Jason Hans, assistant professor in the Department of Family Studies at UK, has been awarded a Special Summer Faculty Research Fellowship by the University of Kentucky. The fellowship provides assistant professors on a nine or ten-month appointment with the funds to complete a research project already in progress. The approval process is conducted by a review committee made up of multidisciplinary faculty who rank the proposals and grant the awards.

Dr. Hans’ proposal was to continue working on a project regarding the ethical dilemmas of posthumous reproduction. According to Hans, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) does not adequately address these ethical issues; rather, the laws are designed to regulate life-sustaining anatomical gifts.  “The latitude of the UAGA’s broad language could have a chilling effect on prospective donors’ willingness to make life-sustaining anatomical gifts,” said Dr. Hans. “Because it places the onus on donors to specifically and expressly exclude the transplantation of reproductive material for the purpose of procreation, policies are needed that directly address the complex issues surrounding posthumous reproduction.” The goal of Dr. Hans’ research is to directly address the ethical quandaries associated with posthumous reproduction, ultimately affecting public policy and medical decision making models.

Jason Hans’ research is generally focused on post-divorce financial issues and reproductive issues such as posthumous reproduction and abortion. A former McNair Scholar, Dr. Hans has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2008 Provost's Outstanding Teacher Award at UK. The prestigious Rollins Society inducted Dr. Hans in 2003 for his contributions to the family science community, and in 2002 he was awarded the National Council on Family Relations Outstanding Student Award in recognition of his outstanding potential for contribution to the field of family studies.

Dr. Hans is currently developing the Family Science Database, which will be a new abstracting and indexing resource for research on families. Since 2001 Dr. Hans has also edited Graduate and Undergraduate Study in Marriage and Family, the most comprehensive guide to family-related academic programs ever compiled. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Family Relations, which publishes applied family research, and he's an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous other top-tier family science journals.