Join Our Team

Welcome to the Florida Institute for Child Welfare Application Portal

We have several positions that provide the opportunity to obtain instruction at the intersection of social work and child welfare to gain valuable research, evaluation, and policy experience in the child welfare field. Work at the Institute offers the ability to collaborate with state and local experts, research and faculty affiliates, and most importantly the ability to provide research informed policy recommendations to the Florida Legislature, the Department of Children and Families, and community-based agencies that serve our most vulnerable families.  

Currently Hiring:

The GROW Center is now hiring! Apply now to join the GROW Center team.

AWE Leadership Academy training specialist
  • Curates leadership activities and trainings for statewide child welfare professionals. Serves as the lead developer and oversees the implementation of the new Alliance for Workforce Enhancement (AWE) Leadership Academy. Develops training plan, organize educational activities, packets, and materials previously developed by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). 
  • Facilitates Leadership Training Activities in a flipped classroom environment using previously developed curriculum and training activities from NCWWI. 
  • Drafts informational marketing materials, program schedules, and manage logistics for a range of online and classroom activities.
  • Manages the upload, tracking, and completion of previously developed online leadership training modules. 
  • Collaborates with the GROW Center Program Coordinator to ensure smooth coordination of all administrative functions. Includes providing administrative support for the AWE Leadership Academy by arranging travel, hotel accommodation, room reservations, food orders, photo, AV, webcasting, and other logistical support as needed. Contributes to the overall functioning of the Institute, which includes, but is not limited to: 1) participation in staff meetings; 2) serving as an Institute representative in local, statewide, or national professional workgroups; 3) contributing to regular or ongoing Institute initiatives (e.g., annual symposium) as needed; and 4) participation in professional development activities.

Click to Apply Search Job ID 51134

AWE Program Coordinator

This position will be responsible for coordinating administrative, planning, and operational activities for Florida Institute for Child Welfare's (FICW) GROW Center Alliance for Workforce Enhancement (AWE) Program.

  • Works directly with the GROW Center Director and AWE Site team to assist in the AWE project implementation.
  • Responsible for daily operation of the AWE program including coordination of program activities, scheduling and facilitating of AWE Site Team meetings, communicating on behalf of the AWE Site Team, organizing and maintaining Site Team documents and resources, including SharePoint and setting priorities for managing the program.
  • Overseeing the request for applications for site participation, including providing technical assistance and support with support from AWE Site Team.
  • Creates and maintains program communication materials in collaboration with Institute communications team.
  • Collects and analyzes data; prepares schedule and special reports; maintains AWE initiative records and statistical information.
  • This position may be required to travel within the state of Florida 4 - 6 times throughout the year representing the Center.

Click to Apply Search Job ID 51914

Additional Opportunities

Post-Masters Fellow

In general, applications for the Post-Masters Fellow position are accepted between March 1 and April 15 for a July 1 start date. This is dependent on contractual needs. Check this portal for updates.

position description

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare at the Florida State University College of Social Work invites applications for a post-masters research fellowship. This is a full-time OPS position (40 hours/week) anticipated for up three years. The Postmasters Fellow will contribute to one or more Institute research and evaluation projects. In addition, the Postmasters Fellow will be afforded designated time and resources to further their professional development goals. The successful candidate should have received a master's degree in social work or a related field within two years of the anticipated start date.


This position will support research and evaluation activities conducted by Institute. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Participant recruitment 
  • Data collection and entry 
  • Data analysis 
  • Project management 
  • Report writing 
  • Dissemination (i.e., manuscript writing, presentation of findings) 
  • Grant writing 
  • Community networking

The Program Director of Science and Research will assign the Fellow to one or more projects at any given time based on the needs of the Institute and complexity of the responsibilities. These responsibilities will account for the majority of the Fellow’s time (.80 FTE). 

The Fellow will co-develop a personalized professional development plan with Institute leadership. A portion of the Fellow’s time (.20 FTE) will be devoted to executing this plan. Pending funding and employee performance, the Fellow will receive financial resources to support professional development goals that are aligned with the Institute’s mission.  

This OPS position is anticipated for one year, with the possibility of extending the position for up to two additional years based on available funding and employee performance. To align with skill development, salary increases of $2,000/year are anticipated for each additional year of employment. 

