Doctoral Scholars in MCH Research


The Doctoral Scholars in Maternal and Child Health Research (MCH Doctoral Scholars Program) is a merit-based scholarship funded with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The MCH Doctoral Scholars Program provides support for outstanding doctoral students to pursue research in areas related to the health and well-being of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents. Eligible doctoral students enrolled at the University of South Carolina are invited to submit a 3-page grant proposal describing a research project that can be completed within one year.

Each Doctoral Scholar is awarded up to $3,000, and the funding can be used for salary, tuition support, supplies for data collection and analysis, domestic travel, and other research-related costs essential for the project’s completion.

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    Eligibility Requirements

    • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Student must be enrolled as a USC doctoral student from application submission through the entire funding period (ends May 1, 2025)
    • Doctoral applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate coursework (minimum 12 credit hours)*
    • Minimum graduate USC cumulative GPA: 3.0
    • Student must identify a faculty member to serve as their project mentor prior to submission.

    *If you are a first-year doctoral student, please contact the Program Director about your interest in applying.

    Application Materials

    1. Three-page research proposal (details below)
    2. Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
    3. Budget and justification: Provide a budget with justification for how the award money will be allocated to support your research plan.
    4. Letter of Support – written and signed by applicant’s MCH faculty mentor.
    5. USC transcripts (can be unofficial)
    6. If you have prior MCH research experience, provide a sample of previous MCH work your participated in on the topic of MCH. Examples are a published manuscript, book chapter, poster, etc.

    Three-page Research Proposal Details

    1. Proposal narrative should include the following:
      1. Title
      2. Specific aims
      3. Background and significance
      4. Project description
      5. Design
      6. Approach
    2. Clearly state the significance of this funding to your future career goal.
    3. All figures and tables must be included in the page limit.
    4. No appendices are permitted.
    5. References/bibliography are limited to 2 additional pages and are NOT included in the three-page limit.
    6. Use Arial 11-point font with at least 0.5-inch margin (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages.
    7. Applications that do not adhere to any one of the above guidelines will not be reviewed.

    Expectations of Scholar Awardees

    • The scholars are expected to complete the research project within one year of receiving the funding.
    • If the project requires IRB review, funding will not be provided until the project receives IRB approval.
    • All expenses are approved by the MCH Graduate Scholars Program Director, Dr. Linda Hazlett and the faculty mentor.
    • MCH Doctoral Scholars are expected to present their work at local, state or national conferences.
    • MCH Doctoral Scholars are expected to submit a manuscript(s) based on their research project for publication, preferably within one year.
    • To develop a multidisciplinary cadre of students with interests in MCH, MCH Doctoral Scholars are expected to participate in selected activities organized by the Maternal and Child Health Student Association (MCHSA) during the award period.

    If you plan on submitting a proposal, please send an email to the MCH Catalyst Program Coordinator, Peyton Mosher,, indicating your intent to submit. Include in the email which department your Ph.D. program is in and who your faculty mentor will be.

    Applications are submitted electronically via email to the MCH Catalyst Program Coordinator, Peyton Mosher. Please include the words “MCH Scholars Application” in the Subject Line of your correspondence.

    Deadline for Research Completion

    Awardees chosen in Spring 2024                  May 31, 2025

    Awardees chosen in Spring 2023                  May 31, 2024

    If you are a Spring 2024 awardee planning to graduate in May 2025, your project deadline is May 1, 2025.



    If you have any questions about the MCH Graduate Scholars programs, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Linda Hazlett at Include the words ‘MCH Scholars Application Question’ in the Subject Line of your email.