CMJ Dissertation Fellowship

Applications are now open!

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Center for Measurement Justice (CMJ) Dissertation Fellowship Program. The purpose of this dissertation fellowship is to bring antiracist assessment and measurement practices to all learners across the nation. Our work is to inspire, prepare, and support a critical mass of measurement professionals and partners as they work towards a socially just assessment and measurement system.

The CMJ Fellowship Program is targeted towards members of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in educational measurement. CMJ is committed to providing opportunities for Scholars to expand their networks, build research and career skills, and support in transitioning into professional roles.

Each year, CMJ funds a small group of outstanding advanced doctoral candidates so that they can devote themselves full-time to the completion of their dissertation. Each participant will receive a $30,000 stipend and will be expected to attend quarterly Community of Practice meetings.

Please review the eligibility requirements diligently before submitting your application. Two fellowships will be awarded this year, selected by members of the CMJ leadership team.

Completed applications must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59PM EST on Friday, December 29th, 2023.

Decisions will be made no later than March 1st, 2024. Fellowships may begin no earlier than June 1st, 2024.

In addition the criteria noted above, the selection committee will consider the following questions:

      • To what extent does the research topic address socio-political injustice enacted in K-12 educational assessment processes?
      • To what extent is the relevant research grounded in critical theory (e.g. feminist theory, Black feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory, etc.) in the field of measurement?
      • To what extent is the study likely to yield new knowledge in the field of K-12 assessment practices?
      • Are the claims, methodology, and analysis plans described in sufficient detail in order to conduct this study?
      • Does the narrative submitted display strong authorship skills, with clear direction, organization, and structure?
      • Is it feasible to complete the study during the fellowship timeline?
      • To what extent does the proposal explain the issue that needs to be addressed, the design and logic of the study, the timeline of the study, sources of evidence, the nature of the type of data and analysis, the measurement method, and the nature of the interpretation of data. 

Candidates will receive a confirmation email when their application has been submitted, as well as when letters of reference have been submitted to their application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that these letters are submitted.

Thao Vo

“The Center for Measurement Justice (CMJ) Dissertation Fellowship has been a truly transformative experience for emerging scholars like me, who are dedicated to culturally responsive measurement practices. Beyond providing financial support to focus on my work, it is an incredibly unique platform that has expanded my network and helped me cultivate the skills necessary to promote a socially just assessment and measurement system (e.g., mentoring, strategizing, connecting). I am so honored to be a part of this collaborative environment where my ideas and expertise can flourish. Thank you for all of the support, CMJ!”

– Thao Vo (2023 CMJ Dissertation Fellow)


2. Dissertation Abstract (this is included in the application form)

3. CV (upload within the online application form)

4. Positionality Statement: (1.5 pages max, 1.5 spaced)

Applicants will be asked to describe:

        1. how their lived experiences and educational work have prepared them for doing research on this topic. 
        2. both in terms of privilege and marginalization – how their research (from research question to articulation to interpretation) is informed by their sociopolitical identities.

5. Letters of Recommendation:

Two letters of recommendation are required: one from the dissertation chair and a second professional reference. Only two letters will be considered. Letters of recommendation should be sent by the reference directly to us at [email protected].

Click here to view the "Request for Reference Letter" your reference will receive from CMJ


Dear Colleague,

You have been asked to serve as a reference for a Center for Measurement Justice (CMJ) Dissertation Fellowship program applicant. Each applicant is required to submit two letters of recommendation: one from the dissertation chair and one other professional reference, not related to the student. The application deadline is December 29th, 2024 by 11:59 pm. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials, including references, are submitted prior to the deadline.

The Center for Measurement Justice Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of historically underrepresented scholars in the measurement field to undertake research relevant to the improvement of equitable assessments. The $30,000 fellowship is meant to support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the field of assessment.

In a letter of no more than two pages, we would appreciate your evaluation of the individual as a candidate for the Center for Measurement Justice Dissertation Fellowship. Please include the applicant’s full name in your letter. In addition, we ask that you please provide your full name, title, department, institutional affiliation, telephone number, and e-mail address. We would like for you to comment on the following six topics:

  1. Your relationship to the student;
  2. Your evaluation of the student relative to other students you have worked with;
  3. The strength of the proposed dissertation research and its relevance to the measurement field;
  4. The project’s connection to existing research on the topic, and the potential contribution of that dissertation to that literature;
  5. The student’s future potential as a scholar and the likelihood that their research will continue to address the issues in K-12 assessment/measurement;
  6. The student’s apparent long-term contributions to research in education.

The CMJ website:, provides a complete list of application guidelines and eligibility requirements. Thank you for your time and contribution to this process. If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected].

6. Discussion of Dissertation:

No more than 8 pages should describe the dissertation. Please use the following format: 1.5-spaced, one-inch margins, each page should be numbered, and in at least 11-point font. The header should include the fellow’s name and email address. The bibliography does not count towards the 8 pages, but should not exceed more than two pages. Other supplemental materials, such as samples, charts, graphs, questionnaires, etc. may be submitted as an appendix and do not count towards the page limit. Please also provide a detailed timeline for the project in the appendix

The narrative should include:

        • Statement of the problem (issues being addressed),
        • The intended contribution to the field of assessment: any specific use cases as they relate to the field of educational assessment,
        • The goals of the research project,
        • The intended methods:
          1. Measurement tools and how the data will be collected, analyzed and interpreted,
        • An outline of any relevant literature and theoretical grounding. If preliminary findings or pilot data are available, these should be described briefly.

The selection committee will be composed of both experts in the educational measurement field and other professionals who may not be experts in the field; therefore, the language specific to the field of measurement should cater to both audiences.

7. Graduate Transcript:

Applicants must upload a graduate transcript to their application form, an unofficial transcript will suffice. 


Quick Links

Online Application

Access the online application portal. The 2023 dissertation application will close on December 29th, 2023 at 11:59 p. m. EST.

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