Three Early Career Researchers Selected for 2017 Scholars Program

We are pleased to announce the 2017 class of William T. Grant Scholars. Launched in 1982, the Scholars Program supports the professional development of promising researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences who have received their degree within the past seven years. To date, the program has sponsored more than 175 talented researchers.

Scholars receive $350,000 to execute rigorous five-year research plans that stretch their skills and knowledge into new disciplines, content areas, or methods. As they commence their projects, they will build mentoring relationships with experts in areas pertinent to their development. Their professional development will also be furthered through annual retreats with fellow Scholars, Foundation staff, and other senior researchers.

Senior Vice President Vivian Tseng remarked, “Through this program, we are supporting a new generation of researchers. By providing five years of support and encouraging innovative thinking, we hope the Foundation’s investment in early career researchers will have a significant and longer term impact on the field. These scholars are a force for understanding young people, their development, and how programs and policies can reduce inequality in their lives.”

2017 William T. Grant Scholars

Seth M. Holmes is a professor at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. His grant, “Unequally “Hispanic”: Inequalities and Resiliency among Indigenous ‘Hispanic’ Youth,” will examine how educational policies and programs designed for Latino youth affect immigrant Mexican youth from indigenous families, as well as how these policies and programs can be responsive to the needs and strengths of these youth. The research will highlight this population’s sources of strength and resilience, especially in relation to well-being and academic success. Holmes will develop new expertise in several areas: research with youth and families, the ways in which discrimination influences the teaching and learning of languages, and finally, new forms of video and collaborative research methods.

Julie Maslowsky is an assistant professor at the College of Education, University of Texas at Austin. Through her grant, “Preventing Unplanned Repeat Births to Hispanic Teens,” Maslowsky will study how the national Latino repeat teen mother population has shifted over the past two decades, specifically by looking at their current health and contraceptive use profile. The research will highlight the prenatal predictors of postpartum long-acting reversible contraceptive (PPLARC) utilization among Latino teens, as well as the social and environmental influences on Latino teens’ contraceptive choices. With the help of her mentors, she will expand her knowledge of the cultural bases of health behavior in Latino populations, as well as her knowledge of inequality, stratification, and intersectionality. She will also extend her work from adolescent risk behavior to sexual behavior and reproductive health, develop greater cultural competence in working with Latino populations and designing culturally appropriate intervention strategies, and gain expertise in qualitative methodology.

Awilda Rodriguez is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Michigan. Her study, “Can an Informational Intervention Increase Black, Latino, and Low-Income Student Participation in Advanced Placement Courses?,” examines what criteria, if any, high schools use to determine eligibility for AP coursework, and how that information is communicated. She will also explore whether students who attend high schools that provide information about the accessibility and benefits of AP have higher participation rates in AP relative to students who attend high schools that do not provide such information. Rodriquez will expand her expertise in designing and executing experimental studies to strengthen her ability to test policy solutions that directly shape college-going for marginalized populations. Mentoring activities will focus on recruitment into experimental trials, intervention design, and surveys.


Each year, the Foundation selects three to six new William T. Grant Scholars from a highly competitive pool of applicants who are nominated by their supporting institutions. The applications are reviewed by a selection committee of prominent senior academics. A small group of finalists are invited to New York for interviews. Applications for 2018 awards are due on July 6, 2017. The online application opens on April 24.

Read more about funding criteria, eligibility, required documents, and applying online.