About the Fellowship Program
In September 2013, CASCW received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand the infrastructure and capacity of the Center’s Minn-LInK Project through:
- integration of additional statewide administrative data,
- development of ready-to-use datasets and tools, and
- the creation and piloting of the Minn-LInK Doctoral Fellowship Program.
Fellows will have the opportunity to learn how to use administrative data for cross-systems research and evaluation purposes.
All Fellows will attend a weeklong training institute August 17-21, 2015, to become more familiar with cross-systems data and to better understand the complexities of the research that will be completed. Fellows will develop skills for conducting cross-systems research by:
- learning about hot topics in child well-being and needed areas of research;
- gaining a better understanding of methodology used in cross-systems research including
- working with and manipulating extremely large datasets,
- research question development and refinement, and
- linking, building, analyzing, & interpreting data; and
- targeting dissemination of research findings to a wide array of audiences.
Following the training institute, Fellows will work on their own research projects—known as Capstone Projects—using Minn-LInK’s integrated data. For more on the Capstone Project, click on the Capstone Project tab above.
In order to successfully complete the program, Fellows must fulfill the following requirements.
- Fellows will be expected to attend the entire training institute, to be held August 17-21, 2015.
- Fellows will be required to develop and complete a Capstone Project using integrated data.
- All data analysis MUST be performed on designated computers in Minn-LInK offices in Peters Hall, no exceptions.
- All Capstone research requires University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board approval.
- All Capstone Projects will be subjected to a 30-day review by CASCW state agency partners.
- Fellowship Mentor—As part of the application process, applicants should identify a mentor (likely their academic advisor or another mentor who can provide ongoing support) who agrees to:
- Provide a letter of recommendation for the applicant
- Once accepted, provide feedback on the Fellow’s proposal and project
- Participate in monthly progress meetings with Minn-LInK staff and the Fellow
- Review final Capstone project
- Minn-LInK Researchers—As part of the Fellowship program, Fellows will receive ongoing support and mentorship from Minn-LInK researchers in coordination with the identified mentor through:
- Development of data sets for research
- Assistance in understanding the data
- Address questions regarding the data cleaning, coding, analysis, and interpretation
- Monthly check-ins with Fellows
The Capstone builds on knowledge gained in the training institute and allows Fellows to gain applied experience conducting cross-systems research with support of mentors and Minn-LInK researchers. Fellows will begin Capstones in October 2015 and complete by May 2016. Findings from Capstone Projects will be presented in a 4-page Minn-LInK Brief. The Capstone Project may also be used as part of a dissertation, journal publication, or conference presentation. All Capstones require Institutional Review Board approval, as well as a 30-day review period with our state agency partners according to Minn-LInK protocol.
Resources to support Capstone Project proposal development include:
- Review the Minn-LInK page to learn about the project and the data available.
- Review Minn-LInK briefs to learn about previous studies, how Minn-LInK data can be used, and how Minn-LInK researchers keep local stakeholders informed of study findings.
- Check out the Minn-LInK introductory packet for more information about what data is available, previous research questions, and the Minn-LInK process.
- Read peer-reviewed, published articles to learn how Minn-LInK data can be used to advance science.
- Read dissertations developed from Minn-LInK studies to learn how doctoral students have used Minn-LInK as a cornerstone of their doctoral program.
- Interested PhD students must submit their Fellowship applications by 11:59 PM on March 11, 2015.
- Fellowship applicants must show an interest in conducting cross-systems research in child and/or family outcomes and demonstrate strong research-based skills, including experience using sound research methods and intermediate to advanced quantitative data analysis techniques.
- Applicants must be in good academic standing in their program and commit to all requirements of the Fellowship.
- Applicants will need to submit:
- An unofficial transcript;
- An essay describing their interest in cross-systems research, their experience working with quantitative data (experience working with large or complex data sets is preferable but not required), and how the Fellowship will be used in their academic career;
- A brief (3-5 page) Capstone proposal; and
- A letter of recommendation addressing the applicant’s readiness for cross-systems research, statistical ability, and how this work will support the student’s academic career (supplementary letters may submitted to cover any missing areas).We recommend that the recommendation letter be written by the applicant’s PhD advisor or someone who can speak about the applicant’s readiness for conducting cross-systems research using quantitative data.
Select applicants will be invited for interviews in April 1-10, 2015. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 24, 2015.
Reference the Resources tab for assistance with the development of the Capstone proposal.
Meet the Minn-LInK Doctoral Fellows
The Minn-LInK Doctoral Fellowship Program is intended to prepare future researchers for cross-systems research using integrated data to better understand child well-being. The Fellowship serves to train doctoral students to use integrated, cross-systems data for research and to better understand the complexities of this data. Each student will complete his or her own Capstone Project between September 2015 and May 2016 using data housed at Minn-LInK. The inaugural cohort of Fellows represent a variety of research interests and academic programs across the University.
Other suggested uses of this research experience include coursework, independent study, conference presentation, or peer-reviewed journal publication.
Application Process for the Minn-LInK Doctoral Fellowship
Thank you for your interest in the Minn-LInK Doctoral Fellowship. The application is now closed. The Fellowship will welcome its first cohort of PhD students in the 2015-2016 academic year.
The Fellowship Program will accept up to 7 PhD students from a variety of disciplines to spend the year developing and executing a cross-systems Capstone Project focusing on child and family outcomes using Minn-LInK’s integrated data.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SMA1338489.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.