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Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program

The goal of the California State University Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) is to increase the number of faculty with the qualifications, motivation, and skills needed to teach the diverse students of the CSU. CDIP prepares promising doctoral students for CSU faculty positions by providing financial support, mentorship by CSU faculty and professional development and grant resources. It is the largest program of its kind in the U.S.

Interested students may apply directly to the Chancellor’s Office by the deadline of March 15th.The application is now open, and can be found here. CSUN offers support as you prepare your application, and you can find details and deadlines for those opportunities below.

Program Details

  • You will be mentored by a CSU faculty mentor in preparation for the CSU job market.  You and your mentor will tailor your Collaborative Plan to include activities that prepare you in terms of teaching, research, and service for the CSU, and you'll get to know the structure and aims of the CSU as well.
  • Loans of up to $30,000 are available, and are forgiven after five years of full-time employment or ten years of part-time employment in the CSU.
  • Small grants are available to support travel to conferences, research, and dissertation writing.
  • Professional development workshops and networking opportunities are organized by the Chancellor's Office.

Eligibility Criteria

  • New or continuing full-time doctoral students currently enrolled in an accredited program in the U.S.
  • Undergraduate and master’s level graduate students in the process of applying to accredited doctoral programs in the U.S. (To be awarded a fellowship, applicants must be accepted into a doctoral program by May 31st.)
  • Students enrolled full-time in doctoral programs who hold full-time or part-time lecturer appointments in the CSU are eligible and encouraged to apply. (Probationary and tenured faculty members in the CSU are not eligible, regardless of their status in a doctoral program.)
  • Applicants must identify a tenured/tenure-track CSU faculty member to serve as mentor.
    •  If enrolled in a professional doctoral program (i.e. PsyD, EdD, etc.) or an online doctoral program, we encourage you to contact the campus coordinator to discuss your eligibility.  Most of these programs do not qualify for the CDIP, though a few may.  Please see the FAQ for more information.

CDIP Info Sessions

CSUN offers an Info Session to support you in developing your CDIP application, including tips for a successful Statement of Qualifications and Collaborative Plan. The workshop is open to any CDIP applicants with a proposed CDIP Faculty Mentor from CSUN. Please select CDIP Info Session RSVP to register for one of the upcoming workshops.

Application Support: Application Feedback & Pre-Submission Review

Interested in receiving feedback on your Statement of Qualifications and Collaborative Plan prior to submitting it to the Chancellor’s Office? Once your Faculty Mentor signs off on the two documents, you can submit your documents for feedback using this form. Drafts will be accepted on a rolling basis, and we will begin reviewing documents in early January. Documents submitted after January cannot be guaranteed review—we recommend you submit your drafts early!

Application Support: Application Tips

Interested in receiving feedback on your Statement of Qualifications and Collaborative Plan prior to submitting it to the Chancellor’s Office? Once your Faculty Mentor signs off on the two documents, you can submit your documents for feedback using this form. Drafts will be accepted on a rolling basis, but feedback on documents submitted after March 1st is not guaranteed. We recommend you submit your drafts early!

The Chancellor’s Office has created an extensive Application Guide, which you can find here.

Once they publish their template for the new, revised Collaborative Plan, we will align past successful applications with that template and the new expectations, and make those samples available to you in a Box folder.  Check back here to find access to that folder.


