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Applications for the Visiting Scholars Program are closed. Please check back in the future for Visiting Scholar opportunities.

The Visiting Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for academic researchers working in the social, educational, and behavioral sciences to pursue their research in collaboration with PHMC researchers and practitioners. We invite applications from a diversity of Scholars and disciplines, but for the 2021-2022 program year we prioritized Scholars whose research is focused on early childhood education or criminal justice. 

You can find more information about the Visiting Scholars Program below, including program eligibility, selection criteria, and information about past Visiting Scholars and their work.

Program Summary, Eligibility, and Selection Criteria

Summary of the Visiting Scholars Program

Our goal is to work closely with Visiting Scholars to collaborate on new research, pursue grant funding in support of the research, and disseminate the findings of this research through publication. Scholars will receive Visiting Scholar distinction and have access to data, resources, and accommodations; they are able to participate in departmental meetings, training opportunities, and other events as appropriate. Each Scholar will receive a stipend in the amount of $5,000 to support their work at PHMC.

Although the amount of time committed may vary, we anticipate that Scholars will devote approximately 1-2 days per month to this work. This may include work conducted at PHMC’s office (1500 Market Street, Philadelphia) or remotely. For complete information about the program please view the PHMC Visiting Scholar Program FAQ.


All Scholar applicants must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree and a career background that demonstrates their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed research. Preference will be given to applicants with several years’ experience beyond the Ph.D. Please see complete details in the PHMC Visiting Scholar Program FAQ.

Selection Criteria:

The selection of the Visiting Scholars is based on both an individual’s demonstrated record of research accomplishments and the merit of the applicant’s proposed project. Preference will be given based on alignment of the proposed research with the priority focus areas described above. We are also committed to including scholars from underrepresented populations and we highly encourage scholars from diverse backgrounds and experiences, scholars of color, and scholars who have been the first in their families to pursue postsecondary or postgraduate education to apply. We aim to promote racial, ethnic, gender and disciplinary diversity in each year’s cohort.

Meet Our Past Visiting Scholars


Christine M. Forke, Ph.D., MSN, CRPN, is part of the core teaching faculty in the Master of Public Health Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). As a PHMC Visiting Scholar, Dr. Forke examined the relationship between ACEs and health using a social-ecological model that considers the potential impact of ACEs at the individual, family, and community.

Matthew Hiller, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University and is a co-investigator and study director on a project that is conducting a randomized trial of a Contingency Management intervention with probationers. As a PHMC Visiting Scholar, Dr. Hiller worked with the PHMC Community Engagement team to conduct a rigorous evaluation of the Forensic Intensive Recovery program in the Philadelphia criminal justice system. FIR is a prison deferral initiative that offers eligible participants substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration.

Sylvia Morrison, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Education, Health and Social Work at the University of the District of Columbia. As a PHMC Visiting Scholar, Dr. Morrison examined how online teaching methods in reading affect PreK students’ schooling and reading progress. Her research will determine if remote learning has sustained or improved student performance in reading and will identify resources that educators will need to bridge the technological equity gaps among PreK students. The pilot study will evaluate if structured, online remote reading activities can sustain and/or increase the literacy skills of preschool children in the digital environment.

Marva E. Williams, Ph.D. is a research consultant with CDFI Friendly and an adjunct at University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers-Camden, teaching community development, alleviation of poverty and research methods. As a PHMC Visiting Scholar, Dr. Williams’ research focused on the social determinates of health and specifically how discrimination has affected affordable housing in Delaware County.


Jeffrey T. Ward, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Criminology, Law & Society (2011) and is a past recipient of the prestigious Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Ward’s research focuses on addressing critical research problems in two overarching and complementary areas—developmental and life-course criminology and measurement of criminological constructs. This work formed the foundation for his visiting scholar research at PHMC which focused on a multi-site data effort to further validate the Risk and Needs Triage (RANT®), a web-based tool designed to help criminal justice professionals place adult drug offenders into appropriate programs and settings. His research takes a developmental and life-course approach to understand stability and behavior change, including investigating the roles that social, psychological, health, role attainment, and criminal justice system contact play in these processes. 


Russell McIntire, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor at the Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. McIntire, an epidemiologist, researched the eligibility of lung cancer screenings among residents in various Philadelphia neighborhoods and sought to address disparities in access. He utilized data from the 2018-2019 PHMC Household Health Survey, along with other local datasets, to examine gaps in lung cancer screenings in Philadelphia neighborhoods and population groups.

Brittany R. Schuler, PhD, LSW, is an Assistant Professor at the College of Public Health School of Social Work, Temple University. Dr. Schuler’s research aims to understand and improve daily household routines in an effort to improve well-being and protect children of parents with substance use disorders. Dr. Schuler is currently a member of the PHMC/Turning Points for Children Coalition on Children and Opioids, and brings firsthand knowledge of the child welfare system to her work as a former child welfare social worker.