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College of Social Work

The Connor Fellows Program for PhD Students

The Connor Fellows Program supports doctoral education to advance scholarship on older adults and aging.  This new fellowship provides a package of funding, mentoring, and opportunities for scholarly development to one incoming PhD student each year at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work. 

Key features of the Connor Fellows program

  • $18K stipend for the academic year (fall/spring semesters) for 3 years 
  • 100% tuition supplement for full-time study (up to 10 credits/semester) for 3 years (fall/spring) 
  • $2K/year scholarly development funds for 3 years, to be used to support training, travel, publication, etc.  
  • $2K one-time summer stipend to support individualized study 
  • Opportunity to apply for Summer Fellows funding ($6000/summer) to augment aging-related program of research 
  • Match with a primary social work faculty mentor with extensive expertise in the area of aging 
  • Participate in interdisciplinary opportunities to network with students, faculty, and other stakeholders with expertise in various aspects of aging 
  • Structured approach to developing an Individualized Scholarly Development and Mentoring Plan, and resources to support you through that plan 
  • Mental health implementation research hub, based in Thailand, as part of the NIA-funded Partnership in Implementation Science for Geriatric Mental Health (PRISM) project. This project will focus on reducing the gap in treatment and support for community-residing older adults in general, and elders with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in particular. 
  • NIA-funded Carolina Center on Alzheimer’s Disease and Minority Research (CCADMR), which provides pilot funding for junior and mid-level faculty to complete a project focused on health disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The CCADMR also provides monthly seminars related to Health Disparity and Minority Aging and professional development 
  • NIA-funded National Conference on High-Impact Alzheimer’s Disease Registry Research. The virtual conference is designed to advance the science on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The conference will focus on the three statewide Alzheimer’s Disease registries and highlight existing scholarship that has been developed using registry data. 
  • NIA-funded High-Impact Alzheimer’s Disease Registry Research Workshop.  This workshop is a direct follow up to the aforementioned national conference. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce scholars to the data that are available in the AD registries, brainstorm project ideas, network with other scholars, and connect with senior mentors. Scholars will then spend the next 12 months developing a project abstract and manuscript which will be submitted to an academic journal for publication 
  • NIA-funded South Carolina-Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (SC-ADAR) undergraduate research training program. SC-ADAR is a partnership between South Carolina based HBCUs and UofSC that provides HBCU undergraduate students two consecutive summers of research training in their desired field (e.g., biology, computer science, public health, etc.) related to aging.  
  • Opportunities for training in diverse methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, and participatory approaches 
  • Focus on development as a social work educator, and opportunities to contribute aging content to curricula 
  • Opportunities for engagement in service through partnership with an aging-related community-based organization 

All applicants to the Social Work PhD program are also eligible to apply for the Connor Fellows Program.  
We particularly seek applicants who are: 

  • Committed to pursuing scholarship that will improve the wellbeing of older adults; 
  • Well-prepared to embark on doctoral-level study; and 
  • Eager to engage with faculty, peers, and the broader university and scholarly communities as they build aging-related research experience throughout their doctoral studies. 

To apply:

Complete all regular PhD program application requirements (please see: ) 

Complete the Connor Fellows application at:

This application should be completed no later than the regular application deadline (January 15) and earlier submission is strongly recommended for fullest consideration. Review of applications will begin December 1.

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