Niec Memorial Research Award

The ​​Alphonsus P. Niec, EdD Memorial Award for Applied Research in Child and Family Intervention is open to students in a master's or doctoral program in human services or social and behavioral sciences.

​Dr. Alphonsus P. Niec (1942-2012) was a psychologist and an educator who saw the potential of each child to succeed.  Through research, teaching and community service, Dr. Niec sought to enhance the lives of children who were at risk for school failure, peer and parent conflict, or delinquency.  Dr. Niec continuously sought to foster a love of learning in others and to raise awareness of the needs of underserved children and families.  This memorial award in his name is meant to further his legacy by (1) supporting graduate student research projects designed to make a positive impact on the lives of at-risk children and families, and (2) maximizing the potential of qualified graduate students to succeed in their research.​

Student criteria

To apply for the award, students must

  • Be enrolled in a master's or doctoral program within the realm of human services or social and behavioral sciences (e.g., clinical psychology, school psychology, education) at Central Michigan University.
  • Have a cumulative GPA in their program of at least 3.70.
  • Be engaged in research likely to have a positive impact on the lives of at-risk children and families in at least one of the following domains: (1) behavioral functioning, (2) emotional or relationship functioning, and (3) school adjustment/achievement.

Project criteria

Research projects submitted for the award must

  • Be supported by a faculty research advisor in the field.
  • Focus on children 17 years of age or younger. 
  • Be applied research—that is, they must have the potential to make a direct impact on the functioning of children and families.  Examples of applied research studies include an evaluation of an HIV prevention program for gang-involved teenagers or the testing of a dissemination strategy for a parenting intervention. 
  • Not be basic research.  Basic research will not be supported by the award.  Examples of basic research include a study of the development of children's reading skills or a study comparing the problem-solving abilities of children with and without behavior problems.

Projects will be rated higher when they:

  • Use a strong, scientific methodology.
  • Demonstrate innovation (i.e., move the science forward rather than replicate previous work).
  • Are community-based (e.g., the evaluation of a school-based tutoring program; implementation of a child abuse prevention program in a community agency).
  • Demonstrate good transportability (i.e., the readiness to be moved from a university setting to a community setting).

Deadlines: October & February

Application Form