Awards Info

Belfer-Aptman Scholars Award for Dissertation Research

The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment is a not-for-profit educational, research and consultative organization that was established to honor the memory of Melissa Aptman, a Miami native who was murdered in May 1995. The Melissa Institute provides scholarship awards to support violence prevention research.

The Melissa Institute is offering up to three awards at a minimum of $3,500 each. The awards are available to graduate students who address issues of violence prevention and/or treatment. The award must be used to support expenses that are directly related to the dissertation research (e.g., subject fees, computer time, equipment). It may not be used for tuition, personal travel or personal expenses.


  1. Applicants must be students in an accredited doctoral dissertation program. Candidates may be from any academic discipline.
  2. Applicants must have their dissertation proposal approved by their dissertation committee prior to application to The Melissa Institute.

To apply:

Applicants must include the following information in their submission:

1. Title of the proposed thesis

2. Brief 300 - 500 word abstract of proposed study

  • a. Hypotheses to be tested and research design
  • b. Description of subjects - number and how selected
  • c. List of proposed measures
  • d. Proposed data analyses
  • e. Budget justification (not counted as part of the abstract word count)
  • f. Proposed timeline for completion

3. A curriculum vitae, including any scientific publications and presentations with a brief description of your career plan.

4. A letter of recommendation from your dissertation advisor.

5. No electronic submissions accepted.

Application deadline is April 1st of each year. 
Annual selection is May 15th. Winners will be required to submit one copy of the full proposal and documentation of committee approval.

Mail application to:

The Melissa Institute Belfer-Aptman Scholars Award for Dissertation Research
Attn: Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D.
1507 Levante Avenue, Suite 331,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Phone: 305-284-2930 Fax: 305-284-2960