Belin-Blank Fellowship

Over forty years of experience have shown that the most effective way to ensure meaningful education for gifted students is to provide a special program for classroom teachers. In this way, teachers develop the skills to work with gifted students as well as the knowledge and skills to provide leadership for other teachers.

Varying approaches to professional development in gifted education exist, but no program provides the incentives for teachers, as well as the intensive individualized approach, offered by this prestigious fellowship program. The Belin-Blank Fellowship Program in Gifted Education makes it possible for a select number of teachers, nominated by their schools, to receive specialized training in gifted education.

About the Program

Belin-Blank Fellowship BrochureThe Belin-Blank Fellowship Program is a unique opportunity for educators to learn more about the area of gifted education, through a five-day summer workshop. Its purpose is to help teachers learn better methods for working with gifted children in their classrooms. The program is designed to help educators provide an appropriate program for gifted students, develop in students a heightened sense of social responsibility in the use of their talents, and provide leadership in gifted education.

The Belin-Blank Fellowship Program will take place in the Blank Honors Center from July 17 – 21, 2023.

Early March 2023: Applications open
Mid April 2023: Applications close

Lead instructors are Dr. Laurie Croft, Associate Director for Professional Development at the Belin-Blank Center and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning, and Dr. Randy Lange, Administrator, Professional Development & Curriculum.

Guest speakers from the Belin-Blank Center, University of Iowa College of Education, include faculty such as:

The specific goals of the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program are to help participants:

  • Learn effective new ways to recognize gifted/talented students and meet their unique affective needs;
  • Enhance their abilities to meet the different academic needs of gifted/talented students;
  • Act as an effective resource in gifted education for other educators in their schools and districts;
  • Review their new knowledge and skills for applications to ALL youngsters in their classes;
  • Nurture the sense of social responsibility in the use and development of talents among gifted students.

Fellowship holders will be expected to:

  • Complete all preliminary writing assignments and readings required by the instructor;
  • Organize and/or support research that is designed to enhance his/her own teaching and further the goals of the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program;
  • Make her/his classroom available to colleagues, administrators, and other educators for observations of new strategies;
  • Plan and implement new ideas and instructional techniques for gifted students in his or her classroom;
  • Lead others in the district to help develop a greater understanding of gifted students;
  • Educate others by providing substantive in-services supporting the needs of gifted learners in the district;
  • Try to keep current on new literature and developments in gifted education;
  • Enjoy the full four days of the Fellowship experience!

This experience will certainly allow me to begin the next step of my career with knowledge and confidence. The Belin-Blank Fellowship is a game changer for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Belin Fellow

How to Apply

The application process is straightforward. Here's all the information you'll need to submit your application.

All application materials must be submitted online by late April 2023. 

Here's how to apply:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Have your administrator submit a statement of support for your participation (submit here).
  3. Share the following expectations with your administrator. Administrators of participating schools should provide the following for Fellowship holders:
    • Higher levels of support for Fellowship teachers to participate in leadership roles in their schools/districts regarding gifted education
    • Encouragement and release time for Fellowship holders to attend the annual state conference for gifted education or the National Association for Gifted Children Conference
    • Letter of support for teachers applying for the Fellowship Program

University of Iowa faculty will evaluate completed applications and letters of support. Preference is given to teacher leaders and peer coaches, and teachers, school counselors, and school psychologists who are new to gifted education. Accepted Fellows will be notified in May.

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After You're Accepted

Be prepared for the Belin-Blank Fellowship program to energize and excite you about the education of gifted and talented students! Here are all the details you'll need while making your plans to join us.

Before the Program Begins

Fellows should complete all preliminary writing assignments and readings required by the instructor. Some of these assignments will be distributed in May and will be due prior to the start of the class.

Cost & Financial Aid


Districts are responsible for payment of $250.00 to cover all materials for the Fellowship Program. A generous endowment covers the remaining costs, which include room & board, readings, access to the University of Iowa library, and presentations from leaders in gifted education.

Fellows are responsible for any travel expenses.

Financial Aid

Fellows who choose to pursue the two semester hours of graduate credit (see Academic Credit Options) receive a 50% tuition scholarship.

Academic Credit Options

Two semester hours of graduate credit are available at an additional fee. For details, contact

Daily Schedule

A typical day begins at 9:00 a.m., includes a break for lunch, and ends at approximately 4:00 p.m.  Each day includes:

  • Guest lectures by prominent experts in the field of gifted education
  • Small group discussions
  • Observations of video resources that reflect best practices in gifted education

Participants will be required to complete readings and reading reactions and journaling each evening.

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