Invitation to Apply for 2020

The CICM will host our first annual Leadership, Equity, and Diversity in Higher Education (LEAD) 2020  Predoctoral Summer Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on August 26, 2020 – August 28, 2020. The two and a half day Predoctoral Summer Institute is for 12 underrepresented minority (URM) professionals who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in social work, public health, or public policy areas nationwide.

COVID-19 Update:

We are still planning on having the institute in August; however, we will remain vigilant in monitoring the pandemic and potential implications. In the event we are unable to make the August dates work, we will postpone the institute to a later date and let invitees know well before travel accommodations are made. 
We look forward to reviewing your application!

Why are we doing this?

Child abuse and neglect is a significant public health concern in the United States and around the world.  In 2016, there were over three million referrals for some form of child maltreatment.  The scope of the problem, the harmful short and long term consequences, and the social and economic factors associated with child abuse and neglect make this a challenging area of research requiring exploration from multiple disciplines.  Despite the complexity of child abuse and neglect, there is a lack of sufficient numbers of scholars trained to conduct research in this area.

The CICM is dedicated to providing innovative education and training opportunities to assure a continued pipeline of researchers and practitioners prepared to address the complex issue of child abuse and neglect.  Building a diverse research pipeline requires attention to doctoral program recruitment. Many degree programs like social work or public health value prior post-masters field experience, but a successful transition back to academia can be challenging to navigate.

The CICM will fund 12 URM predoctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in social work, public health, or public policy areas.  The training is not designed specifically for scholars interested in doctoral education in St Louis but is to support future matriculation to any such program in the US. Costs of materials, food, lodging, travel, and communication with faculty/Ph.D. student mentors are provided as part of the award.  The LEAD 2020  Predoctoral Summer Institute will be held at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri on August 26, 2020-August 28, 2020.

What is included?

  • Discussions of the latest trends and research gaps related to child maltreatment in the fields of social work, public health, and public policy areas
  • Training on how to develop competitive application materials for a doctoral program, including a statement of purpose, CV/resumes, other writing samples, and how to identify academic mentors
  • Advice on preparing for re-entry into academia


  • March 1, 2020-May 1, 2020:  Applications accepted 
  • May 1, 2020: Final due date for applications
  • May 15, 2020: Participants will be notified and pre-institute readings will be distributed 
  • August 26, 2020-August 28, 2020: 2 ½ day summer institute to be held at Washington University in St. Louis

Due to the global pandemic, we have extended the application deadline until May 1, 2020

Participant Commitment

Participants must be able to attend the on-site summer institute, complete the readings prior to the institute, and adhere to the timeline for Ph.D. application and research plans.


Participants must meet early career or transitioning scholar criteria (meaning that the participant must not have already completed a Ph.D.).  Participants must also meet the criteria for URM (meaning that the participant should be African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Hispanic/Latinx).

For this institute, we will accept up to 12 participants with a minimum of at least 3 different specialties or disciplines represented.

Application Process

All materials need to be submitted by May 1, 2020:

1) Application form (see below)

2) A 2-3 page statement of interest indicating why this summer institute will be beneficial to you, what work experience (if any) you have related to child abuse and neglect, and a brief discussion of your intended discipline of Ph.D. education and research plans related to child abuse and neglect.

3) A curriculum vitae (CV)

Questions can be directed to:

Autumn Asher BlackDeer, MSW ( 

Click HERE to begin your application