The University of Illinois at Chicago, in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and NoVo Foundation, offers a one-year fellowship to prepare the next generation of scholars to advance the field of social and emotional learning (SEL). The fellowship program is designed to support the training of exceptional doctoral students for research careers to enhance the social, emotional, and academic development for students in preschool through high school. In particular, UIC and CASEL plan to prepare action researchers and practitioners who are committed to working in the following areas:

·         Developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative school-based programs that promote social and emotional development of all students
·         Conducting interdisciplinary research on social and emotional factors that enhance preschool through high school students’ positive development and school performance
·         Creating SEL student learning standards, assessment tools, and systems
·         Establishing school-family  partnerships to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic learning
·         Collaborating with educational leaders and practitioners to support policies and practices that improve urban education in Chicago and nationwide

During AY2013-2014, this unique opportunity will allow two advanced doctoral students to develop deeper understanding of the research base for social and emotional learning while exploring connections among research, practice, and policy. The Director of the SEL Fellowship Program is Roger Weissberg, NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning.

Eligibility and Benefits

Applicants must be enrolled and in good standing in a doctoral degree program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The fellowships are designed to support students during the final two years of their doctoral studies when they are working on their dissertation. Therefore, the strongest candidates will have completed all research methods and statistics courses required by their academic program and successfully defended a master’s thesis prior to the application deadline. Our expectation is that fellows  can propose and begin working on their dissertations during the first fellowship year. Fellowships will be awarded initially for one year. Fellows who successfully complete the first year of training will be eligible to apply for a second year of fellowship support.

Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend and a travel allowance to attend academic conferences in their field of study.  Fellowship recipients will also be awarded a tuition and fee waiver, administered by the Graduate College.  The waiver covers all tuition (including differential, if any), service fee, health service fee, academic facilities maintenance fund assessment, library and information technology assessment, and $125 each fall and spring semester toward Campus Care, (the University’s health service), for each academic term through completion of the fellowship.  All other fees are the responsibility of the student.

All recipients must be registered for 12 credits each semester, and for 6 credits in the summer (if they choose to take summer courses).


Fellows will participate in a variety of scholarly activities designed to supplement their required programs of study and enhance their preparedness to contribute to the research and practice in the area of social and emotional learning.  To allow for optimal engagement in these activities and in dissertation research, fellows are not allowed to accept departmental assistantships or other forms of employment during the award period. Fellowship requirements include:

·         Participation in weekly seminars. These sessions will include opportunities for students to discuss emerging research, share their own work, and hear presentations from faculty and practitioners whose work connects to social and emotional learning.
·         Enrollment in Psychology 424: Social and Emotional Learning.
·         A year-round, 20 hour/week research-practice apprenticeship at CASEL, supervised by senior CASEL staff. With the approval of a student’s dissertation advisor and CASEL’s President and CEO, research carried out in the apprenticeship is eligible to be used in the fellow’s dissertation.
·         Commitment to pursue a dissertation project on a question of relevance to CASEL’s mission and goals.

Guidelines for Applicants

The deadline for applications is March 18, 2013 for awards beginning August 16th, 2013. For the 2013-2014 academic year, two fellows will be selected from among the eligible applicants. Complete applications require:

1)      Letter of intent – This document of no more than 3 single-spaced pages should address:
·         reasons for the applicant’s interest in the SEL fellowship and what the applicant aspires to accomplish during the fellowship year
·         previous graduate course work experiences that contribute to the applicant’s preparedness to pursue a career in social and emotional learning
·         an overview of the applicant’s planned dissertation research and its relevance to CASEL’s mission
·         future professional goals
2)      Academic transcripts from all graduate coursework
3)      Curriculum vitae
4)      Two letters of support, one of which must be from the student’s primary academic advisor

Completed applications should be submitted on or before March 18, 2013 in a single, consolidated package to Cynthia R. Coleman at or via mail to:

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Selection Committee
c/o Cynthia R. Coleman
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Psychology, MC 285
1007 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7137