Sunday, February 12, 2006

ASHA wants you to be a Doctor!

ASHA is on a mission this year, encouraging students including you, to pursue a Doctoral Degree. For those of you who attended the last NSSLHA meeting, you may recall Ms. Aniversario mentioning the shortage of colleagues with Doctoral Degrees. To spark your interest, ASHA is encouraging you to apply for the SPARC Award!
Taken from the ASHA website:

Students Preparing for Academic & Research Careers (SPARC) Award

ASHA is pleased to announce the 2005 SPARC Award as part of ASHA's Focused Initiative on the Doctoral Shortage. This award is designed to provide opportunities for:

  1. Enhanced educational mentorship experiences that prepare students for successful PhD education and academic careers
  2. Travel to enhance teaching and/or research exposure
  3. Teaching and/or research training under a mentor

The goal of SPARC is to increase the number of PhD teacher-scholars and students who choose higher education as a career option sufficient to fill academic faculty/researcher vacancies in human communication sciences and disorders over the next decade.

  1. Students will identify a primary faculty mentor and propose a one-year academic career mentoring plan.
  2. As many as 15 students will be awarded up to $1500 each to be used for teaching and research enhancement activities such as travel to a research or pedagogy conference or meeting, travel for a visit to an off-campus site that provides learning opportunities in a research lab and/or a college classroom setting, or course registration to support the mentoring plans outlined in the application.
  3. A $500 honorarium will be available to each primary faculty mentor.

Award Eligibility

  1. Junior or senior undergraduates, 1st year master's students, 1st and 2nd year entry level clinical doctoral (i.e., AuD) students
  2. Enrolled part time or full time in a communication sciences and disorders program during the 2005-2006 academic year
  3. Interested in pursuing a career as a teacher-researcher

Application Requirements
Eligible candidates will submit the following:

  1. Completed SPARC application form and commitment statement (PDF format). (The commitment statement portion of the application form must be completed by a primary mentor.)
  2. CSD Career Mentoring Plan to include a Teaching Plan and a Research Plan
  3. 500-word essay
  4. Letter of recommendation and commitment statement from the primary mentor
  5. Budget proposal for the 12-month funding period with accompanying justification

All applications must be received by May 16, 2005. Award recipients will be notified by August 1, 2005.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Reviewers will evaluate two mentoring plans:
  • a plan to develop skills in teaching
  • a plan to develop skills in research.
  • Reviewers consider how your proposed plan meets the goal of the SPARC Award to promote PhD career development.

Examples of teaching plan activities:

  1. meeting with a member of your mentoring team to identify teaching objectives and learner outcomes for a CSD course
  2. observing your mentor teaching a series of lectures or labs to achieve the objectives, and engage in follow-up discussion with your mentor about this experience
  3. visiting another higher education institution to observe and interact with a teacher-researcher in an area of interest to you
  4. participating in activities or courses that will develop teaching skills
  5. assisting a faculty member in the preparation of teaching materials/handouts
  6. guest lecturing under the direction of a faculty mentor
  7. attending a conference about teaching and learning styles pertinent to college level learning

Examples of research plan activities:

  1. visiting research facilities
  2. assisting your mentoring team in their research projects
  3. preparing a manuscript
  4. presenting research at a conference
  5. preparing a grant application
  6. designing and conducting your own research project

Particular emphasis will be given to those applications whose Teaching and/or Research Mentoring Plans have a focus in interdisciplinary collaboration and/or multiculturalism.
When writing your essay question response, keep the goals of SPARC in mind. Be aware of organization, grammar, punctuation, clarity and the strength of your argument or thesis.

For further information about the SPARC Award, please contact ASHA's Academic Affairs office at

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