Mortensen Awarded Fellowship for Research in Child Development

Jennifer Mortensen, a doctoral candidate in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been selected to receive a Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. This dissertation fellowship is designed to identify and develop a new generation of leaders interested in and capable of creating practice and policy initiatives that will enhance child development and improve the nation's ability to prevent all forms of child maltreatment. The fellowship is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Chapin Hall, a policy research institute at the University of Chicago.

Fellows receive an annual stipend of $25,000 for up to two years to support the completion of their dissertation and related research at their academic institution. Up to 15 fellowships are awarded annually. Fellows are guided by an academic mentor whom they select; fellows also identify a policy or program mentor to assist them in better understanding how to frame their research questions with an eye toward maximizing policy and practice relevance.

Because the promotion of child well-being and the prevention of child maltreatment require knowledge and collaboration from diverse fields, the fellowship program is multidisciplinary. Fellows are selected from a range of academic disciplines, including social work, public health, medicine, public policy, education, economics, psychology, and epidemiology. Chapin Hall is also building a peer learning network among the fellows and mentors through a series of in-person meetings, webinars, conference calls, and social networking opportunities.

Mortensen earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in human development and family studies, both at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research is focused on understanding how healthy, positive parent-child interactions can act as a buffer against other stressors to children who live in economically disadvantaged families and communities.

Contact name: 
Melissa Barnett
Contact email:
Released date: 
Mar 12 2013