Dissertation Award

The AAMFT Research and Education Foundation recognizes scholarly achievement by recent graduates whose research study related to couples and family therapy or family therapy training. Criteria for the award:

  1. Dissertation completed in the preceding academic year;
  2. Applicant has been awarded the degree;
  3. Significance of the substantive issue for couples and family therapy;
  4. Conceptual and theoretical clarity;
  5. Soundness, sophistication, and appropriateness of the methodology, whether quantitative, qualitative, or conceptual;
  6. Importance of the substantive findings;
  7. Quality of the interpretation and discussion of the findings;
  8. Style and quality of the writings;
  9. Priority shall be given to clinical research.

The award consists of a plaque and reimbursement up to $1,000 for travel to the Annual Conference. The conference registration fee will also be waived for the recipients. The AAMFT Foundation will reimburse up to the total of $1,000 for economy class airfare, transportation to/from airport/hotel, meals per AAMFT allowances for the one day of the ceremony, and one night's hotel stay at one of the AAMFT conference hotels (at the special discounted rate) for the night of the ceremony. You must submit itemized receipts upon your return from the conference. Alcohol will not be reimbursed. 

In the case of equally meritorious applications, consideration will be given to applicants who have demonstrated active participation in an AAMFT activity.  Examples, in addition to AAMFT membership, may include such activities as volunteering at a conference, being a presenter at a conference, or a poster presentation.

How to apply: In order to qualify for this award, interested candidates must complete an online application.  

Note: The AAMFT Annual Conference registration fee will be waived for all award recipients. In order to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest, anyone who is on the AAMFT or divisional payroll is ineligible to be considered for an award so long as that financial relationship exists.  All award recipients must be members of AAMFT with the exception of those receiving the Excellence in Media award, and at least one author of the Outstanding Research Publication award must be a member.

2017 Award Recipients


Ashley Landers

Tara Signs


Regina Bordieri

Past Recipients of the Dissertation Award

  • Bryan Cafferky (2016)
  • Carissa D'Aniello-Heyda (2016)
  • Jennifer Konzen (2015)
  • Rebecca Cobb (2015)
  • Aaron Norton (2015)
  • Lori Schade (2014)
  • Ruoxi Chen (2014)
  • Sarah Woods (2013)
  • Laura Eubanks Gambrel (2013)
  • Ryan B. Seedall (2012)
  • Jennifer M. Haines (2012)
  • Susan N. Perkins (2011)
  • Michelle L. Engblom-Deglmann (2011)
  • Jeffrey B. Jackson (2010)
  • Carolina Castaños (2010)
  • Eli A. Karam (2009)
  • Steven H. Jella (2008)
  • Shayne R. Anderson (2008)
  • David B. Ward (2007)
  • Sean D. Davis (2006)
  • Andrew S. Brimhall (2006)
  • Benjamin E. Caldwell (2005)
  • Jose Ruben Parra Cardona (2005)
  • Sara A. Smock (2004)
  • Marianne McInnes Miller (2004)
  • Megan J. Murphy (2003)
  • Sarah Droubay (2002)
  • Mary E. Dankoski (2002)
  • David Van Dyke (2001)
  • David Young (2001)
  • Karen Helmeke (1998)
  • Mary Manson (1998)
  • David Law (1997)
  • Shobha Pais (1996)