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social work or a related field (MSW preferred), received within two years of the anticipated start date (January 1, 2021) 
  • Experience working on research projects involving qualitative and/or quantitative data 
  • Child welfare experience and/or education 
  • Ability to manage multiple, distinct projects simultaneously 
  • Ability to prioritize and organize work assignments and perform accurately in a detail-oriented environment 
  • Ability to utilize problem-solving skills 
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills  
  • Comfortability working with various personnel 
  • Comfortability working in open and/or shared workspaces 

Anticipated FTE  

1.0 FTE (40 hours a week) from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. There is shared space available at the office.  

Anticipated Salary Range

$35,000 For information on OPS benefits, please visit:  

Tobacco Free Campus

Effective January 1, 2014, tobacco use, including simulated tobacco use, is prohibited on property, interior and exterior, owned or managed by Florida State University. This policy applies to all Florida State University students, employees, consultants, contractors, visitors, and external individuals. 

Equal Employment Opportunity

An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. FSU's Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed here.

Dissertation Fellowship - Now Accepting 2022-2023 Applications

About the Fellowship

The Institute seeks doctoral candidates who are dedicated to research and scholarship that promotes and improves the safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families in Florida’s child welfare system to apply for the 2022-2023 Dissertation Fellowship. The selected fellow will be awarded $5,000 throughout the award period. Preference will be given to dissertations that align with our annual research topic.

The FY 21-22 topic is innovations in workforce resilience. This includes, but is not limited to, innovative child welfare research topics such as: recruitment and onboarding; supervision, peer support; worker health or mental health; work-life balance; leadership development; collaboration; diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare will award one fellowship to a qualified doctoral candidate in a Florida-based university or college. The Fellow is required to submit two progress reports, one in the Fall 2022 semester and one in the Spring 2023 semester. In addition, the Fellow will work with the Institute to develop a deliverable product (e.g., brief report of findings, webinar or podcast episode) which highlights the Fellow’s dissertation work. 

The Fellowship will begin on September 1, 2022 and end June 1, 2023. Stipends will be paid upon receipt of progress reports ($2,000 each) and final deliverable ($1,000) for a total of $5,000. Fellows may apply for subsequent Institute-funded awards for which they are eligible. 


Applicants must be a doctoral candidate currently enrolled in a doctoral program in Florida (this fellowship is not restricted to students in specific degree programs). Applicants must be enrolled and actively registered in their program for the complete duration of the fellowship. In addition, the student must have: 1) completed all required coursework; 2) passed preliminary or qualifying exams (or equivalent programmatic benchmark); and 3) have an approved prospectus by award start date (September 1, 2022).   

How to apply

The 2022-2023 Florida Institute for Child Welfare Dissertation Fellowship application period opens January 15, 2022 and closes at 5:00 p.m. EST on March 15, 2022. Applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter 
  • Curriculum Vitae  
  • Research Statement 
  • Two Letters of Recommendation  
  • Confirmation of Eligibility  
Cover Letter guidelines

The cover letter provides reviewers with relevant history of the applicant and introduces the dissertation topic. The cover letter should not exceed 2 single-spaced pages with one-inch margins using Times New Roman (or similar) 12-point font.

Research Statement

The research statement should expand on the applicant’s research agenda, including a more comprehensive overview of the dissertation. Please address the following: 

  1. Why did you choose child welfare as a research topic area? 
  2. Relevant research agenda history (e.g., past child welfare-related work) 
  3. Dissertation Title 
  4. Dissertation Overview  
    1. Background and Significance of Research 
    2. Target Population  
    3. Primary Research Question(s) 
    4. Research Design 
    5. Analytic Methods 
  5. Future research agenda, including a description of how the Fellowship would support short-term research or other relevant goals 
Research Statement Guidelines

The research statement should not exceed 2 single-spaced pages with one-inch margins using Times New Roman (or similar) 12-point font. References may be attached at the end of the personal statement and will not count towards the page limit.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation-one from their major professor and one other academic reference. Letters must be on university letterhead with signatures and answer/address the following:

  • What is your relationship to the applicant and how long have you known this person? 
  • In what capacity have you worked with the applicant and what has been your experience working with this person? 
  • What are the strengths of the applicant? 
  • Describe the applicant’s commitment to child welfare research, policy, and practice. 
  • What are strengths and limitations of the applicant’s dissertation research project? 
  • Describe why this applicant would be a good candidate for the Dissertation Fellowship. 

