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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 will be awarded in the 2014-2015 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. 

The NASW Foundation is pleased to announce, with a generous grant from the New York Community Trust Robert and Ellen Popper Scholarship Fund, the 2014-2015 fellowship will increase from $3,000 to $15,000 (historically the Blackey Fellowship has been awarded based on projected annual earnings and contributions). The increased funding will raise the prestige/stature of the Blackey Fellowship and will allow for leadership development of the recipient.

A total of $12,000 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 2014-2015 recipient will be expected to participate in a poster session to present the study purpose/study question and submit a final dissertation to the NASW Foundation upon completion. It is hoped that the recipient will be available to participate in a poster session at the 2014 NASW National Conference, Social Work: Courage, Hope and Leadership -Washington, DC – July 23-26, 2014. Expenses for conferences and professional development must be approved through the NASW Foundation and funds will not be disbursed directly to the recipient.

The recipient will also engage in a mentoring partnership with a NASW leader matched with the recipient’s particular area of research.

Eileen Blackey Doctoral Fellowship Guidelines

In 2014, the program will support the following dissertation research topic:



Online applications for the 2014 - 2015 award are no longer being accepted. 


Refer to the award guidelines for eligibility criteria and requirements.


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