Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award


The goal of the Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award is to foster students' interest in PhD education and academic research careers, in support of the PhD pipeline in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The SPARC Award provides opportunities for students to participate in mentored teaching and research activities.

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to apply if your current education status is:

  • junior or senior undergraduate student enrolled in a CSD program
  • first-year master's student enrolled in a CAA-accredited [PDF] CSD program
  • first- or second-year entry-level clinical doctoral (e.g., AuD) student enrolled in a CAA-accredited [PDF] program
  • holder of a BA degree and an offer of admission for enrollment to an entry level graduate degree program in CSD for the 2015–2016 academic year

You are not eligible to apply if you have been admitted to or are currently enrolled in a research doctoral (e.g., PhD) program. The goal of the SPARC award is to foster students' interest in the pursuit of a PhD education and a career in academia. The award is, therefore, limited to undergraduate, first year master's, and first- and second-year entry-level audiology clinical doctoral students.

You are eligible to receive the award if you will be a part-time or full-time student in academic year 2015–2016 as follows

  • senior undergraduate
  • first- or second-year student in a CAA-accredited master's speech language pathology program
  • first-, second-, or third-year entry-level student in a CAA-accredited clinical doctoral (e.g., AuD) program

Awardees must be National NSSLHA members at the time of the SPARC award allocation.

Application Requirements

The application period opens in February and closes May 15, 2015. SPARC applicants must complete the online application form and upload PDF documents through the online application system. Please see the application instructions for detailed descriptions of what to include in the following required materials:

  • completed application form
  • CSD Career Mentoring Plan to include both a Teaching Plan and a Research Plan
  • SPARC essay
  • letter of recommendation from the primary mentor
  • commitment statement [PDF] from the primary mentor
  • budget proposal for the 15-month funding period

View current and former SPARC Award recipients.

Questions? Please refer to the SPARC FAQs. Still have questions? Please contact Academic Affairs and Research Education at

Interested in serving as a reviewer? At a minimum, reviewers must hold a PhD degree and have a faculty appointment. Additional requirements may apply. Contact

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