CSU Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program


Deadline for submission for review and approval to the Office of Graduate Studies of your completed application is February 9, 2018, by 5:00 p.m.

This award is for students and lecturers interested in obtaining a doctorate toward teaching in a CSU.  The Chancellor’s Office California Doctoral Incentive Program Overview can be viewed here.

The goal of the program is to increase the pool of qualified candidates for future CSU faculty positions by funding the education of doctoral students. Interested graduate students and lecturers encouraged to apply.  San Jose State’s track record with this program is quite good, as we consistently have been given these awards for a great majority of the applicants we have sponsored.  Among those applying, lecturers have been most successful.  Currently, the program is the largest of its kind in the nation.  Through June 2017, it had loaned some $50 million to doctoral students throughout the nation; 1,320 of these recipients successfully earned doctoral degrees and 61% have subsequently obtained employment in CSU instructional faculty positions.

Applicants in all fields in which CSU campuses employ faculty are eligible regardless of gender or ethnicity.  The program gives primary consideration to candidates in fields in which CSU campuses anticipate the greatest difficulty in filling potential future instructional faculty positions, although this distinction is rarely made by the CSU committee that decides on the awards.  It is open to domestic and international students and to those applying or already attending U.S. PhD institutions and some professional doctoral programs.  DACA students are also eligible.  This is a prestigious and generous award program, providing substantial aid to those who receive the awards.

The CDIP will lend participants who are full-time doctoral students up to $10,000 annually to a limit of $30,000 over a five-year period.  After earning the doctorate, a participant who applies for and is hired in a CSU instructional (tenure-track or lecturer) faculty position will have 20% of the loan forgiven for each year of employment in the CSU.  Recipients of the loan may enroll in any approved doctoral program at any accredited university in the U.S.  Applicants are responsible for obtaining a CSU faculty advisor to assist them through their doctoral studies.  Once in a doctoral program, awardees and their CSU mentors become eligible for additional funding for travel to professional conferences through the Chancellor's Mini-Grant program.  For a program description and other information, please visit the CSU CDIP website.

The prior years’ eligibility restriction of doctoral students enrolled in CSU Ed.D. programs has been lifted for the 2018-2019 application.  However, given that the CSU Ed.D. programs were established for the purpose of preparing administrative leaders for the California public education system (California Education Code 66040.3), applicants pursuing professional doctorates from CSU Ed.D. programs as well as DNP and online programs must make a strong case for how their doctoral programs prepare them to be qualified and competitive for CSU faculty positions.  To be clear, whereas formerly the Chancellor's Office would not accept applicants in online or professional doctoral programs, such as DNP or Ed.D. programs, those applicants may now apply to the CDIP if they plan to pursue a tenure-track instructional faculty position AND their doctoral program’s mission explicitly includes preparation and training of future university faculty members (evidence of latter must be provided by applicant).

How To Apply

Online applications for the 2018-2019 application cycle are now available.  Applications must be complete with all attachments, signed, and delivered in hard copy to Graduate Studies, ADM 146 (or ADM 159 if the Graduate Office is closed) by the campus application deadline of February 9. 2018 at 5:00 p.m.  Applicants Selection announcements will be made in early May.  For additional information on the program, including how to apply, please see the CDIP brochure and visit the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program page. 

The website has several sections that contain information for

  • Potential Applicants
  • Current Participants
  • Sponsors
  • Coordinators

Interested students can download an application through the CDIP website and current participants can contact the program with questions or updates.  In addition, there is a link to the most recent CDIP annual report.

In addition to the application materials indicated in the application checklist, you must also download and submit with your application a Permission to Publish form.  This form is a campus-specific document and is available only on the Graduate Studies website.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee, which will make recommendations to the President for his nominations.  Those nominations will be forwarded to the Chancellor's Office for system-wide review.  For assistance, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Beverly Grindstaff, Interim Associate Dean (GUP), at beverly.grindstaff@sjsu.edu.


