Holmes Program

The AACTE Holmes Program supports students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing graduate degrees in education at AACTE member institutions. Founded in 1991 for doctoral students, the Holmes Program now provides mentorship, peer support, and professional development opportunities at three levels:

  • The AACTE Holmes Scholars Program supports doctoral and post-doctoral students. Learn more
  • The AACTE Holmes Master’s Program supports master’s students at current Holmes institutions. Learn more

Boston University is piloting a Holmes Postdoctoral Program in Education and Human Development in which postdoctoral fellows will engage in a 2-year research and residency program, 2018-2020.

Learn more about the education-related careers and pathways pursued by Holmes students.

Participation in the Holmes Program is open to all AACTE member institutions; AACTE charges no additional fee to enroll. Sponsoring institutions are responsible for supporting their Holmes students according to the participation requirements.

Learn more about the history and governance of the AACTE Holmes Program.


Call for Proposals: 73rd AACTE Annual Meeting
Holmes Preconference | February 26 – 28, 2021
Seattle, WA

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2021 AACTE Holmes Pre-Conference scheduled to take place during AACTE’s 73rd Annual Meeting in February 2021 in Seattle, WA. Master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral students of the Holmes Program are encouraged to submit research proposals that are relevant, creative, and promote best practices in educator preparation. Example topics that will be considered include but are not limited to equity in education, including technology and digital equity in the midst of COVID-19 and culturally relevant practices, as well as other topics that promote educational excellence for all students.

This is an excellent opportunity to present your research, practice presentation skills, and gain constructive feedback in a supportive setting. Holmes scholars may submit more than one proposal. Please review the session descriptions below, and submit your proposal.

Submissions are due on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Session Descriptions: 

Roundtable (30-minute session): This is a more relaxed session format for those who have an emerging research focus and would like feedback to strengthen their research questions and methodology. The format includes a brief overview of your research interest area, a concise description of your proposed study or research line, and is followed by a discussion. During the discussion, you can pose questions, ask for advice, or discuss alternate methods with those in attendance. Feel free to submit if you: (1) Are still thinking through your research question, (2) Have an area of interest on which you have collected some information and/or data, but would still like to talk it through with like-minded researchers/practitioners, (3) Are embarking on a new research interest with only preliminary questions in mind, or (4) Are still working a masters paper, or other work that is still very much in development. All emerging and experienced scholars are welcome!

Job Panel (20-minute session): This session will be presented in front of a panel of scholars. You will have approximately 15 minutes to discuss your dissertation (theoretical framework, method, results, significance, and future research). The last 5 minutes will consist of questions and feedback from the audience and panel members. This job panel will prepare you to present your research to future employers and is an excellent platform to practice presentation skills to future job interviews. Only Doctoral Candidates or Graduates who have completed dissertation should submit a proposal.

3 Minute Thesis (3-minute session): This session provides excellent practice for your elevator pitch to prepare you to effectively communicate your research interests or agenda to others. The thesis session should be comprehensive, engaging and showcase the best communication style. Sessions are limited to 3 minutes maximum, 1 PowerPoint slide (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description), and just your voice (no props). Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.

Poster Session (60-minute session): This session is a slightly less formal opportunity to present your research – making it an ideal choice for emerging scholars to engage with colleagues in the field. You will create a poster (36 x 48) to display during the session (most institutions provide research poster templates for your use) and attendees will walk around the session viewing posters. They may provide insights and substantive feedback for your research as well as opportunities for potential collaboration. Be prepared to summarize your research, expound on key elements of your poster, and answer questions. It is suggested that you bring business cards or a handout for those interested in more information.

Dissertation Funding Competition – Doctoral Candidates only (10-minute per finalist) – DFC finalists will present their anticipated dissertation at the “pre-data collection” stage (i.e., not completed) for 10 minutes. The purpose of the DFC is to support the finalists’ dissertation research proposal related expenses. In order to be eligible for the DFC competition, you must have: (1) completed the comprehensive examination process, (2) defended your dissertation proposal, and (3) not have defended your dissertation.  

All submissions will be evaluated for acceptance using the following evaluation criteria: 

  1. Timely submission: Only submissions received by 11:59pm EST on Saturday, October 24, 2020, will be considered for acceptance.
  2. Research described clearly: Description of research is understandable by a universal audience and free of subject specific jargon.
  3. Research described concisely: A brief yet informative description of the research that provides the reader with the necessary information.
  4. Methods: Description of methods is clear and detailed enough that the reviewer can understand what the applicant did. No jargon.
  5. Goals clearly stated: Goals are clearly stated in a way that is easy to follow and provides adequate detail.
  6. Innovation of results and/or methods: A brief, but strong description of the novelty or newness of the methods and/or results is provided.
  7. Spelling, grammar, punctuation: Proposal is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

If you have any questions, please contact Danna Demezier, Holmes Council Research Coordinator at holmesresearchcommittee@gmail.com.

Program Benefits

Benefits for Sponsoring Institutions

  • Participation in the AACTE Holmes Program is an effective tool for recruiting new students of color.
  • Participation in the program enhances students’ retention and graduation rates by providing a support network of peers and unique opportunities for professional experiences.
  • Participation in the program demonstrates and enhances the institution’s role as a leader in supporting diversity in the PK-20 education workforce.
  • Institutions receive free distribution of faculty search announcements in the Scholars Report monthly e-newsletter.
  • Sponsoring institutions are recognized in AACTE materialsClick here for the current list of participating institutions.

Benefits for Students

  • Membership in a national network of peers with access to dedicated online social networks.
  • Mentoring opportunities by Holmes Program alumni currently in academia and other leadership positions.
  • Opportunities to present research at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Dedicated mentoring programs at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Annual Holmes Summer Policy Institute in Washington, DC, including participation in AACTE’s Day on the Hill and networking events associated with the AACTE State Leaders Institute.
  • Annual Holmes Dissertation Retreat and Research Symposium hosted by a Holmes Program institution.
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities at the national level, such as participation in conference presentations and policy/advocacy training.

Staff Contact: Weadé James


See what Holmes participants and alumni say about the program

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