Q. What is the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP)?
A. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through a training grant, the Minority Fellowship Program provides three- to five-year Fellowships to master's-degree-prepared minority nurses who are pursuing doctoral study (PhD, DNP, and BS-to-PhD) on minority mental illness or substance abuse disorders.
Q. What are the benefits of the MFP Fellowship?
A. The Fellowship offers an annual stipend and tuition award that may be granted for three to five years. Through the MFP's "Virtual University," the Fellowship provides dissertation support, coaching in research design and data analysis, networking opportunities, and more.
Q. How much money does the MFP Fellowship award?
A. The annual stipend amount varies from year to year depending on Federal allocations to the Minority Fellowship Program. In 2013, for example, the maximum annual stipend for the MFP Fellowship was $22,032 and the tuition award was $5,000. For the exact amount to be awarded in any given year, please contact the Office of the MFP.
We encourage universities to supplement the MFP Fellowship stipend with university assistantships, fellowships, and tuition waivers to make the support the MFP Fellow receives consistent with what other students in the same department receive.
Q. How many Fellowships does the MFP award each year?
The number of MFP Fellowships awarded each year is determined by the funding provided by SAMHSA.
Q. What are the MFP Eligibility Requirements?
A. To be eligible to apply for the Fellowship, you must be an American citizen or permanent resident. You must be a member of an ethnic or racial minority group. You must have a Master's Degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, and you must be pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health or Substance Abuse. You must be enrolled as a full-time doctoral student in a fully accredited nursing program. You must be a member of the American Nurses Association.
You must provide evidence of certification in psychiatric nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. If you are not yet certified, you must submit a plan for completing the certification requirement when you submit your Fellowship application.
Please visit the Eligibility page for details about these requirements.
Q. Is financial need a requirement for eligibility?
Q. If I receive funding from another source, may I also accept funding from MFP?
A. It depends on whether your other source of funding is federal or private.
- If your other source of funding is federal, you are not eligible for the MFP Fellowship.
- If you receive funding from the Nurse Faculty Loan Program, you are not eligible for the MFP Fellowship.
- If you have received the MFP Fellowship, you may not accept funding from any other federal source.
- If you already have private funding when you apply for the MFP Fellowship, the MFP Advisory Committee will consider on an individual basis whether to award you the MFP Fellowship. If your private funding includes a service obligation after you graduate, you may not be eligible for the MFP Fellowship.
If your source of funding—whether from a federal, state, or professional practice organization—requires your service after your academic training, you might have a conflict in fulfilling the MFP requirements.
Q. Do Fellows have to repay the MFP Fellowship funds they receive?
A. If they comply with all program requirements, Fellows do not have to repay the funding they receive. However, the ANA could require a Fellow to repay funds if the Fellow:
- Is dismissed from school for academic or disciplinary reasons
- Voluntarily ends his or her academic training before graduating from the degree program for which the fellowship was awarded,
- Upon graduation, does not pursue a career providing direct service and leadership in mental health or substance abuse disorders
Q. Does the MFP select schools for the applicant?
A. No. However, if an applicant requests our help, MFP staff may make recommendations.
Q. How do I apply for the MFP Fellowship?
A. By March 1, 2015, complete the MFP Online Application and submit all required documents and forms. For detailed instructions, please visit the How to Apply page and review the Application Checklist and Submission Instructions.
Q. What happens if I do not disclose my Social Security Number?
A. Disclosure of the information sought in the application is voluntary; however, if you do not disclose information, including your Social Security Number, your application will be considered incomplete and your chances for selection will be diminished. MFP requires a Fellow's Social Security Number to process stipend and tuition award payments.
Q. Who selects the MFP Fellowship recipients?
A. Members of the MFP Advisory Committee select the MFP Fellowship recipients.
Q. What is the selection process?
A. Members of the MFP's National Advisory Committee review and score each application. Each application has three reviewers who score it. Committee members discuss each application in depth. Applicants scoring in the competitive range advance to an interview with selected members of the National Advisory Committee. During the interview, applicants can express their interest in providing mental health or substance abuse service to minority and underserved populations, relate their understanding of health disparities and the cultural issues that create barriers to accessing quality health care services.
