The Karen and Michael Roberts Travel Award

The Karen and Michael Roberts Travel Award was established in 2020 by the founding Director of the Clinical Child Psychology Program, Dr. Michael C. Roberts and his wife, Karen B. Roberts, to provide funds to support CCPP students’ travel to present research findings at a national or international conference or convention. 

For more than 40 years (and counting), Michael and Karen have helped shape the field of clinical child and pediatric psychology. Michael began his academic career at the University of Alabama, where he coordinated the Clinical Child Psychology Training Concentration.  During his time at Alabama and after he joined the University of Kansas, Michael was instrumental to the development of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and the Society of Pediatric Psychology as independent Divisions of the American Psychological Association.  He has been similarly instrumental in the initial recognition and subsequent renewals of “Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology” as a recognized specialty area within professional/health service psychology. 

Michael served KU as Director of the Clinical Child Psychology Program from its establishment in 1991 until 2012 and as Dean of Graduate Studies from 2014 until 2019.  Michael is currently Professor Emeritus within the Program, serving on dissertation committees, lecturing, and collaborating with students and faculty. 

Karen has had significant impact on the specialty areas of clinical child and pediatric psychology as well.  After serving the University of Kansas as a data/systems analyst for several years, she applied those analytic skills as the Administrative Officer for both the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) and the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP).  During Karen’s tenure in these administrative roles, both Societies prospered and extended their reach and impact within the profession.  Although she retired from her role within the SCCAP in 2016, Karen continues to serve SPP with distinction.

Michael and Karen have two daughters and five grandchildren.  While they are not shaping clinical child and pediatric psychology, they enjoy traveling, spending time with family, and following KU Basketball.    

Award Details

Interest from this endowed account will provide funds to support CCPP students’ travel to present research findings, either orally or via a poster presentation, as a first author at a national or international conference or convention in a recognized substantive area of clinical child or pediatric psychology.  Examples of acceptable conferences include the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference, the National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association; however, other conferences with national or international impact, that use peer-review to select empirical papers, and that are associated with recognized professional associations that support evidence-based assessment and interventions within clinical child and pediatric psychology will be considered acceptable as well. 

Eligible recipients of the award are limited to graduate students enrolled and in good standing in the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas. 

Two awards of approximately $600 each are expected to be bestowed each year.* Applications will be considered twice per year, with submission deadlines of January 15 and July 15.

Complete applications will include

  • a 250-word summary of the proposed travel and its impact on the student's professional development
  • The accepted abstract for the paper or poster to be presented, along with the acceptance notification from the Conference/Convention.  If the convention/conference is not one of the three named above (SPPAC, NCCCAP, APA), the application materials should clarify how the planned conference meets the noted inclusion criteria. 
  • a current CV
  • a detailed budget of proposed expenses (including sources of additional funding already available)

These materials will be provided to the Director of the CCPP in electronic format by 5:00pm on January 15 or July 15 (or the following Monday, if the 15th falls on a weekend). Applications that do not conform to the above instructions will be returned to the applicant without review. 

Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee chosen by the Director of the Clinical Child Psychology Program. Committee members will evaluate the proposals based on the following characteristics: the overall quality of the research being presented; the potential for the award to impact the student's professional development; the student's overall achievement in the program; and the appropriateness of budget.  Each committee member will score the proposals in terms of the characteristics noted. The CCPP Director will review the evaluations and scores provided by the committee members and will grant the award to the student with the highest score.

Within 6 months of the award, each awardee shall submit a report to the CCPP faculty detailing expenditure of funds and any significant deviations from the proposed budget.  Award recipients will send Dr. and Mrs. Roberts a copy of the poster abstract (or full paper) and a summary of the benefits derived from their travel experience. 

*based on performance of the KUEA fund in which the principal is held. Specific award amount will be determined on February 1 of each year.