Murray Research Fellows

The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and several of its affiliated organizations are calling for Catholic educators and institutions of higher learning to commit time and resources to producing excellent educational research for the long-term success and sustainability of our Catholic schools and religious education programs.

The Murray Institute shares in this nationwide effort through its Murray Research Fellows program, which provides funding for educators of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to conduct research and produce scholarship on topics that will advance the mission and goals of Catholic educational ministries on the local, regional, and national level.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Murray Research Fellows program is open to educators of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who have an MA degree or higher from an accredited graduate school. They must have completed at least five years of full-time employment in a Catholic educational setting at the time of their application and must maintain full-time employment in the Catholic educational ministries of the Archdiocese during their tenure as a Murray Research Fellow.

Applicants are asked to submit a research proposal that includes a description of the goals and projected outcomes of the project, the research methodologies that will be employed, and the value of the project for educators in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and beyond, as well as an itemized budget for funding. Proposals will be vetted by a panel of scholars and educational leaders before they are approved for funding.

What does the Murray Research Fellows program offers its awardees?

Applicants who are selected to receive a Murray Research Fellows grant will be given a stipend of $20/hour for 120-150 hours of work and reimbursement for research-related expenses. Individual awards will not exceed $3,000 but, depending on the size and difficulty of the project, applicants may request renewal of their award for as many as four times for the same project. Individual award periods can extend from four months to one year. Renewal requests must be received within one year of the approval of the original award or within six months of approval of the most recent renewal request. The entire project must be completed within 36 months. Funding will be released at the conclusion of each award period, after the awardee has submitted a report and documentation of satisfactory progress on the project.

What does the Murray Institute expect in return?

Awardees are expected to share the results of their research with Archdiocesan educators and/or the national community of Catholic educators in at least two of the following venues: a local professional development workshop, a regional or national conference paper, an essay disseminated through the Murray Institute, an article submitted to a professional journal or a book manuscript. The Murray Institute encourages research presentations at national meetings and will entertain requests for funds for Murray Research Fellows to attend conferences at which they will be presenting papers.

In whatever venues the Murray Research Fellows disseminate their research, they will be expected to serve as ambassadors of the Murray Institute and promote its mission, vision, and convictions.

How to apply?

Applications are accepted anytime during the academic year (September-May). However, for full and timely consideration, please apply by September 30 to request funding for the following spring semester and by April 1 to request funding for the following summer or fall semester. Funding cannot be requested retroactively. Click here‌ for the application form.

In order to apply, please submit the following to the Murray Institute:

  • The Murray Research Fellows application;
  • A letter of approval from the University of St. Thomas’ Institutional Review Board (IRB) Committee (if needed);
  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae;
  • Official transcript(s) that document the successful completion of an MA degree or higher from an accredited graduate school;
  • A letter of recommendation/endorsement from a graduate of an Ed. D. program who is currently serving in a leadership position in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The letter should speak to the applicant’s ability to complete the research project and make a meaningful contribution to scholarship that informs and advances Catholic education in the Archdiocese or at the regional or national level.

After your application is received and your research proposal is vetted, you will be asked to attend a Murray Institute Faculty Committee meeting to further explain your research topic, discuss your research methodology, and explore additional resources to advance your scholarship.

Applicants will receive a written confirmation of their award within two weeks of the Murray Institute Faculty Committee’s funding decision.