Minority Fellowship Program Information

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Minority Fellowship Program (MFP)- About the Program

The general objectives of the MFP are to:

  • Expand the delivery of culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services to underserved minority populations,
  • Increase the number of culturally competent Marriage and Family therapists.

The general goals of the MFP are to:

  • Provide financial support and professional guidance to graduate students pursuing degrees in Marriage and Family therapy.
  • Provide a fellowship program open to Marriage and Family Therapy students who are committed to research about and service to ethnic minority and underserved populations.

The AAMFT MFP offers three Fellowships:

  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF)-For doctoral students at the dissertation stage of their curriculum;
  • Doctoral Fellowship (DF)-For doctoral students still in the process of completing pre dissertation core curriculum;
  • Now Is The Time: Minority Fellowship Program- Youth (NITT-MFP-Y)-For masters students interested in service provision to the nation’s youth.

For specific eligibility criteria on all three of these fellowships refer to the eligibility information section located on this page.

Minority Fellowship Program- Program Information

The MFP Doctoral Fellowship’s (DF) and Dissertation Completion Fellowship’s (DCF) mission–consistent with the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health and other federal initiatives to reduce health disparities—is to increase the pool of talented, culturally competent doctoral-level researchers, teachers and practitioners dedicated to assisting ethnic minority communities and underserved populations.

Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), AAMFT has created the MFP DF and DCF to support the training of practitioners or practitioner/researchers in culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services, treatment and prevention. These fellowship program are open to at Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral students who are committed to research about and service to ethnic minority communities and underserved populations. An MFP fellowship is more than a simple scholarship that only provides financial support.  An MFP fellowship is a professional training appointment into a community of other students and professionals who hold similar professional interests. Indeed, the MFP provides stipends, or living allowances, to students who hold the fellowships. However, we also facilitate leadership development and provide professional guidance with the aim of deepening the skills sets and knowledge base of the fellows in areas related to minority mental health research and services.

In 2014 The Now Is The Time: Minority Fellowship Program- Youth was established. This Fellowship is part of the President’s Plan, Now Is the Time, to increase access to mental health services for youth in America. The objectives of the NITT: MFP-Y are to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent master’s level behavioral health professionals serving children, adolescents, and populations in transition to adulthood (aged 16 – 25) in an effort to increase access to, and quality of, behavioral health care for this age group. The MFP is SAMHSA’s premier mental health workforce development training program focused on mental health disparities faced by underserved and minority communities.

Eligibility Requirements-Doctoral Fellowship (DF)

All applicants to the MFP-DF must comply with the following eligibility criteria outlined in this section. Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or have permanent U.S. residence status (I-551 or I-151). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible;
  • Be AAMFT members at the time of selection and for the duration of the Fellowship;
  • Be in the first three years of their academic program;
  • Be in the process of completing the required core courses necessary to begin working on their dissertation;
  • Be enrolled full time (as defined by their academic institution) in a Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program for the duration of the fellowship;
  • Demonstrate experience and/or commitment to serving underserved minority populations, including but not limited to ethnic minorities, persons who identify as LGBTQ and people with disabilities.

Note: Students who (1) have a dissertation proposal approved by their academic program/institution and/or (2) have completed all pre-dissertation preparatory course work at any point during the funding year to which they are applying are not eligible for this award.

Eligibility Requirements-Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF) Requirements

All applicants to the MFP-DCF must comply with the following eligibility criteria outlined in this section. Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or have permanent U.S. residence status (I-551 or I-151). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible;
  • Be AAMFT members at the time of selection and for the duration of the Fellowship.
  • Be in at least the third year of their academic program;
  • Have a dissertation proposal approved by their academic program/institution no later than December 15 of the DCF program year;
  • Have completed all required pre dissertation core courses;
  • Be enrolled in courses approved by their academic advisor that will fulfill the research requirements needed to complete their dissertation and doctoral degree;
  • Have a dissertation that includes mixed (quantitative and qualitative) research methodology or quantitative research methodology;
  • Be enrolled full time (as defined by their academic institution) in a Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program for the duration of the fellowship;
  • Demonstrate experience and/or commitment to serving underserved minority populations, including but not limited to ethnic minorities, persons who identify as LGBTQ and people with disabilities.

Note: Students who cannot provide documentation of their dissertation proposal approval by this date will not be considered to be eligible for (1) participation in the DCF and (2) financial support and other benefits of the Fellowship- irrespective of whether or not they were previously awarded the Fellowship.

Eligibility Requirements-Now Is The Time: Minority Fellowship Program - Youth (NITT-MFP-Y)

All applicants to the NITT-MFP-Y must comply with the following eligibility criteria outlined in this section. Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or have permanent U.S. residence status (I-551 or I-151);
  • Be an AAMFT member at the time of selection;
  • Be enrolled in a Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s program for the duration of the Fellowship;
  • Demonstrate experience and/or commitment to working with youth and young adults between the ages of 16-25;
  • Be enrolled full-time or part-time in a Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program for the duration of the fellowship;
  • Demonstrate experience and/or commitment to serving ethnic minority children, adolescence, and individuals in transition to adulthood (16-25), and underserved populations, including but not limited to persons who identify as LGBTQ and people with disabilities;
  • Be AAMFT members at the time of selection and for the duration of the Fellowship;
  • Be enrolled in a Master’s MFT program no later than the start of the Fellowship year to which they are applying;
  • Be enrolled in courses approved by their academic advisor that will fulfill the requirements needed to complete their Master’s degree.

Financial Support and Training Benefits

  • Financial support is provided for a 3 year maximum for the DF fellowship and must be renewed annually. This includes a stipend to be used for all related costs of doctoral program attendance and training.
  • Financial support is provided for the DCF fellowship for a 1-2 year term depending on the nature of research being conducted and must be renewed annually. This includes a stipend to be used for all related costs of doctoral program attendance and training.
  • Financial support is provided for the NITT-MFP-Y fellowship for a 1-2 year term. This includes a stipend to be used for all related costs of a master's program attendance and training.
  • For DCF and DF Fellowships there is additional financial support for the MFP’s Winter Training Institute which offers training geared towards helping the Fellows provide culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services to underserved minority populations.
  • All Fellowships (DCF, DF and NITT-MFP-Y) provide travel support to the AAMFT Annual Conference. This includes reimbursement for DF, DCF and NITT-MFP-Y Fellows for all costs of attendance at the AAMFT Annual Conference--attendance at the conference will provide continuing education and cross-collaboration with faculty and other leaders in the field, as well as an opportunity to present their work.
  • Mentorship and Leadership Development, Online Training and Access to Educational Resources via the AAMFT Online Community.
  • Lifetime network of professional association with Marriage and Family Therapists interested in ethnic minority mental health and services.

Average Financial Stipend Level

MFP Fellow stipend levels are contingent upon the amount of funding received from SAMHSA for the MFP each year, as well as other factors including but not limited to, training plan requirements and the number of Fellows awarded in a program year.

To date, the average funding level for the Doctoral Fellowship (DF) is greater than $20,000 per Fellow, per program year.

To date, the average funding level for the Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF) is greater than $8,000 per Fellow, per program year.

The stipend level available for NITT-MFP-Y awardees will depend on the level of funding available at the time of selection.

Additional Links

MFP Site Map

One stop guide to the Minority Fellowship Program webpages. 

read more >

MFP Advisory Committee

Meet the members of the Minority Fellowship Program's Advisory Committee.

read more >

Contact Us

To sign up for program alerts or for more information about the Minority Fellowship Program please click here. To meet the members of the Minority Fellowship Program's Staff please click here.

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