Recommendation writers will submit letters separately from the applicant’s own materials and submit to Dr. Lisa Magruder, Institute Program Director of Science and Research,

Confirmation of eligibility

Applicants must submit a letter from the doctoral program director or dean confirming eligibility for the Florida Institute for Child Welfare Dissertation Fellowship. The letter must be on university letterhead with signatures and confirm the following about the applicant: 

  • All coursework and preliminary or qualifying exams have been completed  
  • Has or will have an approved prospectus plan by award start date  
  • Is in good academic standing 
  • Projected graduation date 

Contact Dr. Lisa Magruder at for more information.

Click here to complete the short application and submit your documents

Click here to download the application instructions


Postdoctoral Scholar

About the Fellowship

The fellowship is designed to support early career scholars who have an interest in child welfare research and policy. The Fellow will: 

  • Be supervised by the Program Director of Research at the Institute and mentored by the Director 
  • Have extensive opportunities to network with child welfare policymakers, Florida Department of Children and Families’ leadership, community-based care agencies, and statewide faculty and research affiliates 
  • Gain direct experience translating research findings into policy recommendations for state legislators 

Primary responsibilities will be determined based on current research needs. In general, responsibilities will include assisting with or leading ongoing quantitative and qualitative research, submitting proposals for state and federal grants and contracts, and writing and reviewing reports. Fellows will be required to write for publication and engage in research dissemination.  

About the Institute 

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare, housed at the Florida State University College of Social Work in Tallahassee, Florida, seeks to promote safety, permanency, and well-being among the children and families of Florida that are involved with the child welfare system. To accomplish this mission, the Institute sponsors and supports interdisciplinary research projects and program evaluation initiatives that contribute to a dynamic knowledge base relevant for enhancing Florida's child welfare outcomes. The Institute collaborates with community agencies across all sectors and other important organizations in order to translate relevant knowledge generated through ecologically-valid research, policy analysis, and program evaluation. This is best achieved through the design and implementation of developmentally targeted and trauma-informed strategies for children and families involved in the child welfare system. For more information about the Institute please visit our website: 


Applicant must have received a PhD from an accredited graduate program in social work or related field within the past 5 years of the appointment start date. If the applicant is a current student, a confirmation of eligibility must be submitted. Exceptions can be made on an individual basis when justifiable and accompanied by supporting documents with prior approval from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. 


The Institute aligns its postdoctoral salaries with Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends. For FY21, the annual salary for a new postdoctoral scholar is $53,760. The position benefits include individual or family health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, as well as savings and discounts. For more information visit the Florida State University Benefits for OPS Employees webpage

How to Apply 

Instructions will be provided when the Institute is accepting applications.   

Applicants will be required to submit an application to the Florida State University job board which will include: 

  • Cover letter 
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Statement of Research 
  • Two (2) writing samples (e.g., peer-reviewed publications, reports, research briefs) 
  • Contact details for two (2) academic or professional references (not writing letters of recommendation) 
Letters of Recommendation 

In addition to the applicant-submitted materials, applicants must arrange for two (2) two letters of recommendation on their behalf, one of which must be from an academic supervisor. Letters must be on letterhead with signatures and answer/address the following: 

  • What is your relationship to the applicant and how long have you known this person? 
  • In what capacity have you worked with the applicant and what has been your experience working with this person? 
  • What are the strengths of the applicant? 
  • How would a postdoctoral scholar position strengthen the applicant’s current skillset? 
  • Describe the applicant’s commitment to child welfare research, policy, and practice. 


Confirmation of Eligibility 

If the applicant is a current student, the applicant must submit a letter from their doctoral program director or dean confirming eligibility for the Florida Institute for Child Welfare Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship. The letter must be on university letterhead with signatures and confirm the following about the applicant: 

  • All coursework and preliminary or qualifying exams have been completed  
  • Prospectus (or equivalent) has been approved by the dissertation committee. 
  • Actively working on dissertation (include defense date if known) 
  • In good academic standing 
  • Projected graduation date 


Contact Dr. Lisa Magruder ( about future opportunities. 


