Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program in Education Research
The AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research Online Application is currently closedThe application deadline for the 2015-2016 competition was November 3, 2014.

Learn more about the 2014-2015 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship and Travel Award Recipients!

About the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is pleased to announce the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research. The Council of the AERA established the fellowship program to provide support for doctoral dissertation research, to advance education research by outstanding minority graduate students, and to improve the quality and diversity of university faculties. This fellowship is targeted for members of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in higher education (e.g., African Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders). This program offers doctoral fellowships to enhance the competitiveness of outstanding minority scholars for academic appointments at major research universities. It supports fellows conducting education research and provides mentoring and guidance toward the completion of their doctoral studies.

Call for Proposals

Award Period
Each fellowship award is for 1 year, beginning July 1 or later, and is nonrenewable. This fellowship program is intended as a write-up fellowship. Fellowships are awarded for doctoral dissertation research conducted under faculty sponsorship in any accredited university in the United States.

Eligible graduate students for the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research will be at the writing stage of their dissertation by the beginning of the fellowship. The dissertation study should focus on an education research topic such as high stakes testing; ethnic studies/curriculum; tracking; STEM development; measurement of achievement and opportunity gaps; English language learners; or bullying and restorative justice. Applicants can come from graduate programs and departments in education research, the humanities, or social or behavioral science disciplinary or interdisciplinary fields, such as economics, political science, psychology, or sociology.

Fellows are required to provide proof of advancement to candidacy at the beginning of the award period. Applicants must work full-time on their dissertations and course requirements and should be in the writing stage of their dissertation. This program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are members of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in higher education (e.g., African Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders).

AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research Award

Award Component 1, $19,000 Stipend. AERA awards each Fellow up to a $19,000 stipend to study education, teaching, learning, or other education research topic. The fellowship funds can be used for tuition and/or institution fees, books, living expenses, equipment, travel, supplies, software, and other expenses that are directly related to conducting this research. AERA encourages cost sharing from universities in the form of tuition assistance, office space, university fees, and other expenses. Institutions cannot charge overhead or indirect costs to administer the fellowship funds.

Award Component 2, $1,000 in Travel Support to Attend the AERA Annual Meeting. Each spring AERA holds its’ Annual Meeting which brings together over 15,000 researchers, scholars, and policy makers to present their research, share knowledge, and build research capacity through over 2,000 substantive sessions. Fellows participate in professional development and training activities during the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting (Washington, DC). The Fellowship provides up to $1,000 (reimbursable) for travel and lodging expenses to participate in the meeting.

Award Component 3, Present Research at Invited AERA Poster Session. Fellows present their research in an invited poster session during the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting (Washington, DC).  This poster session is a hallmark of the AERA professional development program and features promising research from graduate students who are supported by AERA funded programs. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the developing research from the next generation of scholars and for the Fellows to receive feedback from senior scholars, education school deans, foundation officers, and others across the education research community.

Award Component 4, AERA Minority Fellows Mentoring and Career Development Workshop. During the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting, Fellows participate in a mentoring and career development workshop with current and former members of the AERA Minority Selection Committee and other senior scholars. The workshop focuses on topics such as making the transition from graduate school to a postdoctoral program, faculty position, or a career in applied research.

Application Requirements and Procedures

All applications for the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research must be completed using the AERA online application portal by 11:59pm Pacific time on Monday, November 3, 2014. Late applications and supporting materials will not be accepted.

AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research Online Application is currently closed.

In order to save your application you will need to create a username and password. Record your username and password because AERA cannot retrieve this information. Each application must include:

Contact information.
Each applicant must enter their name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and information about their doctoral institution into the online application form.

Curriculum vita
. Upload your current curriculum vita in PDF. Applicant's curriculum vitae, no longer than two (2) pages, to include the following:

  • Research and academic employment history
  • Relevant graduate courses in statistics and methodology
  • Relevant publications and presentations
  • Relevant professional affiliations and/or memberships

Dissertation research prospectus: Provide a general overview of your dissertation research with the following information:

    Dissertation abstract
  • Statement of the problem and how this research advances the current state of knowledge in the field
  • Theoretical and/or conceptual framework
  • Brief review of relevant literature
  • Key research questions or hypotheses to be tested
  • Overview of research design and description of methodology including any instrument(s); list of variables and rationale for using them; any video segments integral to the study; and specification and clarification of variables and analytic techniques
  • Anticipated or preliminary findings
  • Brief dissemination plan for this research including proposed conferences to present the findings and potential scholarly journals to publish the research
The dissertation research prospectus text is limited to eight (8) single spaced pages. Applicants are highly encouraged to include references and appendices (i.e. charts, tables, research protocol, survey instruments, etc.,). References and appendices do not count toward 8 page limit. You will need to upload this document in PDF.

Combine your Dissertation Research Prospectus and Curriculum Vita into one PDF document (include your full name and institution in header) and upload to online application portal.

. Official or unofficial graduate school transcripts must be received in hard copy by the deadline. No exceptions.

