Doctoral Scholars Program


SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program

NOTE: The in-person 2020 Institute has been postponed. Save the date for the 2020 Virtual Institute Graduation Recognition Ceremony >

Increasing Faculty Diversity

More than one-third of America’s college students are people of color. But racial and ethnic minorities make up only small fractions of college faculty. Nationwide, about 5 percent of faculty are African-American, about 3 percent are Hispanic and about 1 percent are Native American. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program is working to change that.

The 2020 DSP Fellowship application is now closed

The goal: more minority Ph.D. students who seek
careers as faculty on college campuses 

The Doctoral Scholars Program provides multiple layers of support — not only financial assistance and research funding, but also career counseling, job postings and a scholar directory for networking and recruiting. Mentoring and advocacy for scholars is crucial, and support continues into early careers as graduates become faculty members. And each fall, a thousand scholars and young faculty members convene to learn and support one another at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

5-minute version of this video

Almost 1,000 Graduates and Counting

The goal of the Doctoral Scholars Program is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities. Since its founding in 1993, the program has supported more than 1,660 scholars who have attended 107 institutions in more than 30 states.

Blog post Grad | Logic blog

It’s All About Community
An interview with Ansley Abraham

What’s the best advice to propel a doctoral candidate toward a successful completion of their Ph.D. goal? According to Dr. Ansley Abraham, director of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, it boils down to connecting with “people who are vested in your success.” 

Dr. Abraham has been doling out that advice to doctoral students for over 25 years. In the article below, originally published on the blog – Grad | Logic: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Graduate School, Dr. Abraham shared some of his wisdom in an interview with Dr. Chris Golde.

Blog post Ansley Abraham, Director, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program
Group photo: attendees of the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring

Why supporting doctoral students of color is more important than ever

Twenty-five years ago, the South was graduating so few Ph.D. students of color that, in some fields, the annual number of graduates could fit into the same car.

Fortunately that has changed, but not enough to graduate all the scholars of color we need.


Science and Engineering for Social Good

Dr. Bob Belle, associate director of the Doctoral Scholars Program, will present during the Science and Engineering for Social Good conference, hosted by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) February 9-11, 2018 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The conference, presented in partnership with Georgia Tech, Stony Brook University and The SUNY Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), will feature content of interest to faculty, future faculty, staff and administrators.

For more information please contact Kyle Simmons, NCSCE’s faculty development events manager, at 202-276-2343 or or visit the NCSCE conference site.

My Mother Proved It Was Possible

My Mother Proved It Was Possible
The daughter of a DSP grad shares how her mother inspired her

In summer 2016, six pairs of SREB Doctoral Scholars entered the StoryCorps Atlanta booth to talk about their experiences as minority Ph.D. scholars and graduates in higher education. One pair discussed their struggles with isolationism and impostor syndrome; another spoke of the impact their research has had on their development not just as students, but as individuals who care deeply about the people they are serving. Nanette, a DSP graduate, sat down with her daughter Alyssa to share their experiences with mentorship. Dr.


Fewer than 1 in 10 professors are someone of color
The SREB DSP addresses the issue of faculty diversity in new video

Today, a third of students entering American universities are minorities, yet among the faculty fewer than 1 in 10 is someone of color. Who stands at the front of the room matters.

The SREB DSP looks to address the issue of faculty diversity on college campuses by increasing graduates, supporting public service projects of graduates and acknowledging the research interest of DSP scholars.

See how the SREB DSP is helping states meet this need. 

Fewer than 1 in 10 professors are someone of color

Publication June 20171 page

SREB Goal for College Attainment
Helping States Meet Their Needs

This handout shows the impact the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program has on states in the areas of increasing graduates, public service and research. It also addresses the ways the SREB DSP leverages state and higher education institutional partnerships to increase faculty diversity in the region’s college and universities. 


Blog post Chanell Turner
Charlie Reed and Dave Spence

“He Always Said What Needed to Be Said…”

Chanell Turner, Publications and Programming Assistant for the Doctoral Scholars Program, talks with former SREB President Mark Musick as he remembers former SREB Vice Chair Charlie Reed’s impact on the Doctoral Scholars Program and his passion for education.


