UW Psychology Student Wins National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

woman posing outside
Jaylan Aliev

University of Wyoming psychology graduate student Jaylan Aliev, of Boise, Idaho, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

As a second-year graduate student in the psychology and law Ph.D. program, Aliev’s research interests include juror perceptions of marginalized victims, how these perceptions affect legal decision-making and how to mitigate juror biases.

“Child sexual abuse is a national health crisis, and the process of seeking justice for victims can often be retraumatizing,” Aliev says. “Countless child sexual abuse narratives do not follow the popular culture prototype that suggests victims are young girls and perpetrators middle-aged men, and it is important to investigate how older or male victims of child sexual abuse are treated in the legal system -- and how such demographic factors may influence mock juror decision-making in these cases.”

Aliev’s current work examines the impact of victim physical maturity on legal decision-making in cases of child sexual abuse. Her secondary line of research focuses on analyzing racial, socioeconomic, geographic and policy disparities in the U.S. juvenile legal system.

“Receiving the news that I was a 2024 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship awardee felt like a dream,” she says. “I am a first-generation high school and college graduate, as well as first-generation American. My initial thought was, ‘Things like this don’t happen to people like me.’”

In May, Aliev will graduate with her master’s degree in psychology, and she looks forward to beginning her graduate fellowship research plans.

“As I have gained more experience working with community partners, I have become extremely interested in disseminating psycho-legal research in a way that informs public policy and aims to improve our current criminal legal system,” she says.

After earning her Ph.D., she hopes to continue her work at a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization as a researcher or data analyst.

“It still has not fully sunk in that my application was one of the 2,000 that was selected as a recipient out of tens of thousands of applications,” Aliev says. “I immediately started crying and then called my adviser, Kayla Burd (UW assistant professor of psychology), and my parents.”

To learn more about Aliev’s research, email her at jaliev@uwyo.edu.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)