Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship Program

Ph.D. Concentration in Language and Cognition

UConn psychological sciences Ph.D. students concentrating in language and cognition can apply for the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship program. This training grant is supported by the Department of Education and administered by the UConn Department of Psychological Sciences.

The area of national need addressed is cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics (42.03).

This three-year grant will provide at least five fellowships per year for three years to qualified Ph.D. students with financial need in the language and cognition Ph.D. concentration.

The UConn Department of Psychological Sciences shares the Department of Education’s mission to increase participation in science by underrepresented groups. The language and cognition concentration provides mentoring and support systems for all Ph.D. students, with particular attention to the concerns of underrepresented groups.

For questions, please contact Jim Magnuson.

About the Program

Fellowship Amount

While any language and cognition student can participate in the program, U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for fellowships (up to $34,000 per year). To determine each student’s stipend, the UConn Financial Aid office calculates allowable GAANN fellowship support according to Department of Education formulas for financial need and cost of attendance. If fellowship support is less than typical program support levels, we augment GAANN support with teaching or research assistant assignments.

Program Elements

GAANN trainees complete all program requirements for the language and cognition concentration. In addition, GAANN trainees take part in a mentored teaching experience. There are two major components to this experience that happen in parallel: practical, closely-mentored experience in teaching, and a graduate certificate in college instruction.

Mentored Teaching

This component happens over a minimum of three semesters, though it may more commonly be spread over three years. First, trainees are paired with a faculty teaching mentor who teaches either Cognitive Psychology or Psychology of Language. In one semester, the trainee shadows the professor for several class sessions. In a subsequent semester, the student serves as the TA for the same class, ideally with the same professor. Finally, the trainee serves as Instructor of Record for a small section of the same course they have shadowed and for which they have served as a TA. Together, these components provide trainees with substantial support for a successful first teaching experience.

Graduate Certificate in College Instruction

This is a program offered at UConn and provides four courses (9 credits total) that prepare graduate students for college-level instruction. Ideally, trainees will take the component courses just ahead of relevant aspects of the mentored teaching experience.

Plan of Study

Below is a hypothetical plan of study that would allow a student to complete the language and cognition curriculum and additional GAANN components while completing the Ph.D. within the normal five-year period.

Year One

Fall Semester

  • Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)
  • Psychology of Language (3 credits)
  • Graduate statistics courses 1 (3 credits)

Spring Semester

  • Graduate statistics course 2 (3 credits
  • Language and cognition elective 1 (3 credits)
  • Breadth course 1 (3 credits)

Year Two

Fall Semester

  • Breadth course 2 (3 credits)
  • Teaching & Learning Fundamentals (2 credits)
  • Seminars in College Instruction (1 credits)

Spring Semester

  • Language and cognition elective 2 (3 credits)
  • Breadth course 3 (3 credits)

Summer Session

  • Master’s defense

Year Three

Fall Semester

  • Advanced Issues in Teaching & Learning (3 credits)

Spring Semester

  • Reflections on Teaching practice (3 credits)

Summer Session

  • Qualifying Exam

Year Four

Fall Semester

  • Dissertation proposal

Spring Semester

  • Dissertation research
  • Outreach Seminar (1 credit)

Year Five

Fall Semester

  • Dissertation research (continued)
  • Outreach Seminar (If not taken in year four, 1 credit)

Spring Semester

  • Dissertation defense

How to Apply

Students may ask their major advisor to nominate them either at the time of applying to the language and cognition concentration or after they have joined the concentration. The language and cognition faculty will assess each candidate’s Ph.D. program application.