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NASW Foundation National Programs

Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship

The Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship Program 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.

Dr. Blackey's methods enabled professionals to identify and to address the social needs of society from the unique social work perspective. Blackey, who died in 1979, was also instrumental in establishing schools of social work at the University of Hawaii and the University of Puerto Rico.

The Blackey Fellowship is awarded based on the projected annual earnings to the fund and contributions. To make a donation, click below. A panel reviews applicants and selects the award recipient.

One fellowship in the amount of $10,000 will be awarded in the 2015-2016 academic year 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 is to include 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. 

A total of $7,000 will be disbursed directly to the recipient’s university. An additional $3,000 will be earmarked for conferences and professional development. As part of the award, the 2015 - 2016 recipient will be expected to attend at least one National Conference and participate in a poster session during the award period to present the study purpose/study question 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.

Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship Guidelines

In 2015 - 2016 , the program supported the following dissertation research topic:

  • 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.
  • Previous Award Recipients



The open call for online applications for the 2016-2017 awards will begin in January 2016.


Refer to the award guidelines for eligibility criteria and requirements.

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