Scholarship Opportunities

National Center for Leadership in Intensive Interventions (NCLII) Scholarship

Due March 1, 2021

The National Center for Leadership in Intensive Interventions (NCLII) is a seven-university consortium focused on preparing the next generation of special education doctoral scholars to meet the needs of students with comorbid and complex learning and behavioral difficulties. The project offers unique opportunities to participate in cross-institutional, collaborative research with nationally renowned researchers and scholars.

The NCLII Scholarship prepares university researchers and special education teacher educators to develop integrated practices that address both academic and behavior needs.

NCLII Scholarships cover tuition, university fees, and includes a stipend for the PhD in Special Education. Scholars will participate in a series of cross-university collaborations to develop their research skills and understanding of the challenges confronting students in need of intensive academic and behavioral support.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Have a Master’s Degree in special education or related field with an undergraduate or graduate major in special education
  • GRE Scores are not required
  • 3.5 GPA for graduate and 3.25 undergraduate (last 60 credits)
  • Experience teaching children and adolescents with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in urban settings (at least 2 years)
  • US Citizen or Permanent US Resident

Application Process 

Applicant must complete the NCLII application by March 1 (application link below). In the application, you will be asked to answer questions on your professional experiences and complete essays on your experiences working in special education, your future goals, and why UIC provides the best fit for you as you pursue a doctoral degree. A complete application includes:

  • Completed NCLII Scholarship Application
  • Statement of Goals
  • Professional Resume

In addition, applicants will interview with UIC faculty and staff. For the interview, prospective scholars should bring their unofficial transcripts showing undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Link to the NCLII Scholarship Application.

NCLII Scholarship Info Sessions

Information sessions will be held on the following dates via Zoom:

  • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 5 pm
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5 pm

Please RSVP for the information sessions here.

A Zoom link and informational sheets will be provided as the session approaches.

Contact: Daniel M. Maggin ( or Courtney Barcus ( with questions.

Project SURGE

Applications for Project SURGE are currently closed.

Project SURGE (Special education Urban Research for Greater Equity) builds on an existing doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to prepare six doctoral students from underrepresented groups to develop culturally responsive research to serve children and youth with disabilities with intensive support needs in urban environments. This interdisciplinary program will be guided by the following four competency areas: (a) special education policy processes and analysis, (b) special education pedagogy and program design, and teacher research in urban settings, (c) research methodologies to conduct sustainable interventions to underrepresented populations in under-resourced schools, and (d) collaboration with stakeholders (e.g. families, community entities, policy makers and other researchers). UIC is a Minority Serving Institution and a Research 1 university, making it a unique context for such preparation. Proven approaches will be used to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups such as a cohort model that allows for doctoral scholars to move together through coursework.


  • Master’s Degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree must include a major in special education
  • Priorty will be given to applicants who have a minimum of two years of special education teaching experience.
  • Accepted students must agree to a service obligation, a federal mandate that requires scholarship recipients to remain in the field for two years for every year of support.