PhD Student Funding Opportunities

Students from the United States

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing offers funding opportunities for PhD students from the U.S. in several ways:

  • Research assistant fellowships within the School of Nursing
  • Teaching assistant positions within the School of Nursing
  • Participation in the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Hirsh Fellowship

The Sarah Cole Hirsh Institute for Evidence-Based Practice in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing seeks to produce the nation’s top scientists through its Hirsh Fellowship Program. A fellow of the Sarah Cole Hirsh Institute earns full tuition support, as well as an educational allowance. This award includes a research assistant appointment (employment/activities), requiring participation in scholarship, education, service and research-related activities of the Hirsh Institute. Acceptance in this program is based on fit with the Institute’s mission, vision and aims, the student’s academic performance, and professional leadership potential. Previous experience in evidence-based practice implementation is highly desirable but not required. Learn more about our Hirsh Fellows.

Legacy Fellows

The School of Nursing seeks to honor its rich history of producing the nation’s top nurse scientists through its Legacy Fellows Program. This elite group of high achieving individuals will receive full tuition support as well as education stipends for serving as part-­time research assistants. Acceptance in the program is based on academic performance, research interests and professional leadership potential. Must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status. Learn more about our Legacy Fellows.

Research Assistant (RA) Fellowships

RA fellowships, available for full-time PhD students, provide full tuition support, and a small stipend. These fellowships are available for PhD students (BSN or MSN prepared) through two mechanisms. Some RA fellowships require current licensure as an RN in the state of Ohio.

  • First, RA fellowships are available to become an integral member of a research team on studies being conducted by nurse scientists within the School of Nursing. These studies may range from pilot/feasibility studies to multi-year randomized controlled clinical trials. All RA fellows work 20 hours per week in various capacities as determined by their level of prior research experience (i.e. recruiters of study participants, data collectors, intervention providers, or data analysts).
    • Second, RA fellowships are available through the Sarah Cole Hirsh Institute. All fellows work 20 hours per week gathering and synthesizing published evidence of best practices associated with health conditions.

Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

Teaching assistantships (TA) are available on a limited basis for qualified PhD students, (i.e. those with an MSN degree in a specialty area that matches the instructional / clinical needs of the School of Nursing and a current license as an RN in the state of Ohio). All TAs work 20 hours a week with a faculty member(s) in various capacities such as assistance with developing lectures, handouts, or other course materials; preparing, proctoring, and grading exams or papers; or supervising students in clinical areas. TAs will receive tuition support and a minimal stipend. The availability of TA positions is dependent on the instructional/clinical needs of the School of Nursing.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program provides support for PhD students who are interested in full-time (9 credits) or part-time (6 credit) support, but who are not interested in RA or TA positions. The NFLP provides support for tuition, books and fees on a first come-first served basis. Students can receive the loan for up to five years. Upon graduation, loan recipients may cancel up to 85 percent of the loan over a 4-year period while serving as a full-time nurse faculty at any U.S. school/college of nursing.

Funding for Students from Countries Outside the United States

There is very limited financial support for international PhD in nursing applicants and limited work opportunities

  • There are a limited numbers of research assistant positions and other kinds of positions Available at CWRU.
  • Working as a registered nurse in the United States requires a U.S. nursing license.  
  • Working as a teaching assistant in nursing in the U.S., depending on the academic program, may require two years of RN work experience in the U.S. 


Contact Joachim Voss, PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN at or 216.368.5979.