20 Tips to Survive Graduate School

The Ph.D. journey is full of twists and turns that are easier to navigate with guidance from those who have already walked the path. We asked DSP scholars and Institute attendees to submit graduate school survival tips for those who are still on the journey. 

Set goals and balance your time

1. Begin with the end in mind. Have a sense of where you want to be when you graduate and  take steps to make sure you are properly prepared when you reach that goal.

#ILookLikeAPhd Campaign Photo

2016 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Recap

Dr. Archie Taylor inspired more than 1,000 faculty, scholars, friends and family in Tampa, Florida, at last October’s Institute on Teaching and Mentoring: “Increase your expectation for excellence and decrease your comfort zone.” He along with 34 other graduates from institutions across the country stepped up to the podium to discuss their journeys to the Ph.D. 

Dr. Archie Taylor poses with Dr. Ansley Abraham

2016 Institute Quick Stats

Shawanda Thomas

Two DSP grads prepare a generation of potential Ph.D. Scholars

In January 2016, the Doctoral Scholars Program staff re-established the DSP Service Grant. The $2,000 grant, supported by donations from program graduates and constituents, funds two service projects that are submitted by program graduates and helps graduates expand the educational experiences of the next generation of K-12 and undergraduate students. 

Dr. Jamie Fisher

2013 DSP Program Graduate
Vanderbilt University
Speech Language Pathology

Jamie Fisher


Awards, Tenure and Promotions
DSP graduates making waves in the academy

Edward A. Brown accepted a full-time position with Potomac State College in West Virginia as an activities program manager with the student life division. Dr. Edward A. Brown

Dr. Brown plans and implements social and educational activities students and creates opportunities for student involvement at the college. He also oversees Student Union operations, works with student organizations and serves as advisor to the Student Government Association. 

Publication June 2016 6 pages

Partner, Support, Prepare and Recruit
Four Steps Forward To A More Diverse College Faculty

In the past two years, black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian Pacific/Islander students accounted for about one-third of all college enrollments in the United States. However, the proportion of faculty who represent these groups at public four-year institutions is less than 10 percent. 

This publication provides four actions policymakers and educational leaders can take to increase faculty diversity on college campuses in their states. 


Publication October 2015 | 16 pages | 15E10Chanell Turner, Bob Belle and Ansley Abraham

22nd Annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
Exploring New Research Frontiers for Future Generations

The 22nd Institute on Teaching and Mentoring publication highlighted the research projects of 16 previous Institute attendees and how their contributions to the fields of biology, sociology, disease prevention, management and many others are impacting the global community. Each scholar is affiliated with the Institute’s partner organizations: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Program.


What is your mentoring style?
How one DSP grad found her mentoring method

Carrie Eaton is an associate professor of mathematics at Unity College in Unity, Maine. Eaton teaches interdisciplinary mathematics and mathematics pedagogy to undergraduate students. Along with her teaching load, she developed a professional development program at the University of Tennessee to improve teaching practices in undergraduate classrooms.

Eaton shares her experience and advice for those establishing their mentorship style.

Q. How did mentoring impact your doctoral program experience?

Publication June 201512 pagesAnsley Abraham

Leading the Class
From Ph.D. Graduate to Tenured Faculty

The SREB Doctoral Scholars Program is excited to celebrate a new milestone. Over a 100 of the program’s graduates are tenured faculty at universities across the nation. This publication features eight and includes a list all 106 of the who are making a difference at their universities and in their communities.

Publication June 20152 pagesAnsley Abraham

The SREB Doctoral Scholars Program
New Institutional Partnerships

The SREB Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) has long partnered with SREB-region states to provide services that help minority scholars attain doctorates. Currently, as a result of the success of this model, institutions in and outside of the region are requesting to partner with the DSP, independent of state support. The program is now involved in an effort to work with these entities to continue to serve exceptional scholars.

Publication July 20148 pagesAnsley Abraham

Closing the Loop

For 21 years, SREB states have supported the nationally recognized SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program. The program has produced more than 700 Ph.D.s and supports more than 350 matriculating doctoral candidates.