The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, through its scholarship and grantmaking programs, helps exceptionally promising, low-income students, from middle school to graduate school, reach their full potential through education. Our work allows us to see first-hand how high-achieving, low-income students overcome obstacles and excel academically. Our research, however, has shown that many high-potential, low-income students are unable to successfully navigate these obstacles. In The Achievement Trap (2007), we found that there is a significant drop off in the number of low-income students who are identified as high-achieving throughout the primary and secondary education system. These student experiences raise important questions about the factors and contexts that help some low-income students overcome personal adversity, limited educational opportunities, and challenging socioeconomic circumstances to excel academically, and how a deeper understanding of such matters can be used to design programs and interventions that will help more low-income students identified as high achieving early in their primary and secondary school years to sustain their academic achievement levels through college and beyond.
In response to this gap in knowledge, the Foundation has created the Cooke Dissertation Fellowship for advanced doctoral students who are completing dissertations that further the understanding of the educational pathways and experiences of high-achieving, low-income students. The fellowship is intended to focus more scholarly attention on the population of students the Foundation serves in order to enable parents, policymakers, and practitioners to better support such students in achieving their full potential.
Dissertation fellowships are intended to support the doctoral student for work done after the student’s dissertation has been successfully defended. Applications are encouraged from a variety of disciplines such as, but not limited to, education, sociology, economics, psychology, statistics, and psychometrics.
The fellowship is a one-time award of up to $25,000, which may be used for a period of not less than nine months and up to 18 months.
Applicants for Jack Kent Cooke Dissertation Fellowships:
• may be US citizens, US permanent residents, or non-US citizens;
• must currently be studying at a US accredited institution;
• must be advanced doctoral students, who have completed all pre-dissertation requirements (including the proposal);
• must not have previously received a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.