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs  

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves as a starting point for identifying resources as well as a resource throughout the fellowship. Activities include serving as an information repository and liaison among postdocs, faculty, administrators, and external organizations; providing professional and career development programming and resources for postdocs; facilitating community building and networking events; and advocating for resources and policies that enhance postdoctoral training. For more information, visit In addition, Florida State University has an active Post-doctoral Association (PDA) whose vision is to bring together postdocs across disciplines while improving the postdoctoral environment and training experience at FSU. To achieve this, the PDA coordinates events, workshops, and relays information to their home departments all in the interest of making the postdoctoral experience at FSU productive and enjoyable. For more information, visit the Florida State University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs webpage


Research Assistant—Accepting Applications Now

The Research Assistant application portal is available on the Institute website year-round and includes specific instructions as well as application questions. Click below to submit the application and cover letter. Applications will be reviewed by the Program Director of Research and the Senior Post-doctoral Scholar on a rolling basis based on Institute research needs.

Research responsibilities vary depending on the needs of particular projects. Typical responsibilities include:

  • Participant recruitment 
  • Data collection and entry  
  • Data analysis 
  • Project management and administrative tasks 
  • Report writing 
  • Dissemination (i.e., manuscript writing, presentation of findings) 

Similarly, specific qualifications are also dependent on project tasks. At a minimum, we expect all our research assistants to demonstrate:  

  • The ability to prioritize and organize work assignments and perform accurately in a detail-oriented environment  
  • The ability to utilize problem-solving skills 
  • Strong interpersonal communication and organizational skills 
  • Comfortability working collaboratively with various personnel 
  • Comfortability working in open and or shared workspaces 

Preferred qualifications typically include: 

  • Post-secondary education in social work or a related filed. Level of education required is dependent on project needs and tasks  
  • Experience working on research projects involving qualitative and or quantitative data  
  • Child welfare experience and or education  

We frequently work with students obtaining their master or doctoral degrees. Our research staff is open to training research assistant candidates lacking experience who demonstrate a commitment to building skills.  

The position is OPS and the hourly rate ranges from $18-$24 an hour depending on educational attainment and or relevant professional experience. Research needs vary but typically the position is 10-20 hours a week. 

Initial interviews will be held by the principal investigator in need of a research assistant. Individual interviews will be held with the top three candidates and the Program Director of Research, Senior Post-doctoral Scholar, and the Program Director of Administration. The review team will make their determination and notify the candidate within 5 business days. The selected candidate(s) will be given up to five business days to accept or decline the offer.  


Research and Policy Intern

The Institute is happy to accept applications for MSW Social Leadership internships from Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Internships will be offered during the spring semesters only. The Institute will make individual education plans with interns that incorporate the intern's goals and the Institute's current projects and needs. Possible activities and tasks may include:

  • Learning about the research and evaluation process  
  • Researching and analyzing best practice approaches in child welfare 
  • Participating actively in research and evaluation projects 
  • Authoring translational research products (e.g., literature reviews, white papers) 
  • Shadowing Institute leadership at meetings and events 
  • Helping with social media 
  • Organizing a webinar, podcast, or video on a particular topic 
  • Assisting with the development of programmatic policies 
  • Learning about and following child welfare legislation  

Questions about possible internships should be directed to Marianna Tutwiler at Additional information about internships may be directed to Field Education staff and faculty at the FSU College of Social Work and FAMU Department of Social Work

Why Join our Team?  

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare is a team of professionals with diverse backgrounds working in a fast-paced exciting environment. Working at the Institute, you can develop specialized and sought-after skills that will prepare you for your research and policy career goals. The Institute is well poised at the local, state, and national level to assist with networking with our colleagues.  

 The Institute encourages applications for admission from qualified applicants regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected group status in accordance with all pertinent federal, state, and local laws on non-discrimination and equal opportunity. 

Volunteer Opportunities

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare occasionally accepts volunteers for ad hoc projects. Please enquire about current volunteer opportunities by emailing Marianna Tutwiler at Volunteer projects may include:

  • Social media maintenance and content creation
  • Researching topics for information to be included in social media, infographics, and newsletters
  • Entering journal article titles into EndNote
  • Other projects, long- and short-term, as needed

Click below to fill out a short volunteer application. 


title-inside title-centered