Master's Thesis Award


The Foundation for the Advancement of Human Systems (FAHS) recognizes scholarly achievement by recent graduates whose research study related to couples and family therapy or family therapy training.


This award may be self-nominated by an AAMFT member or nominated by another AAMFT member. Nominator’s must submit a proposal with the following outline:

  • Title of the project.
  • Timeframe: when initiated, when completed. This award is for studies completed during the previous academic year.
  • Have you submitted a report of this study for publication? Where and when? What is the manuscript’s current status?
  • A paper based on your study, ready for publication, including the following:
    • 150-word abstract, statement of the problem, review of related theory and research, methodology, results, conclusions, and implications for the field of marriage and family therapy. In sum, you are to submit a paper ready for publication, with a maximum page limit of 30 pages DOUBLE-SPACED.

Selection criteria for the award include:

  1. Thesis 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.

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.
Letter of Recommendation

All self-nominations require a letter of recommendation to be submitted with materials.


The award consists of:

  • An engraved plaque presented at an AAMFT event (virtual or in person).
  • Reimbursement of up to $1,000 per recipient for travel to the AAMFT event (of applicable).
  • The event registration fee will also be waived for the award recipient(s) (if applicable).

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, the AAMFT Foundation, or AAMFT sponsored 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.

2021 Award Recipient

Master's Thesis Award Video


Past Recipients of the Master's Thesis Award
  • Jessica Simpson (2021)
  • Kristen Puckett (2020)
  • Christine Miller (2019)
  • Rachel Cheche (2018)
  • Adam Jones (2017)
  • Silvia Leija (2016)
  • Ellen Lachmar (2016)
  • Dallas Dralle (2015)
  • Jonathan Kimmes (2014)
  • Alexandra Schmidt (2014)
  • Jennie Sawyer (2014)
  • Lisa Hansen (2013)
  • Aaron Norton (2013)
  • Anna Bohlinger (2012)
  • Lindsay S. Murphy (2012)
  • Kristy Soloski (2012)
  • Jessica N. Fish (2011)
  • Michele Grimes (2010)
  • Kelly S. Kennedy (2009)
  • Jennifer N. Davis (2008)