Letter of recommendation
. Two (2) letters of recommendation are required. References should come from your dissertation advisor and/or other major professors who are familiar with your work. In the letter of recommendation from your advisor, the dissertation advisor will attest to your proposal constituting research for the doctoral degree. AERA will only accept two letters of recommendation. Letters may be sent electronically (fellowships@aera.net) or in hard copy to AERA, but must be received by the deadline. No exceptions.

Hardcopies of transcripts and letters of recommendation may be sent by U.S. mail to:

AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program in Education Research
1430 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005

All application materials and supporting documents must be received by November 3, 2014. Remember to combine your Dissertation Research Prospectus and Curriculum Vita into one PDF document.

Resources and Questions

AERA encourages potential applicants to consult ‘Answers to Frequently Asked Questions’ (PDF) for further details about the fellowship and application requirements.

Examples of previously funded projects are listed below (but many other topics of research are equally appropriate to study): 

“Being a Deaf Woman in College is Hard…Being Black Just Adds” Understanding the Complexities of Intersecting the Margins
Reshawna Chapple (2011-2012 Cohort)

The majority of Black D/deaf female students who enter college do not obtain college degrees; as many of them drop out of college citing irreconcilable differences with faculty, staff, and peers (Barnartt, 2006; Williamson, 2007). Although, many of these inequities are being addressed in current scholarship, traditionally social scientists have analyzed issues of race, gender, class, sexuality or disability by isolating each factor and treating them as if they are independent of each other (Thornton Dill & Zambrana, 2009). This qualitative study investigates the everyday lives of Black D/deaf female students on a college campus. The study is based on data gathered during four focus group interviews with twenty-two total participants and fifteen individual semi-structured interviews. Interviews were videotaped and conducted in either spoken English or sign language depending in the preference of the participant. Interviews conducted in sign language were then interpreted to spoken English by the researcher, and subsequently transcribed.  The study sought to explore identity and individual agency, microaggressions and marginality on campus, and resiliency. Analysis focused critically on the women's understanding of their intersecting identities, their perception of their college experience and their persistence in college. The data revealed a seemingly "invisible" space that women occupied either because of their deafness, race, gender or social class status. Even though the women felt that that they were able to "successfully" navigate space for themselves on their college campus, many experienced more difficulty than their peers who were white, male or hearing. The women developed strategies to negotiate being part of both the deaf and hearing worlds while on their college campus. However, they frequently felt excluded from the Black hearing culture or the white deaf culture.

The Color of Youth: Mexicans and the Power of Schooling in Chicago, 1917-1939
Mario Perez (2009-2010 Cohort)

This research study examines the social and cultural educational experiences of the first immigration wave of youth who migrated to the United States during the early twentieth-century. This study is driven by one overarching question: How did the first generation of Mexican American children experience schooling in Chicago between 1917 and 1939? In addition, how were their lives affected by the social, political and economic landscape in which they were embedded, and how did Midwestern educational institutions respond to their needs? In answering these questions, this dissertation places youth at the foreground of educational policy and builds on historical studies of youth by situating them as significant agents in the development of American public schools. It contributes to our understanding of immigrant and urban education by considering the complexity of how youth have transformed educational policy and practice.

Patterns and Predictors of English Language Learner Representation in Special Education
Amanda Sullivan (2008-2009 Cohort)

The disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education has been a persistent problem in education for more than four decades. The core issue concerns the possibility that some students may be misidentified, thereby receiving inappropriate educational services and being unnecessarily placed at-risk for the negative outcomes associated with disability labels, while others may fail to be identified for much needed services. The literature on disproportionality has been dominated by analyses of identification patterns for students identified as racial/ethnic minorities, particularly those who are Black and Native American, and, to a lesser extent, Latino/a, at both the national, state, and local levels. There has been considerably less attention to the continued disproportionate representation of linguistic minority students among those identified as disabled. Moreover, while there have been several studies investigating the predictors of disproportionality, few have included students identified as English language learners (ELLs). This study addresses these gaps in the literature by examining the extent and context of ELL disproportionality in special education in a state with a large population of students identified as ELLs. Utilizing local education agency (LEA) data obtained from the Arizona Department of Education, this study examines identification and placement patterns for the 1998-1999 to 2005-2006 academic years in order to understand the extent of disproportionality in special education and the high-incidence disability categories and in each of the educational environments in which students with disabilities are served. Additionally, the study examines how certain characteristics of LEAs predict these patterns. Results show that students identified as ELLs are overrepresented in special education overall and in the high-incidence categories of specific learning disability, mild mental retardation, and speech language impairment at the state-level and in many LEAs. These students are more likely than students identified as White to be served in the least restrictive environments, and are increasingly less likely to be removed for the majority of the school day. Predictors of disproportionality varied by identification and placement categories. The implications for research and practice are addressed.

Direct any questions about the fellowship program, eligibility requirements, or submission process to fellowships@aera.net or 202-238-3200.
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