patrice L. Engle Grant Committee and that the applicants will inform the Committee of any delays or irregularities

Advisor’s statement (1 page)
The Advisor should address the following points:

  • Advisor’s name and contact information (email, fax, phone, address, department)
  • Applicant’s anticipated date of graduation and degree
  • Assurance that the applicant is in good standing within the university
  • Assurance that the university is able to accept funds and use them to support the applicant’s project
  • Assurance that the project has been reviewed and accepted by the applicant’s dissertation committee
  • Assurance that the Advisor will oversee the proposed project
  • Assurance that the Advisor will work with the applicant to submit an interim report (6 months after initial receipt of funds) and final report (12 months after receiving funds) to The Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant Committee
  • Assurance that the Advisor will inform The Patrice L. Engle Grant Committee of any delays or irregularities in the progress of the project
  • Brief statement about the student and why the student would make good use of this Grant. 

Budget: (1 page and not to exceed $5,000)

  • Detailed categories and justification of how funds will be used to support the dissertation proposal
  • Allowable expenses include:
    • Domestic and international travel for field, laboratory and archival research; data collection; and meetings. Funds must be directly related to completing the dissertation. Conference attendance is given low priority and must be directly related to the dissertation research.
    • Computing, equipment, or supplies needed to carry out the proposed research lab analyses, and other costs necessary to the research.
    • Payment for field or research assistants, if well justified as to why this work could not be done by the applicant.
    • Stipends for periods of field and archival research if well justified and when no other source of support is available.
  • Expenses that are not allowed include:
    • Salaries, tuition, or associated academic/educational fees.
    • Secretarial/administrative support.
    • Indirect costs or institutional overhead assessments.
    • Reimbursement for activities that occur before the project period begins or after the project period ends.

All communication should be directed to

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Published Mar. 21, 2013 12:58 PM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2013 3:31 PM