Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Awards and Fellowships for Graduate Students

Program Overview | Undergraduate Research | Children's Research Lab



The Debra Beth Lobliner Graduate FellowshipDebra Lobliner

Debra Beth Lobliner was born on July 29th, 1969, in Houston, Texas, to Sanford and Joyce Lobliner. She had two older sisters, Mindy and Pam. Debbie was a bright and curious child, easily excelling throughout her early academic life. From early on, Debbie asked questions of fundamental importance to developmental psychologists and by age four wondered how her brain knew that she was supposed to walk and talk. She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in May of 1987 and enrolled in The University of Texas at Austin in the fall. While an undergraduate, Debbie worked on research with several faculty members. She was accepted into the Psychology Honors Program and completed a thesis examining the relationship between cognition and personality. She graduated in December of 1990 with several academic honors, including high honors in psychology.

Debbie's interest in child psychology had been sparked by a course on infant cognition with Dr. Les Cohen, and she applied to graduate programs in developmental psychology for Fall 1991. On the basis of her stellar record, she was admitted to the Developmental Psychology Program at UT. She was also awarded a University Fellowship, the University's most prestigious form of financial support for graduate students. Debbie accepted the offer and began to work with Dr. Rebecca Bigler on research examining children's gender and racial stereotyping. She was interested in examining the origins and consequences of social stereotyping and discrimination, with the goal of applying her research to the development of interventions aimed at reducing stereotyping and prejudice among children.

Debbie proved to be a model graduate student, performing at or near the top of each of her classes and excelling in all facets of research. She received her master's degree in December of 1993 for research examining the role of categorization in stereotyping. Other research examined the effects of stereotypic attitudes on memory processes, and children's stereotyping on the basis of ethnicity. She presented several of these papers at national conferences on developmental psychology.

In addition to research, Debbie excelled in teaching. She taught her own large section of Introduction to Child Psychology. By all accounts, she was a dedicated and inspirational teacher. Debbie's energy and joy for research, teaching, and scholarship made her a role model and leader among her fellow graduate students. She was a warm and generous classmate and she became an especially beloved member of the Developmental Psychology Program.

In the spring of 1994, Debbie was awarded a second Graduate Fellowship. The Fellowship would have supported her while she worked on her dissertation, a study examining how children develop gender stereotypes of occupations, titled, "The Formation of Gender Schemata in Children." Tragically, Debbie died on July 5th, 1994, from liver failure caused by Wilson's Disease, a genetic disorder that strikes an estimated 1 in 80,000 individuals.

Debbie's enthusiasm, intelligence, and sense of humor were a delight to all of those who knew her. She was committed to the principles of honesty, integrity, and social justice, and more importantly, these values guided her behavior. She strove to help others both inside and outside the classroom, volunteering her time to tutor students and teach parenting skills to teenage mothers. She was also a loving and supportive partner to her long-time boyfriend Alan Cross. Debbie is portrayed in the memorial photograph with her niece, Rebecca. She had a very special relationship with Rebecca and was determined that Rebecca grow up with as few gender stereotypes as possible.

The Debra Beth Lobliner Fund, established by her parents, honors Debbie's spirit and memory by facilitating the pursuit of two of her ideals—excellence in scientific research and participation in the scientific community by individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. 


Application Procedures for Debra Beth Lobliner Fellowship Awards

The Debra Beth Lobliner Fellowship is a permanent fund designed to provide financial support for outstanding graduate students in developmental psychology. A call for applications occurs each spring semester (typically in February). The fund supports three types of awards: summer salary awards, grants for graduate student research, and travel awards. The application procedures for each type of award are described below. 

The number and types of awards that are made in a given year depend on the number and quality of the applications received. Applicants may apply for and receive more than one type of award. Students who receive funds may apply for funds in subsequent years.

The application deadline for each of the three types of awards is typically due in early March. Applications should be turned into the CRL administrative assistant by the due date. Funding decisions will be made by the developmental faculty and announced in late March. Those individuals who receive summer salary or research grant (but not travel) awards will be required to submit a one-page report outlining the uses of the money and progress on the supported project. This report must be sent to Rebecca Bigler <bigler@austin.utexas.edu> by September 1st of the award year. Failure to submit the report will make individuals ineligible for future Lobliner awards. In addition, successful applicants must write to the Lobliner family to thank them for the support and describe the outcome of the award.


