Think College Emerging Scholars Program

Application Deadline: October 14, 5pmET

October 10, 2011

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The field of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities is growing and has created new opportunities to cultivate and validate promising practices and promote research to support the creation of an evidence base. Researchers and practitioners have partnered with the higher education community and engendered interest in this field with an array of young professionals. This group of emerging scholars has begun to conduct research both through and beyond the doctoral process, which will become part of the foundation of this generation of work. However, given the nature of graduate and post-graduate studies these emerging scholars may be unaware of the work of their fellow researchers. They may not have the opportunity to connect to others doing similar or complementary work and may not have the means to disseminate their work with a larger audience.

Think College at the Institute on Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts (ICI/UMass), in collaboration with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, is pleased to introduce the Think College Emerging Scholars Program. This program will provide a $3,000 scholarship for up to five doctoral or post-doctoral students conducting research in the field of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of the Think College Emerging Scholars program is to build a network between this next generation of research professionals by providing support for collaboration, information sharing, and dissemination of new work. We want to allow for connections to be made, support innovative collaborations, and build relationships between researchers who share a common thread of interest in postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities.

Think College Emerging Scholars will be expected to:

  • Participate in bi-monthly calls with the Think College team
  • Plan and present one webinar on their research
  • Submit proposal to present their work at a national conference
  • Prepare and submit a manuscript for either a research to practice brief or to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Work collaboratively with at least one other scholar on one of the above activities.
  • Attend one face-to-face Emerging Scholars meeting at a relevant conference to present their work
  • If funding is available, serve as a mentor to a scholar in the future

Each scholar will receive:

  • A $3,000 scholarship that can be used to support travel costs and product development;
  • Opportunities to disseminate their research to a broad audience; and
  • Collaboration opportunities with fellow scholars and more senior researchers in the field


Doctoral or post-doctoral (no more than 2 years) students pursuing research in post-secondary education for people with intellectual disabilities. Applicants will be reviewed on the basis of these eligibility criteria, the quality of previous work, and future commitment to the field. Incomplete applications, or applications submitted after the deadline, will not be considered.


October 14, 2011, 5:00pm Eastern


Please submit a statement of interest, summary of current research, resume or CV, and one letter of support to Rachel Patterson at AUCD. Note: the letter of support should be from a faculty member, such as a dissertation committee member, familiar with the applicant's work and committed to continuing support of the applicant's research in postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities.


Please contact Rachel Patterson at (301) 588-8252.