Predoctoral Institute (LEAD) Opens Applications

The Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy, Research, and Training (CICM): LEAD: Leadership, Equity, and Diversity for Higher Education

October 6-8th 2021 Virtual Predoctoral Institute

Invitation to Apply

The CICM hosts an annual two and a half day Predoctoral Summer Institute for 12 underrepresented minority (URM) professionals who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in social work, public health, or public policy areas nationwide.

LEAD Predoctoral Institute is going virtual!

Given the continually unsteady nature of the global pandemic, the Community Engagement Core leadership team has made the decision to offer our institute in a virtual format when we convene in October. While we regret being unable to see everyone in person, we are excited for the opportunity to provide an even greater institute with dynamic speakers that were previously unable to join us in St. Louis.

Now accepting applications for the October 2021 LEAD Predoctoral Institute:

We are opening the application window and will be accepting new applicants on a rolling basis until we reach capacity. If you know of qualified applicants, please encourage them to apply! The deadline for applications for our October 2021 institute is August 30, 2021. 

Why are we doing this?

Child abuse and neglect is a significant public health concern in the United States and around the world. In 2019, 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 host 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.

To learn more about the CICM, please visit

What is included?

1.        Discussions of the latest trends and research gaps related to child maltreatment in the fields of social work, public health, and public policy areas

2.        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

3.        Advice on preparing for re-entry into academia


July – August 2021:          Applications accepted

August 30, 2021:              Final due date for applications

September 10, 2021:        Participants will be notified

October 6-8, 2021:           Predoctoral institute to be hosted virtually


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 August 30, 2021:

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) or resume

To complete your application, click HERE to apply

Questions can be directed to:

María Gandarilla Ocampo, MSW (

Autumn Asher BlackDeer, MSW (