Allen and Dolores Gustafson Distinguished Research Scholarship

One of the principal goals of the Catholic Bioethics Institute at Saint Joseph’s University is to carry on collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the field of bioethics locally, nationally and internationally. The goals of the Gustafson Research Fellows Program are (1) to provide a select group of capable graduate and undergraduate students at Saint Joseph’s University and affiliated institutions with the opportunity to conduct independent research in the field of Bioethics and (2) to provide these individuals with an opportunity to communicate their research findings to others within the bioethics field. Both of these important goals must be met if the program is to be successful. The key tenet to successfully achieving the first goal is for the researcher and a faculty advisor to develop a close working relationship. The second goal is achieved through active participation in the Research Fellows learning and research community. This community will be brought together a few times during the academic year. Consequently, research presentations are of particular importance. In these meetings, Research Fellows exchange ideas, discuss research issues and problems, and share achievements.

Recipients and Research Projects


  • Recipients: Andrew Myers and Kevin Cooney
  • Project Title: “Interdisciplinary Death and Dying Education Curriculum for High School Seniors: A Practical Approach to Educating Students about Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives and the Corresponding Applications.”
  • Recipients: Junad Chowdhury, M.D. and Ana Maheshwari, M.D.
  • Project Title: “Can Video Demonstration of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Result in Patients’ Changing Their Resuscitation Status?”

  • Recipient: Brendan Gleason
  • Project Title: “Pediatric Brian Cancer Tissue Donation: Ask and You Shall Receive”

The Purpose and How to Apply

Research Fellows benefit from the following program components: 1. A two-semester research experience, conducted under the supervision of an accomplished faculty member. 2. The publication of the student’s research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. 3. Inclusion in a scholarly community through regular workshops, allowing for the sharing of ideas across disciplines. 4. Opportunities to attend national and regional conferences with the approval of the Director. 5. Experience planning and managing a research budget of at least $5000 [$4000 for recipient & $1000 for faculty mentor].

To Apply for the Research Fellows Program, a Student Must Meet the Following Criteria:

1. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA (undergraduate, graduate, medical school, etc.). 2. Be classified as a full-time junior or senior undergraduate student, full time graduate student or full time medical student/intern/resident at the time of application.

Application Process:

Applications for the Gustafson Research Fellow’s program are accepted each spring semester (March 1st) for the following summer, fall and spring semesters. Prospective Research Fellows are encouraged to identify a potential Faculty Advisor and begin developing a research project early in the fall semester of the year prior to their application.

As part of the application, applicants are requested to submit an 8-10 page proposal to the Gustafson Research Fellows Advisory Committee (Barbelin #108) that describes the research that the applicant intends to undertake and identifies a Faculty Advisor. The applicant should also submit 2 letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your research abilities. The proposal and letters of recommendation should be submitted by e-mail to Theresa O’Doherty ( Files should be in Microsoft Word and in Times New Roman font.

Selection Process:

Prospective Research Fellows' applications and proposals are reviewed by members of the Gustafson Research Fellows Advisory Committee, which is primarily comprised of faculty and administrators at Saint Joseph’s University. Viable projects typically contribute new, relevant information to the student’s chosen field and are feasible within the timeframe allowed (one academic year).

Applicants may be asked to revise and resubmit their proposals before final acceptance.

Applicants are usually notified of their acceptance by May 1st. After acceptance, incumbent Research Fellows are encouraged to apply for other supplementary funding opportunities.

Contact Information:

For more information about the program, email: Theresa O’Doherty at