Ph.D. scholarships

School of Social Work resources

Graduate research assistantships, university fellowships and tuition assistance

Graduate research assistantships, university fellowships and full- or partial-tuition assistance are available to most full-time Ph.D. students in their first four years. Some traineeships and scholarships are also available to full- and part-time students and are awarded based on availability and student qualifications and interests.

The Frank and Pat Baskind Gift-Giving Fund for Students with Special Needs

Established in 2010, The Frank and Patricia Baskind Gift-Giving Scholarship for Students with Special Needs awarded to part- and full-time B.S.W., M.S.W. or Ph.D. students who have "special needs," broadly defined to include students who are working parents returning to school, health emergencies, facing extreme financial hardships or a particularly challenging situation concurrent with the pursuit of their degree.

Hans Falck Doctoral Scholarship

The School of Social Work awards the Hans S. Falck Scholarship to registered Ph.D. student who has successfully passed their comprehensive examinations and is actively engaged in conducting their dissertation research that seeks to advance knowledge about human health and community. To apply for the scholarship, students should submit:

  • An up-to-date vita
  • A cover letter that describes their dissertation research, including a timeline for completion of the research, and discusses how the scholarship dollars will be used in the conduct of the research
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s dissertation chair that includes an assessment of the Ph.D. candidate’s progress toward the completion of the degree

Hurtado Family Endowed Scholarship

Established in 2009, The Hurtado Family Endowed Scholarship supports students who demonstrate potential success and leadership in the profession. The Hurtado Scholarship is awarded to full-time B.S.W., M.S.W. or Ph.D. students based on academic performance (2.0 minimum cumulative GPA), future career potential, and leadership skills. Preference given to single parents first, then U.S. veterans, and finally U.S. citizens who would not qualify for other scholarships based on GPA.

Robin M. McKinney Dissertation Honor Fund

The School of Social Work Dissertation Honor Fund was renamed in memory of Robin Michele McKinney, a doctoral candidate who passed away unexpectedly in February 2010. McKinney was actively working on her dissertation, a project to help us better understand the disproportionate incidence and impact of intimate partner violence on African-American women. The Robin M. McKinney Dissertation Honor Fund supports doctoral student research that strives to make a difference in the lives of people served by social workers and expand our knowledge base for developing and sustaining responsive client-centered human services and culturally relevant programs and services. Given to those whose research seeks to expose social injustices or advance social justice, or extend our appreciation of, and response to, the diversity of human experience.

McGrath Morris Doctoral Fellowship

Created by alumna Patty McGrath Morris, Ph.D. (M.S.W. ’03; Ph.D. ’05), and her husband, James, the McGrath Morris Fellowship provides a two-week writing retreat at the Morrises’ casita in Tesuque, New Mexico, near Santa Fe, a peaceful, creative environment conducive to thinking, conceptualizing and creative problem-solving. In addition, the fellowship provides a $1,000 stipend to cover travel and other expenses.

Dr. Robert Green “Just Research” Award

The Dr. Robert Green Just Research Award, formerly the Just Research Fund, was established by Dr. Robert Green and his wife, Frances. Dr. Green (B.S. '67, M.S.W. '70). He taught at VCU for 30 years and was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. He served as faculty field liaison for the MSW program, as director of the school's Ph.D. program, and was also appointed to the faculties of the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences and to the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine. The Dr. Robert Green Just Research Award is given to Ph.D. and M.S.W. research poster winners at the annual VCU School of Social Work Research Symposium.