Anji Buckner-Capone received her B.A. in Women's Studies and Community Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  She then earned her Master of Public Health from San José State University.  She is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program at San José State University, a program she believes well positions her research interests in the pragmatic intersection of public school systems and public health.  She starting teaching high school in 2008, but quickly moved into a lecturer role in higher education beginning in 2009.  Having taught at San Jose State University from 2009 until her acceptance into its Ed.D. program, Anji is familiar with and embraces the "solutions to complex social problems [that] are more creative, relevant, and sustainable when diversity is well represented" in the classroom.  Anji's mentor has worked with her since 2001 and feels that "over the past 12 years, Ms. Buckner's service to the department and students has been exemplary."  She seeks to incorporate students' lived experiences and perspectives into her teaching to create environments of inclusion that enhance student learning.    Her research interests are focused on strengthening K-12 education to better prepare students for a successful college experience, supporting the CSU goal of four-year graduation rates.  It is a goal of her doctoral experience to engage in pragmatic research that is relevant and application to practitioners, and then as a professor to teach emerging professionals effective applications.  Anji's program mentor is Anne Demers, Associate Professor, Health Science and Recreation.


Christian Denny received his B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Marine Biology from University of California, Davis, and is currently finishing his Masters degree at in Fisheries and Conservation Biology through San Francisco State University (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories).  Since his undergraduate career, Christian has been developing his research skills with the focused intent of becoming a professor of marine science.  His time at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories afforded him the opportunity to perform research as well as gain teaching experience and provide undergraduate mentorship.  He believes that diverse backgrounds contribute to diverse ideas in science, a dynamic field full of new discoveries.  Besides all of Christian's research activities, his Collaborative Plan of Support provides for greater exposure to the teaching experience through lecturing and additional training in pedagogy and teaching methodology.  Christian's mentor, Scott Hamilton, an Associate Professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories who has known Christian for five years, believes that he "is a creative thinker, with the maturity, drive, and mental fortitude to succeed in the rigorous . . .PhD program at UC Davis-SDSU."  Further, Dr. Hamilton believes that Scott will be instrumental as CSU professor, mentoring students and improving minority participation in the STEM fields.


Mary Okin received both her B.A. in Liberal Arts and her M.A. in Art History and Visual Culture from San José State University.  She is currently enrolled n the History of Art and Architecture doctoral program at University of California, Santa Barbara, with a specialization in American Art.  Mary has garnered a wealth of prestigious awards, including the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship, where she studied with Dr. Margaretta Lovell at the University of California, Berkeley.  She embraces the need for future scholars to correlate their coursework in the humanities with the digital age.  Her goal is to give back to the CSU system she believes shaped her "intellectual, personal, and professional development" and her commitment to "diversity, pedagogy, and service."  Mary's curriculum vitae demonstrates her strong grounding in research and community service.  She held important positions of leadership while at San José State University, including that of a graduate student appointee to the SJSU President's Commission on Diversity (which sought to address the aftermath of a campus hate crime and develop a position for a Chief Diversity Officer) and was appointed by the SJSU Academic Senate to serve on a search committee for the Dean of the University Library.  Mary's close relationship with her mentor is important to note.  They have worked together for many years already, and Mary writes that "Like her [Dr. Rostankowski], I plan to inspire CSU students to study well, build community, and make the world a better place."  That relationship will continue to evolve with Dr. Cynthia Rostankowski's strong support as a trusted and valued mentor.


Michael Vallerga received both his B.A. in Psychology and his M.A. in Experimental Psychology from San José State University.  He is currently enrolled in the Psychology doctoral program at University of California, Santa Cruz, with a specialization in Social Psychology.  Michael took a different path than many Ph.D. students.  After graduating with his master's degree, he took a few years off to travel and work outside of academia.  During this time, he discovered a passion for social justice, and in particular, social justice in the area of gender and sexuality.  Michael returned to San José State University and persevered in his goal to join academia by contacting several professors (many of whom he had never worked with in the past) and requesting their assistance. His mentor, James Lee, was one such contact.  Dr. Lee is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Justice Studies at SJSU.  With the assistance of his mentor, Michael became a lecturer in the Justice Studies Department at San José State University, where he began to hone his teaching skills and whet his appetite for academic research. Encouraged by this support, Michael has moved on to a rigorous Ph.D. program where less than 5% of all applicants are accepted. According to a letter of support from that program, he is thriving.  Because the University of California at Santa Cruz and San José State University are closely situated, Michael's Collaborative Plan is one of participation between mentor and mentee, including research projects, collaboration with local marginalized communities, and the development of a regional Social Justice Research Conference.  His mentor believes he will be become an "asset of the CSU system and an outstanding teacher and scholar.