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PhD Scholarship: Be a part of creating the future of the information professions – apply to become a La SCALA doctoral scholar.

University of Arizona: School of Information Resources and Library Science

La SCALA: Latino Scholars Cambio Leadership Academy

The School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) at the University of Arizona is recruiting Hispanic and Latino students to join its doctoral program, La SCALA: Latino Scholars Cambio Leadership Academy, an Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS) federally-funded program that provides financial support to students of Hispanic and Latino heritage who wish to pursue advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Recipients of La SCALA funding are referred to as “La SCALA students.”

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program of the (IMLS) provides funding for La SCALA students. La SCALA operates on the premise that individuals of Hispanic and Latino backgrounds enjoy unique cultural experiences that contribute to improving LIS education, while also helping to close the educational gap between their underrepresented population in STEM fields and their peers in similar fields. A particular focus of the program is to assist students to identify how their research can be conducted in the context of STEM, with the ultimate goal of placing these students in faculty positions throughout the country. The program emphasizes the role of academic identity and cultural competence in the intellectual and professional development of doctoral students, while challenging participants to step beyond their cultural, social and intellectual comfort zones.

La SCALA students will be paired with a senior faculty member as the student’s intellectual mentor for the duration of the program, as well as providing a cultural mentor and a group of peer mentors at the school. Besides courses and research activity, La SCALA students will acquire the intellectual and interpersonal skills necessary in their field of study through a rigorous academic and research program.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics areas include but are not limited to:
1) Biodiversity informatics;
2) STEM communication, with an emphasis in science data and communication;
3) Electronic publishing, with an emphasis on e-journals as media for scholarly communication;
4) Knowledge management, with an emphasis on producing a scholar/administrator;
5) Information ethics, with an emphasis on social justice;
6) Cognitive and affective computing, with an emphasis on decision support systems.

The selected students will spend three years in active learning and research, and at least one year of teaching and work experiences. Funding may be provided for students who need a fourth year to complete the program. At the University of Arizona, students will have opportunities to work with researchers at iPlant Collaborative, the School of Geography and Development, the School of Information Science, Technology and Arts (SISTA), and/or many field stations such as Biosphere II and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), depending on the student’s academic interests. La SCALA students also may participate in national research projects with SIRLS faculty, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Encyclopedia of Life.

La SCALA students will receive tuition and fee waivers, stipends, health insurance, a laptop computer, and funding to attend one professional conference per year beginning in the second year in the program. La SCALA students will spend one semester of residence with a parallel cohort of students at the University of Tennessee, School of Information Sciences. A cohort of University of Tennessee students will likewise spend a semester at the University of Arizona.

La SCALA Selection Criteria

University of Arizona Requirements

Students submit applications through the University Graduate College. The SIRLS Doctoral Committee makes recommendations for admissions to the Graduate College, which determines final admission to the PhD program. Only accepted students can be considered for La SCALA funding. For more information, please refer to the Graduate College application procedures webpage at

Please visit the SIRLS website at