Start Early. Start well.

Buffett Scholars

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars program awards 1- or 2-year fellowships worth up to $25,000 annually to a maximum of four doctoral students every year. The program is designed to foster the growth of diverse, exceptional graduate students conducting research about young children and their families, with particular attention to children placed at risk as a consequence of poverty and social and environmental circumstances. It is the first financial support program for doctoral students who have reached Ph.D. candidacy at the University of Nebraska that focuses on young children and their development.


Awards. Public announcement of the 2017-18 Buffett Scholars award recipients will be made later this summer.

For more information about the Buffett Scholars program, please contact Machaela Cavanaugh at

2016-17 Buffett Scholars

Jon Cavanaugh

Jon Cavanaugh
University of Nebraska Omaha

Cavanaugh, of Mont Vernon, N.H., is a student in the neuroscience and behavior program in the Department of Psychology at UNO.  Cavanaugh's research focuses on the effects of oxytocin on social motivation and social attractiveness in early development. This work, using young marmosets, is especially important, given the lack of pre-clinical work on using oxytocin in children suffering from social disorders (e.g., autism, social anxiety). 

His faculty mentor is Dr. Jeffrey French.
Abbey Gregg

Abbey Gregg
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Gregg, of Omaha, is a student in health services research and administration in the College of Public Health at UNMC. Gregg will investigate how school-based health centers can deliver primary medical care to children from low-income families. Gregg's research will clarify how school-based health centers can organize themselves to implement progressive and promising concepts such as patient-centered care. This study has clear practical and policy implications particularly around using "school as a hub" as one mechanism to support young children's development and learning. 

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Li-Wu Chen.

Amanda Moen

Amanda Moen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Moen, of Frisco, Texas, is a student in the Department of Educational Psychology and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools at UNL. Moen's project will contribute a valid and psychometrically sound measure for assessing and supporting family-school partnerships to the field. The importance of family-school and parent-teacher partnerships is essential for supporting children's development and learning. 

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Susan Sheridan.

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