Doctoral Mentoring Collective

STEMIE’s mission is to ensure young children with disabilities can engage fully and benefit from high quality STEM teaching and learning. STEMIE is dedicated to making racial equity part of our work by creating an inclusive environment and valuing diversity.

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Overview of this virtual doctoral fellowship program

We will award up to 5 fellowships annually.

We will assign mentors to fellows based on their interests. Fellows’ actual work, involvement, and time commitment will be individualized based on their interests, needs, and goals.

  • We will conduct a monthly virtual cohort meeting throughout the fellowship program.
  • STEMIE mentors will have individual meetings with their mentees regularly to develop and discuss their professional development plan.
  • Throughout this 2-year fellowship program, fellows should enhance their professional and career development goals.
  • Our fellowship is primarily virtual and physical relocation is not expected. The fellowship is not intended to replace existing work. Please consult your academic advisor(s) before applying.

The goal of this 2-year fellowship is to offer opportunities for doctoral students to develop skills in learning how to promote equitable STEM learning opportunities by using developmentally appropriate and evidence-based STEM practices. Fellows will engage in a variety of activities, such as :

  • Create inclusive early STEM learning activities and materials
  • Develop training materials
  • Provide professional development training
  • Collaborate in research projects
Megan Vinh
Megan Vinh Focus: STEM & equity
Chih-Ing Lim
Chih-Ing Lim Focus: STEM & Professional Development
Doug Clements
Doug Clements Focus: Math & Early Childhood Education
Julie Sarama
Julie Sarama Focus: STEM & Early Childhood Education
Janice Anderson
Janice Anderson Focus: Science
Lisa Wadors Focus: Technology & Inclusion
Christine CunninghamFocus: Engineering
Cristina Guarrella
Christina Guarrella combines her experience as a three-year-old kindergarten teacher with pre-service teacher education and research on early childhood science at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. She strives to make the link between research and practice accessible for all educators and is a co-author of the Northern Territory Preschool STEM Games. Cristina’s doctoral research investigates teachers’ enactment of science games in metropolitan and regional early childhood settings, with a specific focus on teachers’ assessment practices, attitudes and beliefs and classroom quality. Her ongoing research interests include early childhood and primary STEM education, the role of social media in teacher professional learning, and measuring the impact of STEM interventions on children’s learning outcomes. Cristina holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Business (HRM) and Master of Teaching (Early Years).  
Gurupriya Ramanathan
Currently a doctoral candidate in the Ed.D Curriculum and Instruction program at Boise State University, Gurupriya's work and research interests revolve around high quality preschool STEM practices and opportunities for inclusion. She received her Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Syracuse University and worked as a preschool teacher in an inclusive preschool program. Prior to that, she worked as a special education teacher for young children with developmental disabilities in India. As a Research Assistant at Boise State, she assists in research projects assessing teacher and parent perceptions and beliefs on early STEM education, and developing teacher supports for the implementation of early STEM education.
Elica Sharifnia  
Elica Sharifnia is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Miami working under the mentorship of Dr. Daryl Greenfield. Elica completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience from Claremont McKenna College. Prior to joining University of Miami, she was a research analyst at the Center for Technology & Learning at SRI International, where she contributed to a variety of early childhood STEM development, evaluation, and assessment projects. Elica’s research interests broadly center around better understanding how to best promote high-quality STEM teaching and learning for young children from disadvantaged and culturally diverse communities, with the goal of informing educational practices at both school and home.

The goal of this collective is to offer opportunities for doctoral students interested in early childhood education, STEM, and children with disabilities to develop skills in promoting equitable STEM learning opportunities by using developmentally appropriate and evidence-based STEM practices.

Applications are now closed. Check back in Summer 2021.


Applicants must be:

  • PhD or EdD students in early childhood education, special education, STEM education, or related fields. Strong priority will be given to students who are able to manage/balance time between your coursework, research, and the fellowship effectively.
  • Demonstrate sustained progress toward the degree

Application process and requirements

The following materials are required for the application.

  • 1. Personal Statement
    Please answer the following questions:
    Why are you interested in this program? Please include your career/professional development goals. (500 word limit) How do your interests, skills and knowledge align with the core values of the STEMIE? (500 word limit) Please describe how you will manage/balance the time between your coursework, research, and the fellowship, if you get accepted. (500 word limit) The FPG Child Development Institute has a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in our work with each other and our partners. Please submit a brief statement of your commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity in your work. (500 word limit)
  • 2. Curriculum Vitae
    Please include the following components: Full Name Contact Information (Phone & Email) Name of the University/ doctoral program/ Focus area What current year are you in your doctoral program? Research interests and related experiences Ongoing fellowship Presentations and publications related to STEM and/or children with disabilities
  • 3. Letters of recommendation from your academic advisor(s)

Selection process

Applicants will be evaluated and selected by the STEMIE doctoral collective committees.

  • Review process: Review Period July-August of each year
  • Notification of acceptance: August-September of each year

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a stipend/financial assistance from this collective?

No. We don’t provide any stipend/financial assistance. We might provide travel reimbursement for conferences/meetings

Will I need to be relocated for the fellowship?

No. All collective members will work with their mentors virtually.

Is it okay if I have another fellowship?

Please consult with your academic advisor to make sure you are able to balance the coursework, research, fellowship and this collective opportunity.

Who will be my mentor?

We will match you with a mentor based on your research interests.