Project EARLY: Preparing Early Childhood Special Education Leaders for Diverse Settings

Project EARLY logo

Project Description


Join Project EARLY to earn your Ph.D. in Early Childhood Unified Special Education at the #1 public Special Education program!


Project EARLY is an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) doctoral leadership training grant designed to support four PhD students with a focus on early intervention/early childhood special education at KU. The project requires applicants to be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents per the funding agency requirements. Project EARLY is funded as grant number H325D230073.

We are particularly interested in applicants who have interests in the following anywhere across the birth to 3rd grade EI/ECSE age continuum:

  • Intensive interventions for young children with support needs including disabilities
  • Supporting multilingual and bilingual children and families
  • Supporting young children’s social-emotional competence and literacy development
  • Professional development supports for educators following an implementation science approach.

We are interested in scholars who have professional experience working with young children ages birth to 3rd grade with disabilities and their caregivers in a variety of roles: educators (general or special education in public or private settings), related service providers, advocates, administrators, and/or individuals with lived experience as persons with disabilities or caregivers of persons with disabilities.

EARLY scholars will receive the following benefits: 


  • 4 years tuition coverage
  • $31,000 annual stipend
  • $3,300 annual insurance stipend
  • $2,000 annual travel stipend
  • $6,500 one-time supplies stipend


  • 2023-2028

Target Audience

  • Doctoral Students


  • Office of Special Education Programs

Project Status

  • In Progress



  • Kathleen Zimmerman Tuck, PhD., BCBA-D

    Kathleen Zimmerman Tuck, PhD., BCBA-D

  • Alana Schnitz, PhD., BCBA-D

    Alana Schnitz, PhD., BCBA-D

  • Maria Hugh, PhD., BCBA

    Maria Hugh, PhD., BCBA

  • Dr. Greg Cheatham Headshot

    Gregory Cheatham, Ph. D.

Learn More!

Please visit or email for more information!