What is Project FOSTER

Project FOSTER is a doctoral leadership training opportunity at the University of Washington for individuals who are interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in Special Education. Students will develop expertise in either math or reading through research and teaching experiences that will include:

  • Rigorous coursework in a content area as well as in research design and methodology,
  • Targeted research internships to apply research to practice,
  • Undergraduate and graduate university teaching experiences.

Benefits of Project FOSTER

This U.S. Department of Education funded fellowship provides Project FOSTER fellows with the following benefits:

  • 4-5 years of Tuition
  • Monthly stipend ($1,700)
  • Health insurance
  • Travel funds
  • Funds for books and supplies
  • Shared office space

Who can enroll in Project FOSTER

To be eligible for Project FOSTER, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be admitted into the special education Ph.D. program,
  • Hold a masters degree in special education or a related field,
  • Enroll as a full-time graduate student,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and
  • Adhere to the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education and implemented by the Personnel Development Program Data collection Center.

Usual Length of Program through Project FOSTER

Our program is designed to allow students as many as five years to complete the Ph.D. program, but many students will be able to finish in four years.

Federal “work or pay back” Requirement

Because FOSTER is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, participants enter into a service obligation agreement with the Department. That is, participants complete a “work or pay back” requirement after graduation from the program, which requires two years of work in a leadership role in the field of special education for every one year of grant funding received.

How to Apply

Applications are being accepted now; the deadline is January 5. Accepted students will begin taking courses in Fall 2018.  Application requirements for the Graduate School and COE are found here.  Scroll down to see the Ph.D. requirements.  The FOSTER program requires a writing sample from each applicant. Click here to learn how to apply to the College of Education’s Ph.D. program.


For more information about the program, contact Roxanne Hudson at rhudson@uw.edu.

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