Updated 1/29/2024

  1. I am in my third year of a doctoral program.  Can I still apply?
    Yes!  You can apply during any year of your doctoral program.
  2. I am currently applying to doctoral programs while I am applying to CDIP.  What happens if I am not admitted to a doctoral program?
    If you are not admitted to a doctoral program, then you won’t be admitted to CDIP.  You can submit your application again next year.
  3. I am undocumented or an international student.  Can I apply?
    Yes. If you have questions specific to your situation, please contact the campus coordinator and she can answer your questions by phone, zoom, or in person.
  4. I am in a professional doctoral degree program, such as an EdD or PsyD, or I am in an online doctoral program.  Can I apply?
    It depends. Most of these programs will not be eligible.  As the CDIP website states, “Applicants in a professional doctoral and/or online program may apply to the CDIP only 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 the latter must be provided by applicant.”  What we ask is that you closely read the website of your doctoral program to see if they state preparation/training of future faculty members as part of their mission.  If you are enrolled in one of these programs, reach out to campus coordinator Heidi Schumacher at  Send her the language you think helps to make the case for your program (with links to their website).  She will help you vet the program or will ask the Chancellor’s Office to approve if necessary.  Even if approved by the CO, we recommend you have a letter writer from that program directly write about the program’s track record in preparing future tenure-track faculty.
  5. I am enrolled in CSUN’s EdD program.  Can I apply?
    Unfortunately, no.  As the CDIP website states, “CSU EdD programs were established for the purpose of preparing administrative leaders for the California public elementary and secondary schools and community colleges (California Education Code 66040.3). Therefore, applicants enrolled in or applying to CSU EdD programs are not eligible.”
  6. I am a lecturer at CSUN.  Can I apply?
    Lecturers are encouraged to apply!  The CDIP is the strongest pipeline for CSU lecturers who aspire to tenure-track positions, and 25% of spots within the CDIP are reserved for current lecturers. 
  7. I am in a PhD program, but I do not want to be faculty.  Can I still apply?
    No, the CDIP is intended for PhD students who want to become tenure-track faculty in the CSU.
  8. My faculty mentor is planning to retire in a couple years.  Can they still serve as my mentor?
    Yes—but they need to clearly state in their letter that they intend to continue to mentor you, even after retirement.  The same goes for a faculty member who will be taking a leave or sabbatical.  You may want to talk honestly with the faculty member about whether they plan to remain engaged in campus life once retired—you want to select a mentor who can help you make connections and gain opportunities.
  9. Can a lecturer serve as my faculty mentor?
    No, your faculty mentor must be a tenure-track faculty, ideally in the field in which you plan to hit the CSU job market.
  10. What is meant by priority being given to areas of greatest need?
    Because this program is intended to support doctoral students in preparing for a career in the CSU, priority is given to candidates who come from fields aligned with CSU hiring projections.  As the CDIP website states, “Primary consideration will be given to candidates whose proposed area of study falls where CSU campuses anticipate the greatest difficulty in filling potential future instructional faculty positions.”
  11. What happens if I switch PhD programs?
    If you switch PhD programs, we seek approval from the Chancellor’s Office, and you modify your Collaborative Plan to reflect your new program (if approved).
  12. Do I have to take the loan?
    No! Many students participate in CDIP without taking the loan.  You can take the entire loan, part of the loan, or none at all.
  13. My Faculty Mentor and I are having a hard time making a Collaborative Plan for four years from now—what if things change?
    If needed, you will be able to modify your Collaborative Plan.
  14. How can I demonstrate getting to know the culture and structure of the CSU in my Collaborative Plan?
    Many students simply write that they will discuss these things in meetings with their mentors.  Others attend system-wide or campus-wide meetings as an observer.
  15. If my PhD program is already providing professional development in terms of grant writing, conference presentations, syllabus preparation, etc., what goes in my Collaborative Plan?
    Your goal with your CDIP mentor is to familiarize you with and prepare you for the context of the CSU.  So, for example, your program may teach you syllabus preparation at an R1.  But perhaps you could show a syllabus you create there to your CDIP mentor, who could give you feedback about how that syllabus might be modified to serve CSU students or meet syllabus expectations at CSUN.
  16. Can my mentor access the travel funding?
    If your mentor is attending a conference that is a part of your Collaborative Plan (so, you’ve stated you are attending together and will meet to debrief, you are attending together to network, you are presenting together, etc.) then they can apply for travel funding through CDIP.
  17. My mentor has served as a mentor before, and has given me samples from past applicants.  Should I use those?
    You should be aware that the prompts for both the Collaborative Plan and the Statement of Qualifications have changed this year (2024).  While you’ll still find some useful ideas in past samples, make sure you read the prompts this year carefully and focus your documents to answer this year’s questions.

Additional Information

For more information and to access the application, visit the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)