Departmental Scholarships

The following Fellowships and Scholarships are available to students in EDSRC.  Criteria and eligibility are listed below.  Funds for these programs are limited and as designed to supplement other funds.  For application deadlines and specific funding and eligibility requirements please contact your faculty advisor or Director of Graduate Studies.  Recipients are expected to attend the annual College of Education Scholarship banquet held in September of each year.  Other funding may be available thought grants and teaching, research, and graduate assistantships.  Check with your faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Blackhurst Student Research Fund
    The Blackhurst Student Research Fund provides scholarships to support the research of students who are pursuing graduate degrees.  Graduate students in good standing who are pursuing majors in one of the academic programs in EDSRC are eligible to apply for a scholarship.  Research activities must be conducted as part of a Master’s Degree Thesis, Educational Specialist Degree Research Project, or Doctoral Dissertation. Students who wish to apply must submit a completed application along with an abstract that describes the need for the research, the research questions, hypothesis, or objectives of the research; a summary of the procedures to be used; and potential outcomes of the research.
  • Michael Nelson Graduate Fellowship
    The Michael Nelson Graduate Fellowship is a scholarship fund to support graduate students studying Emotional and Behavioral Disorders at the University of Kentucky.  Any graduate student who wishes to apply for a scholarship must be in good standing and must be conducting a Master’s Degree Thesis, Research Project, or Doctoral Dissertation.
  • Della Marie Johnson Endowed Research Fund
    The Della Marie Johnson Research Fund provides grants for research projects conducted by faculty in the Rehabilitation Counseling program.  The student receiving the grant will be responsible for assisting the faculty member with conducting literature reviews, data collection and analysis, reports and grant writing, and journal publication.  The research project will not be funded for more than two years.
  • Martin Thacker Scholarships
    The Martin Thacker Scholarship offers funding full-time rehabilitation counseling student who are committed to a career in the rehabilitation of developmentally disabled adults in rural areas, and upon completion of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program agrees in writing to serve a minimum of two years in a rehabilitation facility/program that serves individuals with developmental disabilities in rural areas for each year the scholarship funds were received.  Funds are awarded when students enter clinical practice and clinical practice must be in a program facility or agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities in rural areas.  Also, awardees must take the Rural Rehabilitation course.
  • James Arvle Thacker Endowment
    The James Arvle Thacker Endowment offers a one-time only scholarship to students who are from Georgia or Kentucky. The student must be enrolled in the web based Master’s Degree Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and have completed 30 hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.7.
  • Barbara J. Edwards Special Education Fellowship
    The Barbara J. Edwards Fellowship offers a scholarship renewable up to three years to students who are pursuing a doctorate in Special Education and who have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average. Preference for the scholarship is given to minority students are who are underrepresented in the College of Education.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

  • Special Education and Communication Disorders- Interdisciplinary Training (SPEAC-IT) is funded for five years by the Office of Special Education Program, U.S. Department of Education and totals $1,153,000. The grant is a collaboration of the Human Development Institute (HDI), Special Education (EDS), and Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) programs at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Jane Kleinert (CSD) is the principal investigator of the grant. She is joined by Dr. Judy Page from CSD, Drs. Melinda Ault and Margaret Bausch from EDS, and Dr. Jacqui Kearns from HDI who will manage the grant. The personnel preparation grant will prepare special educators and speech-language pathologists to work collaboratively to serve children with severe disabilities and complex communication needs.The grant will provide tuition support for scholars in the Special Education Teacher Leader Master’s and Speech-Language Pathology Master’s programs. In addition to the required coursework in their respective programs, scholars will complete collaborative activities. They will take nine credit hours of shared graduate coursework focusing on serving individuals with severe disabilities and complex communication needs. The courses will provide training in assessment, intervention, and technology and will include seminars, interdisciplinary group assignments, and practicum experiences.“We, in Communication Sciences and Disorders, are so excited to have this opportunity to work in an interprofessional pre-service program with the Department of Special Education. Our previous research has taught us that students with severe disabilities often do not have a viable communication system in place to allow them to fully participate in all aspects of the school day. Only a combined effort of the Speech/Language Pathologist and the classroom teacher can achieve consistent communication intervention for these students. The SPEAC-IT grant will allow this vital interprofessional approach to be modeled and practiced in both the academic and school-based settings.” Jane Kleinert, Project Director. For additional information, special education students should contact Dr. Melinda Ault at, 859-257-7689 or Dr. Margaret Bausch at, 859-257-8810. To apply, visit:
  • TRaining InterdisciPLinary Educators to Support High-Needs Populations (TRIPLETS) is funded for five years and totals $1,250,000. Dr. Amy Spriggs is the principal investigator (PI), and Drs. Justin Lane and Sally Shepley are the co-principal investigators (Co-PI). The goal of the TRIPLETS project is to increase the number of (a) behavior analysts and (b) Special Education teacher leaders who have experience collaborating as mentors and related service providers to teachers in underserved and impoverished areas of rural Appalachia.The grant will pair scholars in the Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education Teacher Leader master’s degree programs to coach geographically isolated educators in the field who are serving students with high-intensity needs in rural areas of Appalachian Kentucky. It is anticipated that two cohorts of eight scholars (four behavior analysts and four teacher leaders) will receive funding through this grant, as well as one full-time doctoral student. The scholarship will provide tuition and stipends for scholars, as long as funds are available.“TRIPLETS will focus on areas in Eastern Kentucky where resources are limited, so this grant will allow services in both instruction and behavior to be delivered in the highest need areas,” said Dr. Spriggs.The first cohort of scholars will begin coursework in Fall 2018 semester. For additional information, students should contact Dr. Amy Spriggs at, 859-257-9105. To apply, please see the scholarship application

