Skip to content

Emerging Scholars Program


Decision Notifications Will Be Sent May 2024

2024 Cohort will begin June 2024

student mentorship

One of the objectives of the National African American Child & Family Research Center is to build research capacity, develop research infrastructure, and conduct research with African American communities

The Emerging Scholars program is a comprehensive one-year remote, mentored research internship designed to increase the knowledge and skills of students interested in  research on economic and social mobility, poverty alleviation, and early childhood education and care for African American children and families. Scholars receive personalized cross-disciplinary training and mentoring along with a $20,000 stipend and additional financial support for professional development and travel to present research findings.


  • Personalized cross-disciplinary training to strengthen their capacity to design and implement research that impacts African American children and families.
  • An experienced researcher mentor who will create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for success.
  • Opportunity to contribute to the evidence base through peer-reviewed manuscripts and scientific presentations.
  • $20,000 stipend and additional financial support for professional development and travel to present research findings.


  • Graduate students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs (MA/MS, MPH, PhD, EdD, MD)
  • Students majoring in social work, public administration, public health, education, or other related field of study
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher 
  • U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident currently residing in the U.S.

Black/African American males strongly encouraged to apply


A complete application includes all materials listed below. Applications that do not include all application components such as required letters of recommendation, will not be considered.

Applicant Information:

  • Applicant’s contact information, demographic, information, education history
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae: a list of applicant’s employment history, unpaid work, internships, outreach efforts, volunteer activities, honors, awards, presentations, publications
  • Short Answers: a discussion of the applicant’s short and longer-term career goals, research interests, qualifications for the program, and commitment to research with African Americans
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation: one or more letters from a faculty member or an advisor describing the applicant’s capacity to participate and succeed in the program
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2024

If you are interested in participating in the Emerging Scholars Program and meet the eligibility requirements, please complete the application by clicking the button below.

For more information, please email


The National African American Child and Family Research Center chose four brilliant scholars for the 2023 year Emerging Scholars Program.

Image of Amber B. Sansbury, Ph.D National African American Children and Family Research Center (NAACFRC) Emerging Scholars 2023

Amber B. Sansbury, M.Ed, BA

Amber B. Sansbury, M.Ed, BA is a Ph.D. Candidate in Early Care & Education Policy at George Mason University. She is deeply committed to shared policy making, community-based participatory approaches, and action to challenge anti-Black structures in early care and education (ECE). Her dissertation qualitatively examines the cultural values and race-related beliefs that motivate African American parents’ and ECE teachers’ shared racial socialization and identity development processes. 

Image of Anthony Lizarraga, Ph.D National African American Children and Family Research Center (NAACFRC) Emerging Scholars 2023

Anthony Lizarraga, MS, BS

Anthony Lizarraga, MS, BS is a Ph.D. student in Educational Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a BS in Political Science from the University of California-Irvine, MS in Educational Studies, and MS in Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. His research explores teachers’ perceptions in academic achievement and how school discipline is operationalized, enacted, and disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx girls. 


Image of Anthony D. Smith, Ph.D National African American Children and Family Research Center (NAACFRC) Emerging Scholars 2023

Aremu M. Smith, MS, BS

Aremu M. Smith, MS, BS is a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois – Chicago studying Educational Psychology. He earned his BS in Psychology from Howard University and MS in Applied Psychology from Sacred Heart University. His research explores how gender and racial socialization emerge in community-centered spaces for Black boys and men.


Shedrick Garrett National African American Children and Family Research Center (NAACFRC) Emerging Scholars 2023

Shedrick Garrett II, M.A., BS

Shedrick Garrett, II, M.A., BS is a Predoctoral and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill completing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. He earned his BS from West Virginia University, double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. His research examines the role of social and digital domains on minoritized youths’ socialization experiences, psychological functioning, and development. 



Every Emerging Scholar year concludes with a final project that is presented at NAACFRC’s CER Conference in June. The 2022 Cohort produced some exemplary projects. 

Breanna Chachere, MPH, BA

Final Project:  Assessing Associations among Mental Health and Parent-Child Interactions in Black Households During the Pandemic

Chachere is a public health professional and medical student at the University of Houston’s Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. Her research interests include maternal and child health, qualitative and narrative medicine, and utilizing a reproductive justice lens to address health equity. She earned an MPH and certificates in Community Health, Maternal & Child Health, and Chronic & Non-Communicable Diseases from Boston University School of Public Health; a BA in Psychology, and a minor in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities from Rice University.

Aaron Neal 

Final Project: Justice for the Justice Involved: An Exploration of Barriers to TANF Access, Mental and Economic Mobility for Black Americans

Neal is a Ford Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. he explores the ways that racism impacts the psychological and physiological health of Black Youth. He uses both community-based participatory research methods as well as survey methodologies to better understand the psychological effects racism has on Black Youth. He has earned a Bachelor’s in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Masters in Neuroscience and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Adrienne Jones 

Final Project: Fee to Drive: How Poverty, Punishment, and Policy Shape the Lives of Suspended Motorists

Jones is a PhD candidate in the joint Public Policy and Sociology program at Duke University. Her research examines individuals’ experiences with employment- both job loss and job changes- and the reproduction of social and economic inequalities. Adrienne is particularly interested in the employment experiences of Black workers in the American South. Prior to her graduate studies, Jones worked in policy research at both Duke University and Mathematica Policy Research. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Sanford School at Duke University; BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Terrance Lewis 

Final Project: The Pedagogy of Carter G. Woodson as a Framework for More Humanizing Educational Experiences

Lewis is a Presidential ResearchFellow at Auburn University completing a PhD in Social Science Education. Before enrolling at Auburn University, he taught middle school and high school social studies within the Columbus, Georgia schools. His research interests include bettering the educational experiences of Black men teachers, Black boys, and Black fathers.

Subscribe Now

Learn more about how we are advancing the health equity of African American children and their families by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

kente strip


National African American Child and Family Research Center

720 Westview Drive SW 
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Contact email:

This project is supported by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award (Grant #: 90PH0031-01-00) totaling $1.8 million with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

© Copyright National African American Child and Family Research Center 2024. All rights reserved.