Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial Award for Mental Health Dissertation Research

Scholarship Summary

The Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial Award provides financial assistance to support for doctoral students’ dissertation research on “the cause, treatment, cure, and prevention of mental disease, mental illness, and mental disorders,” as designated in her will. The award provides up to $1,500 for research-related expenses such as survey mailings, software, participant stipends and training. Award recipients must provide a copy of the final dissertation to the foundation.



Mrs. Frances Fowler Wallace of Austin died in 1972, leaving half of her estate to the Hogg Foundation as an expendable fund for research. The Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial for Mental Health was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on February 1, 1974.

Wallace was born April 7, 1892, and died July 18, 1972, in Austin, Texas, at 80 years of age. Her husband, John Forsythe Wallace, served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1920 to 1930, and on the State Board of Control.

Recent Recipients

2017 Award Recipients:

Sophia Yang Hooper earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Beijing Normal University before coming to UT Austin, where she received master’s degrees in educational psychology and statistics. She is currently on track to graduate with a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Sophia’s proposed study is “A Meta-analysis on Teacher Autonomy Support, Academic Achievement, and Psychosocial Functioning.” The project will examine the effect of teacher autonomy support — or teaching practices designed to cultivate student autonomy, rather than impose control — on student mental health outcomes. Learn more

Hannah Szlyk was drawn to SSW while completing a post-masters clinical fellowship at the Menninger Clinic in Houston. She recently completed her third year at the UT Austin School of Social Work. Her research project will examine how life stressors (housing mobility, life events, discrimination, neighborhood environment, school progress) contribute to and predict ranges in suicidality, and how the specialized program at Garza may help students stay safe and graduate. Learn more

Application and Eligibility

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and may be submitted at any time.

Applicants will be contacted approximately 30 business days after the submission of the proposal.

Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae, one letter of reference from the applicant’s dissertation committee chair or advisor, a proposal and a budget.

Submit online application.


Applicant’s dissertation proposal must have been successfully defended by the time of application submission. Only doctoral candidates in the nursing, psychology, social work, sociology and other fields relevant to mental health programs at The University of Texas at Austin may apply. Dissertations may be quantitative or qualitative in design.

The proposal should include:

  1. A clearly stated research question
  2. A description of the proposed dissertation and how it relates to mental health
  3. Background of the project and significance of the research, research design and methodology
  4. A description of research-related expenses and associated costs (examples include: web-based survey fees, statistical software and participant stipends)
  5. A timeline for completion of the dissertation.

Mental health must be central to the proposed projects. For the purposes of this award, mental health is broadly defined. Projects may focus on any aspect of mental health including promotion, prevention, early intervention, treatment or workforce-related concerns. Judgment of the merit of the proposal will be based on the following:

  • The applicant makes a compelling case for the importance/significance of the proposed project to the field of mental health.
  • The proposed project is relevant to improving the mental health of the people of Texas.
  • The overview of existing research relevant to the proposed project demonstrates the applicant’s broad and sound knowledge of the topic to be investigated.
  • The research project is well-designed.
  • A recommendation letter that strongly supports applicant’s ability to carry out the project.
  • The budget expenses are justified.

This award is intended to be utilized for research expenses related to the student’s dissertation project, which may include travel for the purposes of data collection. Travel to present research findings at conferences or professional meetings is outside the scope of the award and is therefore ineligible for funding.



Questions about the award or application procedures may be emailed to Program Officer Rick Ybarra.

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