  • Preparing Urban and Rural Personnel as Leaders in Education (Project PURPLE) is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. It is funded for five years by the Office of Special Education Program, U.S. Department of Education and totals $2,300,000. Dr. Melinda Ault is the project director of the grant at the University of Kentucky who is joined by co-director Dr. Kera Ackerman. Dr. Ginevra Courtade is the project director at the University of Louisville The personnel preparation grant will prepare 10 doctoral scholars as future faculty in special education. Five positions are open at UK and five at UL. The scholars will receive full tuition, a monthly stipend, travel monies for attendance at one conference per year and mileage to practicum settings, and mentorship from nationally recognized faculty at both institutions. The focus of the grant is to prepare future faculty in special education in evidence-based practices appropriate for rural and urban high-need settings. Scholars will select a home institution (either University of Kentucky or University of Louisville), but will be mentored by faculty across institutions and participate in shared courses. Scholars will begin courses in the Fall 2020 semester. The deadline for the application is March 1, 2020. Scholars from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. All students funded on this grant will be required to enter into a written service obligation agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. Funding made possible by a grant from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs #H325D190030. For more information, contact Dr. Melinda Ault (, 859-257-7689) or Dr. Ackerman (, 859-257-4713) at the University of Kentucky or Dr. Ginevra Courtade ( A recorded webinar about this project can be found at and the corresponding slides are found here.
  • Tiered Instruction, Engagement, Responding, and Services (TIERS) is funded for five years and totals $1,249,999. Project TIERS will prepare 16 master’s level scholars and 1 doctoral level scholar to provide high quality services within early childhood multi-tiered systems of support. Half of the master’s level scholars will work towards a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) and half will work towards a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). IECE scholars will finish the program with a Rank II teaching certification and ABA scholars will finish having met all requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination. Students funded under this project will receive full-instate tuition and yearly stiped of approximately $12,000. For questions contact Collin Shepley via phone at 859-257-2609, email at, or visit
  • College of Education Scholarships: The College of Education offers a variety of scholarships.
  • Kentucky Traineeship in Special Education: Provides tuition support for graduate students working in and preparing for certification in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. Please explore the KY Traineeship page for more information.
  • Traineeship in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education: Traineeship Program funds are available to help defray part of the tuition costs for courses that lead to teacher certification in interdisciplinary early childhood education. With the increasing shortage of fully certified teachers seeking teaching positions in early childhood education, a major focus of the Traineeship program is on teachers seeking alternative certification, emergency or probationary certification, and working toward full certification while enrolled in a Kentucky institution of higher education. For questions, call 859-448-8810, email, or visit
  • Early Childhood Development Scholarship: The Early Childhood Development Scholarship provides a seamless system to upgrade the professional development of those working in early care and education. The state legislature and the Governor created the Early Childhood Development Scholarship as part of the KIDS NOW early childhood initiative. The scholarship provides financial assistance, to the extent of available funds, in the form of non-repayable tuition scholarships for Kentucky students who are pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education. For questions contact Leigha Hale, 859-246-6738, or visit
  • Graduate Student Travel: The Graduate School provides a block grant directly to the College of Education to support graduate student travel. All graduate students who are presenting their research at a professional meeting will be considered for this funding when they apply to the Research Activity Award Fund. Approximate funds for a student’s domestic travel is $650 and for international travel is $1,050. For questions contact Margaret Bausch via phone at 859-257-8810, email, or visit