Marjorie M. Brown Fellowship Program

Notice – this Fellowship is not being offered in 2023 as it is under review. Please review our other scholarship and fellowship options.


  • The purpose of the Kappa Omicron Nu Marjorie M. Brown Dissertation Fellowship Program is to support research to continue Brown’s philosophical work using critical social theory, demonstrating understanding of the history of family and consumer sciences/human sciences, Brown’s Philosophical Studies and other recent pieces of work and of their ongoing significance for the profession. The intention is to build upon Brown’s project and tradition of fine scholarship to continue critical analysis of concepts central to the field and for dialogue toward acceptance by the profession.
  • Critical science research should promote reflective thought and public discussion of what
    to do about a condition that interferes with freedom to think and act freely and with the ability to meet the legitimate needs of individuals and groups. The research should meet the following standards:
    1. Document the existing meanings, values, or motives of individuals and groups in
      regard to doubts and misunderstandings of a specific condition.
    2. Critique the unjust social situation and clarify the conflicting claims.
    3. Explain the source of the distortion in order to encourage independence in thinking, clarity about responsibility, and recognition of institutions and processes that need to be changed.
    4. Propose an alternative to correct the situation being examined for use in rational (reasoned) discourse and in consideration as to its objective, subjective, and intersubjective validity (true, sincere, and the right thing to do).
    5. Facilitate individual or group autonomous reasoning and actions to create the social reality that serves human needs and aspirations.
    6. Demonstrate the researcher’s competence in communication: to express intersubjective understanding and agreement, to relate theory to concrete experience, and to facilitate enlightened critique.
  • Four classifications of awards are available; one award among these alternatives may be granted annually in the amount of $10,000.
    1. Ph.D. or D.Ed. students seeking degrees from accredited U.S. institutions of higher
      education are eligible to apply. This program is ideal for students who are in the process of formulating their dissertation proposals as well as doctoral candidates with approved dissertation proposals.
    2. Tenure track assistant professors seeking support for a research agenda using
      critical social theory. This program can serve as a starter grant and may be renewed for a second year. This program supports individuals beginning independent research careers in academia who do not have other substantial sources of research dollars.
    3. Associate professors or professors seeking support for the design and implementation of a graduate course that teaches a critical science research approach. The course should intend to expand knowledge of critical social theory of the course.
    4. Distinguished Professor Award – This award will be granted to a full professor to recognize and reward the use of critical social theory in scholarship and
      research. The individual must have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within the human sciences through significant contributions to the research literature and/or through accomplished teaching.


  • Current (active) Kappa Omicron Nu membership is required of applicants (individual membership affiliation is available to those who meet the criteria for membership).
  • If not completed in the first year, a second year continuation is possible upon request and permission by KON.
  • Applications shall be judged by the criteria listed on Kappa Omicron Nu Marjorie M. Brown Dissertation Fellowship Program Evaluation Form.
  • Only complete applications that meet the format guidelines (below) will be evaluated. As in conventional evaluation procedures, the reviewers reserve the right to read only the number of pages indicated in the application.
  • Awards will be made at the discretion of the Awards Committee.
  • The research will be submitted to Kappa Omicron Nu upon completion of the research for publication in an appropriate format. The researcher will provide acknowledgement in the dissertation and any publications that result from the dissertation funded by this award by using this language: “This research was funded in part by the Kappa Omicron Nu Marjorie M. Brown Fellowship Program.”
  • The researcher will own all intellectual property or data resulting from the use of this award. However, the researcher will grant an irrevocable, royalty-free license in perpetuity for Kappa Omicron Nu to use such materials. The researcher will be given credit for any verbatim use of this research and, where appropriate, for any derivative use.
  • Kappa Omicron Nu will publicize the award and will support dissemination of research findings through publications and oral presentations.
  • Awards for research and course design will be distributed according to the following schedule–$3,000 upon acceptance of the proposal and receipt of the institution’s IRB approval of the research proposal and $3,000 six months later. The Award Committee will award $4,000 upon completion of the research manuscript or course report/analysis and determination that the purpose of the award had been achieved.
  • Indirects will not be paid to the institution receiving the funds on behalf of the recipient.

Application Format for Dissertation and Starter Grant:

  • Cover Page – Include the following information: Title of Research, Name, University Address, Phone, Email Address
  • 100 word essay citing how you are prepared (courses, mentors, resources) for research on this topic
  • Three references (including director for dissertation research)

The research application shall be limited to 10 pages, excluding supplementary materials (for readability, use 11 pt typeface and normal spacing), and include the following:

  1. Abstract – 100 words or fewer
  2. Introduction
    a)  Background of the Study
    b)  Need for the Study
    c)  Statement of Objectives
  3. Review of Literature
  4. Method
    a)  Research Design
    b)  Plan of Work
    c)  Approach to Analysis
  5. Literature citations
  6. Supplementary materials
    a)  Your resume or Curriculum Vitae
    b)  Lletter of approval of dissertation proposal or institutional approval of faculty research proposal.

To Apply:

To apply, email the application form and all supporting documents to [email protected] (Microsoft Word or pdf preferred). All pieces or documents related to application must be submitted together, including reference letters. Though KON staff will confirm receipt of pieces, we will not follow up to ask for missing components.


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