Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

Deadline: February 4, 2014

The Jack Kent Cooke Dissertation Fellowship Award supports advanced doctoral students who are completing dissertations that further the understanding of the educational pathways and experiences of high-achieving, low-income students. We seek to provide funding for doctoral candidates whose work informs and advances the following populations/aspects of our mission:

  • high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds, and/or
  • students who demonstrate the potential for achievement, and/or
  • the conditions that promote high achievement (e.g., school settings, interventions, policies).

Overview

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, through its scholarship and grant making programs, advances the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Our work allows us to see first-hand how high-achieving students with financial need overcome obstacles and excel academically.  Our research, however, has shown that many high-potential, low-income students are unable to successfully navigate these obstacles.

In The Achievement Trap (2007), we found that there is a significant drop off in the number of low-income students who are identified as high-achieving throughout the primary and secondary education system. These student experiences raise important questions about the factors and contexts that help some students with financial need overcome personal adversity, limited educational opportunities, and challenging socioeconomic circumstances to excel academically, and how a deeper understanding of such matters can be used to design programs and interventions that will help more low-income students identified as high achieving early in their primary and secondary school years to sustain their academic achievement levels through college and beyond.

In response to this gap in knowledge, the Foundation has created the Cooke Dissertation Fellowship for advanced doctoral students who are completing dissertations that further the understanding of the educational pathways and experiences of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. The fellowship is intended to focus more scholarly attention on the population of students the Foundation serves in order to enable practitioners, parents, schools and communities to better support such students in achieving their full potential.

Dissertation fellowships are intended to support the doctoral student for work done after the student’s dissertation proposal has been successfully defended. Applications are encouraged from a variety of disciplines such as, but not limited to, education, sociology, economics, psychology, statistics, and psychometrics.

The fellowship is a one-time award of up to $25,000, which may be used for a period of not less than nine months and up to 18 months, beginning in June 2014.  Award decisions are announced in May.  See this link for 2014 timeline.  We expect to offer six in 2014.

Eligible applicants must have completed all pre-dissertation requirements.

More information available at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website.

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