Doctoral Dissertation Award

The purpose of the award is to support students in the final stages of the dissertation research and writing (from proposal to dissertation defense).


Awards will be disbursed in three installments (Autumn, Winter, Spring). The approximate schedule is to have the first installment issued immediately for those who have already defended their proposal by the application deadline and immediately after a successful proposal hearing for those who have not. And the third installment will be issued once the dissertation defense is scheduled, with the second installment in between based on feedback reporting to the Review Committee and CHAS Director.


  1. Students must have proposed by the end of the previous Quarter and defend the dissertation no later than at the end of the 18 months of support.
  2. Must be actively enrolled, and in good academic standing with University.
  3. Dissertation topic must fall within the Center’s mission.
  4. Students are expected to be in residence for the entire period of their award.


  1. Attend weekly Davis Lectures (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm) and other relevant CHAS events.
  2. Provide monthly progress reports to dissertation chair with copy to CHAS director.
  3. Present dissertation at SSA Doctoral Theory Workshop within 18 months of award date.


Submit the following materials to:

  1. A five page double-spaced proposal including:
    – Description of dissertation project or prospective dissertation project.
    – Relevance of project to mission of the Center.
    – Previous involvement in the Center’s training activities, workshop or events/conferences.
    – Current other funding support.
    – Workplan/timeline.
  2. CV
  3. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member.


Application Due

Recipients Announced

Award Start Date

Award End Date

SSA Doctoral Theory Workshop Presentation




Marianne Brennan

Marianne Brennan

MA & MPP, University of Chicago; BA & MA, University of Kentucky

Ms. Brennan’s dissertation research explores how mental health is being addressed in the context of contemporary Medicaid reforms, with a focus on how ideas about mental health shape policy making at the level of implementation. Marianne has been active with CHAS in the Winter and Spring collaborating with faculty members and attending many Michael M. Davis lectures.


Vanessa Fabbre

Vanessa Fabbre

MA, University of Chicago

Ms. Fabbre is a licensed clinical social worker. Her dissertation research focused, in part, on issues of gender, identity and wellness in later life through the experiences of older transgender persons who contemplate or pursue gender transition in their later years.


Rebecca Feinstein Winitzer

Rebecca Feinstein Winitzer

MS, Harvard University; MSW, Boston University

Ms. Winitzer is a licensed clinical social worker. Her dissertation research focused, in part, on how social networks function to influence health care decision-making and impact access to health care services for children with special health care needs.