Financial Support

PhD in Leadership Studies

Department of Leadership Studies

The Department of Leadership studies aims at supporting as many students as possible through a combination of scholarships and work opportunities in SOLES and at USD.  Through our scholarship funds, students can be offered tuition support in the amount of $2,000 to $15,000.

In addition to these scholarships, the various departments and centers in SOLES regularly hire hourly paid Research Assistants for approximately 20 hours a week.  The following areas are examples:    

  • Dean's Office
  • Department of Leadership Studies
  • Department of Learning and Teaching
  • Leadership Studies Minor
  • Nonprofit Institute 
  • Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education
  • SOLES Assessment Support
  • SOLES Global Center
  • Student Affairs / SOLES Collaborative (SASC)  


Applicants should be currently enrolled or newly admitted SOLES doctoral students in good standing, carrying a full course load (6 units per semester).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out about assistantships?

All admitted and continuing PhD students will be notified when positions are open.

What do assistantships cover?

Assistantships will always include an hourly rate. (Typically $20 / hour for doctoral students). Sometimes, assistantships may include scholarships. If included, scholarships can be applied towards tuition in any semester within the academic year during which they are awarded. Please note that the scholarship funds are taxable, and that the funds do not provide for the cost of books nor fees.

Is there a maximum amount of scholarship I can be awarded with an assistantship?

Typically, scholarships awarded from the department (Dean's Merit Scholarships) are coordinated with assistantship scholarships. The maximum award will then be the scholarship amount stated in the assistantship announcement. Department scholarships generally range from $2,000 to $15,000. Other scholarships or grants may be awarded through USD based on need or through separate applications. All awards need to be coordinated by the office of financial aid and cannot exceed a students’ determined need.

How can I apply to be a Research Assistant?

This first step is to apply to the PhD in leadership studies. Applicants and current PhD students are contacted in January or February of each year with information on available positions and application processes. The hiring process for the next academic year may begin as early as the campus visit day for admitted students, but will also continue throughout the year.

What are Research Assistants' responsibilities?

Responsibilities will vary by position. Some may include research, teaching and/or administrative work. Job descriptions for available positions are posted.

What hours do Research Assistants work?

Research assistants typically work 5 - 25 hours a week. Actual hours will vary by position but are typically between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with occasional nights and weekends.

May I apply to more than one  Assistantship or may I take other positions at SOLES during my Assistantship?

Yes, however, student employment is limited to 25 hours a week at the university and no more than 1000 hours in a calendar year (which typically results in an average of 20 hours per week). Exceptions to the 1000 hour maximum is not normally granted due to budgetary impacts, and other considerations. Students should always seek counsel and permission from their supervisor prior to applying for any other paid work, if additional work would put the student above 20 hours per week.

May I renew my assistantship contract?

Yes, contracts are renewable depending on the work that is available.