Project Title

Pathways to Doctoral Studies in Education-Related Fields

Funding Sources

This program is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (#R305B160003) and the summer tuition waivers and fees are paid for by the University of Arizona.

Principal Investigators

Michelle Perfect, Ph.D.

Michelle M. Perfect, Ph.D.

Brandy A. Brown, Ph.D. (Co-PI)


Francesca López, Ph.D. (Co-I)
Laura G. Lunsford, Ph.D. (Consultant)


The Access, Wellness, and Relational Determinants of School Success (AWARDSS) training program at the University of Arizona provides UA upper-level undergraduate students, recent graduates (in the last 5 years), and UA Masters students with experiences in conducting educational research while preparing participants for doctoral study. The training program will include faculty, students, and recent alumni from the University of Arizona's main campus and its partner, the University of Arizona-South. The training program will also accept recent graduates from other universities that now live in southern Arizona. Over the course of the five-year grant, AWARDSS will offer up to 48 students one-year fellowships.

AWARDSS is one of the University of Arizona's year-round Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium (UROC) programs, collectively referred to as UROC-PREP, designed to increase participation of underrepresented students in doctoral study. Unlike other UROC-PREP programs, AWARDSS focusses exclusively on education research training and admits recent graduates and masters students. As part of the year-long AWARDSS training program, fellows will receive training in education research (with a focus on examining individual and societal contributions to student success), conduct research with faculty mentors, develop their writing skills, and receive assistance in applying to doctoral programs.

AWARDSS fellows will begin their year-long training in the spring with a semester-long writing course and an online course on education research methods. Fellows will then participate in the UROC-PREP summer research institute that includes a research apprenticeship with faculty mentors, continued research and writing training, and GRE preparation. During the fall semester, AWARDDS fellows will continue their research apprenticeships with their faculty mentors.

During the summer, each fellow will receive a stipend, housing and a meal plan and a small travel allowance.