AWARDSS will expand to the AWARDSS-PLUS over the next five years at The University of Arizona, thanks to funding from the Institute of Education Sciences. The program will launch alongside the final year of the University’s AWARDSS program, which began in 2016.
AWARDSS, which stands for Access, Wellness, And Relational Determinants of Student Success, is a partnership program between The University of Arizona College of Education, College of Applied Science and Technology and the Graduate College that seeks to prepare underrepresented students for doctoral study. Of the original cohort of 45 AWARDSS students, 66% were first-generation college students and 96% identified as racial/ethnic minorities. In collaboration with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium-PREP program administered by the Graduate College, AWARDSS offers students mentorship and undergraduate research experiences. The program matches cohort members with mentors from across campus whose research is relevant to the US educational system.
Principal investigator, Dr. Michelle Perfect says, "The AWARDSS team is so proud of our alumni. Fellows didn't just succeed, they excelled--many have published chapters and articles, presented at conferences and been awarded prestigious funded fellowships and grants that further reflect the scientific community's recognition of their potential and impact."
AWARDSS-PLUS will build on the success of the original AWARDSS cohort of 45 students, of which 83% have matriculated immediately to graduate school – 48% to doctoral programs and about 35% to master’s programs. With the new IES grant, AWARDSS-PLUS will continue the Educational Research Methods eSeries, UROC instructional programming and summer research apprenticeship, and will add the PLUS eSeries, which will address critical issues in diversity, equity, inclusion, wellness, practical implications of scientific findings and research dissemination.
For participation in the training program, each fellow will receive a stipend, housing and a meal plan for the summer research institute and a small travel allowance. Upon transition to the AWARDSS-PLUS program, post-baccalaureate fellows will also be eligible for additional funds to offset costs of summer tuition and mandatory fees associated with the UROC summer research program.
Co-principal investigator Brandy Perkl, Ph.D., says "We are thrilled to be continuing to bring this opportunity to our students with the support of the University and are very much looking forward to working with our collaborators, mentors and the next amazing cohort of AWARDSS Fellows in 2022."
In addition to Dr. Perfect and Dr. Perkl, the program is led by co-investigator Sara Chavarria, Ph.D. and Andrew Huerta, Ph.D. UROC liaison and AWARDSS-PLUS instructional coordinator. To learn more about becoming a fellow or serving as a research mentor, visit awardss.arizona.edu.