Programs & Services
Faculty Scholars
Doctoral Fellows
Doctoral Fellows Pre-Dissertation Award
Geriatric Enrichment
Practicum Partnership

Hartford Scholars Program

Funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City
Administered by The Gerontological Society of America
Barbara Berkman, DSW/PhD, Principal Investigator and National Program Director
Helen Rehr/Ruth Fizdale Professor
Columbia University School of Social Work

125 Hartford Social Work Scholars

For a more detailed map, click here.

*New* 2014 Hartford/VA Scholar Application Materials


Note: The Hartford Faculty Scholars Program will no longer be accepting applications.The final cohort (XIII) was chosen in April 2012 and is the last cohort funded under the grant. For more information please see a letter from the John A. Hartford Foundation explaining the strategic planning process for the GSWI.

About the Program

This program addresses the lack of adequately trained social work practitioners to meet the social and health care needs of today and tomorrow's rapidly increasing aging population. The current shortage of social work faculty and mentors with geriatric expertise creates the risk of developing a social work professional work force crisis. Because of the key role social work plays in geriatric practice and service delivery, the John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City is funding the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholars Program.

The scholars program fosters an intellectually stimulating, mutually supportive network of colleagues involved in research and teaching in geriatric social work. These scholars will train the next generation of social workers to provide care to older Americans and their caregivers. The Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholars Program will enhance the effectiveness of faculty scholars as academic leaders, role models and mentors for future generations of social work professionals working in geriatrics. The major components of the program are:

The Research Project. Each scholar proposes and implements a significant research project that addresses the effectiveness of social work practice in enhancing the physical and psychological well being of older adults and their caregivers.

National Research Mentors. The scholars are paired with national gerontological social work research mentors who provide in-person and long distance ongoing substantive and methodological review of the scholar's research. Together with his/her mentor, an individualized research development plan is designed to enhance the scholar's program.

Professional Development. Each scholar has an institutional faculty sponsor, who is a professional role model who provides guidance and support, teaches the intricacies of the work environment, and provides political sponsorship to facilitate entry into organizational and professional networks. Together with his/her sponsor the scholar designs an individualized professional plan that will guide the scholar's professional development and enhance effectiveness as an academic leader.

Faculty Development Institutes and Workshops. The scholars participate in skill-building educational institutes, seminars and workshops, focused on topics in research, teaching, and leadership. To view information from the 2011 October Policy Leadership and Orientation Institutes, held in Washington, DC, please click here.

Program Committee. A national Program Committee has been established to provide guidance and oversight to the program, as well as to assume responsibility for selection.

Expected Outcomes

It is expected that at the conclusion of this initiative, the program will have:
- Nurtured the leadership development and enhanced the skills of faculty scholars who are expected to become leaders in gerontological social work.
- Increased the visibility and desirability of gerontological social work as a field, supported by new knowledge of social work's contributions to health outcomes.

For questions about the Hartford Scholars Program, please email Barbara Berkman, Principal Investigator and National Program Director, at or Julia Meashey, Program Manager, at

2012 Application Materials

Please note that the materials below are from the 2012 application process. The Faculty Scholars Program will no longer be accepting applications. The final cohort (XIII) was chosen in April 2012 and is the last cohort funded under the grant.


This webpage was last updated on February 4, 2014

Sponsored by The John A. Hartford Foundation