Fellows are selected based on:
- Scores on the applications and interviews
- Intent to study and work in mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery
- Certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health nurse or concrete plans to complete the requirements for certification by graduation
- Whether they have characteristics that increase the probability they will provide mental health and substance abuse services to minority populations after graduation.
Q. What are the funding priorities?
A. Among applicants who score in the competitive range, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, American Indian, and Alaska Natives will receive priority.
Q. When will I learn whether I have been awarded an MFP Fellowship?
A. By August 1, we will mail you an official letter informing you about whether you have been selected for an MFP Fellowship. We will also let you know at that time if you have not been selected.
If you have been selected for a Fellowship, you must accept or decline the award within 30 days of award notification, and you must complete other required documents within that time.
Q. I have applied for a doctoral program, but I have not yet been accepted or enrolled. May I apply for the Fellowship?
A. Yes, applicants not yet accepted or enrolled in a doctoral program may apply for the Fellowship. However, if you are awarded the MFP Fellowship but are not admitted to a doctoral program by the time the funding year begins, you will not be eligible to receive the Fellowship award.
Q. What happens after my application for the Fellowship is approved?
A. Your participation in the Fellowship becomes effective when you have returned all the required award acceptance documents to the Office of the MFP at ANA. The MFP will provide you with an orientation to the MFP requirements and supportive counseling as needed throughout your doctoral program and beyond. Your school will be notified that you have received the Fellowship, and the first installment of the tuition award will be paid directly to the school. The stipend award will be mailed directly to you.
Q. How does receiving the Fellowship affect my employment, benefits, or taxes?
A. Receipt of the stipend and tuition award does not mean that you are employed by the Federal Government or the American Nurses Association nor are you eligible for benefits available to Federal or ANA employees. There may be a tax liability associated with the Fellowship stipend, so we encourage you to speak with a tax consultant to ensure you are handling the Fellowship award appropriately and meeting all IRS requirements. It is your responsibility to investigate your tax liabilities; ANA cannot be held responsible if you misrepresent the MFP Fellowship award to the IRS.
Q. Can I decline the Fellowship?
A. Yes, you can decline the Fellowship without penalty. You must mail or fax a signed letter declining the Fellowship offer to the Office of the MFP at ANA. You may not decline the Fellowship by telephone declinations. Once you decline the Fellowship in writing, it will be awarded to another applicant.
What is the duration of the MFP Fellowship?
Q. The Fellowship is awarded for up to five years. A Fellow in the program who does not graduate within five years becomes ineligible to receive financial support; however, the MFP will continue to provide academic and emotional support until the Fellow graduates.
Q. What is the process for continuation of the Award?
A. Renewal of the Fellowship is not automatic. Fellows seeking continuing support must submit official transcripts and progress reports at the end of each quarter or semester. These progress reports must be signed by the Fellow and their academic advisor, verifying their successful academic progress.
Continuation of the Fellowship depends upon:
- Whether SAMHSA makes funds available
- The Fellow's continued eligibility for the program. The Fellow must be enrolled on a full-time basis in academic courses leading to the degree for which he or she was funded and must not be repeating course work.
- The Fellow's compliance with program requirements and MFP's procedures for requesting continued support
Q. When does the MFP discontinue support to a Fellow?
A. The MFP will discontinue support to a Fellow:
- If the Fellow is on a leave of absence, for personal or medical reasons, which has been approved by their school/university
- If the Fellow is not a full-time student
- If the Fellow withdraws or is dismissed from their doctoral program
- In the month the Fellow graduates and receives his or her doctorate
Q. Are there opportunities for post-doctoral Fellowships?
A. Post-doctoral fellowships are dependent upon whether SAMHSA funding is available. For information about post-doctoral Fellowships, please contact the Office of the MFP at the ANA.