Deborah A. Hobbins Graduate Student Award in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

The Center for Research on Gender and Women offers a competitive award to support research and/or advocacy pertaining to reproductive health, rights, and justice. The intended purposes of this award are twofold: first, to support the scholarly and career trajectories of future professionals in this topic area; second, to advance the reproductive health, rights, and justice of residents of Wisconsin and beyond.

This award is named in honor of Deborah A. Hobbins, a former UW-Madison Foundation employee and longtime Madison-area supporter of abortion, contraception, and other reproductive health services. The award has been generously donated by Deborah’s friend and colleague, Jeanne Bissell.

Ideally, the award will support a specific research and/or advocacy project pertaining to reproductive health, rights, and justice. However, students may also put the award toward more general educational or living expenses, as long as they can clarify how their academic and career trajectory is focused on reproductive health, rights, and justice. At the request of the donor, applications that focus on Wisconsin will receive priority, although proposals that focus on other areas of the U.S. will be accepted. Projects pertaining to abortion and/or contraception will also receive preference, though applications may pertain to other topics under the wide umbrella of reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Any currently-enrolled graduate or professional student from UW-Madison is eligible. Current graduate students in Gender and Women’s Studies will receive preference in the selection process.

Graduate students may nominate themselves. Students are eligible to reapply.

Due Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 @ 11:59 pm

1) Currently enrolled graduate and professional students. A Gender and Women’s Studies Ph.D. minor is not necessary but encouraged.
2) Research or advocacy topic or career trajectory relevant to reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Application: Please submit application material via Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH).

The application should include:
1) CV
2) Project proposal, double spaced, 1,500 – 2,000 words. If there’s not a specific project, the applicant may write about their scholarly or career trajectory. Please be sure to give a title for your proposal.
3) One page budget and justification
4) Transcript (unofficial is OK)
5) One faculty letter of recommendation (to be submitted separately by faculty member)

Selection: Selection will be made on the basis of excellence in academic work and promising career trajectory by a committee appointed by the Research Committee of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.

Award: Maximum award of $5,000 should be used for some aspect of research and/or advocacy, unless the recipient wishes to put the money toward other educational expenses or living expenses. Winners will by notified by February 1, 2024.

Contact: Please contact the Administrator of the Center for Research on Gender and Women (CRGW), Lyddia Ruch-Doll,, or the Director, Dr. Christine Garlough, with any questions.


2023 – Emma Wathen
2022 – Lindsay Cannon
2021 – Fiona Weeks & Regina Fuller
2020 – Tia Murray & Emma Carpenter
2019 – Kelsey Wright