Harry E. and Bernice M. Moore Fellowship

The application period for the June to May fellowship typically closes in February and the awardee is typically announced in May.

Students from The University of Texas at Austin who are pursuing a doctorate are invited to submit a proposal for the Harry Estill and Bernice Milburn Moore Fellowship. To be eligible for the fellowship, candidates must be in the process of completing a dissertation relevant to the mental health needs of Texans.

The selected fellow receives a one-time, unrestricted award of $20,000. The fellow is not required to work as a condition of the award. However, upon completion of the dissertation, the fellow must submit a copy of the dissertation with an abstract or summary. There are no restrictions on other awards or employment that the fellow may obtain.

The Moore Fellowship was established in 1995 by the estate of Bernice Moore in memory of her husband, Dr. Harry Estill Moore, a professor and sociologist at the university. Moore specialized in disaster studies, including tornadoes and hurricanes that affected the state of Texas.


Doctoral candidates in nursing, psychology, social work, sociology and other fields relevant to mental health programs at The University of Texas at Austin may apply.

Applicant’s dissertation proposal must have been successfully defended by the time of application submission. Dissertations may be quantitative or qualitative in design. Applicants must have a strong research background with a primary interest in the human experience in crises, including those resulting from natural or other major disasters or, more broadly, stress and adversity.

How to Apply

The application period for the June to May fellowship typically closes in February and the awardee is typically announced in May.

Three signed letters of reference must be emailed to hogg-grants@austin.utexas.edu (attn: Moore Fellowship Committee). All other application materials must be submitted online.

When applying online, applicants will be prompted to enter their contact information, as well as the names and email addresses of three individuals providing letters of reference (one of which must be the applicant’s dissertation committee chair or advisor). Applicants should also upload the following:

  • Cover letter, which must include an explanation of the dissertation’s fit with the fellowship’s focus on the human experience in crises (no page limit)
  • Summary of the dissertation’s rationale, research questions and methods (maximum 10 double-spaced pages, 12-point font)
  • Current curriculum vitae (no page limit)
  • Timeline for dissertation completion (use template provided)
Review and Selection

Foundation staff will use a rating instrument to evaluate the merits of the proposals and select the fellow. The foundation may partner with an external reviewer to evaluate the proposals.

Factors used to evaluate proposals include:

  • The fit between the dissertation project and the fellowship’s focus on the human experience in crisis.
  • Demonstration of respondent’s strong research background with a primary interest in the mental health aspect of crises, stress and adversity.
  • Compelling case made for the research significance to the field of mental health. If research is being conducted outside of Texas, respondent should explain the significance to the people of Texas.
  • Amount of time remaining to complete the dissertation is reasonably in line with the fellowship period of June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019.

Preference is given to research:

  • that focuses on natural, major or other disasters.
  • that includes the participation of recipients of mental health services and their families in designing and implementing the project.
  • with important implications for underserved communities in the area of mental health
Recent Recipients

2017 Award Recipient

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

2016 Award Recipient

After a ten-year career in humanitarian assistance, Karin Wachter pursued a doctorate at The University of Texas at Austin and is now an assistant professor of social work at Arizona State University. Wachter’s dissertation, titled “Women’s Social Support in War, Displacement, and Post-Resettlement,” is adds to our knowledge about how women adapt and maintain social support networks in times of upheaval such as war and forced migration. Learn more


Questions? Contact hogg-grants@austin.utexas.edu.