SUMMER SALARY AWARDS

Description: A grant to permit students to carry out research during the summer. The award would consist of a one or two month summer salary stipend (i.e., the equivalent of one or two months of TA salary). The award will be based on the quality of the written research proposal, the student's progress in the program, and the student's financial need.

Application packets should contain one copy of each of the following:

  1. A 5–7 page description of the research project that you will conduct during the summer for which you are applying.
  2. A 1–2 page summary of your progress in graduate school. This could include course work and grades, research participation, conference presentations, publications, etc.

GRANTS FOR GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH

Description: A grant to be used to cover some of the costs of graduate student research projects. Possible uses might include small equipment needs, supplies, copying, postage, and compensation for subjects. Small grants may be awarded to several students or a larger award may be made to a single project, depending on the number and quality of the proposals received. The award will be based on the quality of the written research proposal, the student's progress in the program, and the student's financial need.

Application packets should contain one copy of each of the following:
  1. A 5–7 page description of the research project for which you are applying for funding.
  2. A detailed budget specifying how the requested funds will be used.
  3. A 1–2 page summary of your progress in graduate school. This could include course work and grades, research participation, conference presentations, publications, etc.

TRAVEL AWARDS

Description: Small grants for travel to recognized professional national or regional conferences to present a paper on which the student is an author. Preference will be given to applicants who are first authors on their papers (and who do not receive funding from other sources) but others may also apply. Awards are limited to $350 for domestic and $500 for international travel.

Applications should include:

  1. A 2–3 page description of the research that will be reported on at the conference.
  2. A detailed budget specifying how the requested funds will be used.
  3. Information concerning other pending or possible sources of funding for the trip (e.g., department funds, faculty grant, etc.) 

Wayne H. Holtzman Travel Awards

Description: Money for SRCD conference attendance expenses for Developmental Area students. Awarded to students who will be attending SRCD. Goal: To encourage graduate student attendance at SRCD. All students who plan to attend should apply (including those who will also receive money from the dept).

Proposals are typically due in February. Proposals should include your name and a budget for travel expenses. If you have received or will receive money to cover expenses from another source please indicate that as well. The amount awarded will depend upon the number of proposals received. Email proposal to Jacqui Woolley <woolley@austin.utexas.edu>.


Wayne H. Holtzman Award for Best Student Paper in Developmental Psychology

Description: The Wayne H. Holtzman Fund is a permanent fund designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance by graduate students in developmental psychology. An award will be granted annually to the best paper in developmental psychology with a graduate student in the developmental area as the primary (i.e., first) author.

Submissions are evaluated by the developmental faculty and judged on the basis of the quality of the scholarship, including the theoretical contribution of the work, soundness of design, creativity and innovation, and clarity and style of presentation. The quality of publication source or potential for publication will also be considered. In order to be eligible, papers must have been completed or published (or accepted for publication) within the preceding academic year. One award of $500 will be granted each year (unless two or more papers are deemed equal in merit). The application deadline is mid-June. Papers should be SUBMITTED BY E-MAIL to CRL Administrative Assistant Nadia Sanchez <sanchez@austin.utexas.eduby August 15 of each year. Winners will be announced at the start of the fall semester.  


Wayne H. Holtzman Award for Leadership and Service on Behalf of Developmental Psychology

Description: The Wayne H. Holtzman Fund is a permanent fund designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance by graduate students in developmental psychology. One form of excellence is leadership and service on behalf of the developmental psychology community here at UT-Austin.

An award will be granted annually to a graduate student in the Developmental Area who has shown superior leadership and service on behalf of our academic community by, for example, participating in participant recruitment and community outreach, assisting with prospective student recruitment, and improving the Developmental Area's support and training of graduate and undergraduate students. That is, leadership and service that rises above and beyond one's own lab is the basis for awarding the prize.

Faculty nominations and self-nominations are welcome and should be SUBMITTED BY E-MAIL to CRL Administrative Assistant Nadia Sanchez <sanchez@austin.utexas.edu> by May 1 of each year. Nominees will be evaluated by the faculty members in the Developmental Area. One award of $500 will be granted each year (unless two or more individuals are deemed equal in merit). The winner will be announced before graduation each spring.


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