Gillian Eriksson, Ph.D. is the Coordinator of the Gifted Education Certificate and M.Ed. Gifted Track Program, the Lead Instructor in Gifted Education and Multicultural Education, and also teaches Curriculum, Global and Comparative Education. She earned her doctoral degree in Curriculum, Research and Evaluation, and Special Education: Gifted at the University of Connecticut. She has an international reputation as a specialist in underserved gifted and talented students; has served as the USA elected delegate to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children for 3 terms (2007-2013), and has presented at 14 World Gifted conferences and at NAGC annual conventions. She is the UCF PI for Project ELEVATE (Jacob K. Javits Grant, 2015-2020) and previously served as the Project Coordinator of Project Step-Up, a Javits Grant at Lamar University, Texas (1993-1994). She was the Co-Pi on the Working on Gifted Issues (WOGI) Grant at UCF for the Florida Department of Education (2002-2003) and rewrote the Teaching Special Populations of Gifted Training Manual used by school districts in 2007. She coordinates the UCF Semester Teacher Education Abroad Program (High Ability Studies) and has conducted study and internship abroad programs to The Netherlands, England, and South Africa. She was the Director of the Schmerenbeck Educational Center for Gifted at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, for 11 years. She served on the UCF Morgridge International Reading Center Council; has received awards for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; UCF Women of Excellence for Global Achievement (2016); Teaching Excellence (TIP Teaching Incentive Program); Internationalization; Minority Mentorship and a Fulbright scholarship. She received the 2015 Board of Educational Affairs Golden Psi Award of Excellence (APA) for developing the Gifted Curriculum at a charter school for gifted. Her textbook addresses underserved gifted (Wallace, B; Eriksson, G.I. (2006) Diversity in Gifted Education: International Perspectives on Global Issues. Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis) and she is widely published and a consultant editor of Gifted Education International (Sage).

Areas of Expertise
  • Advanced and Gifted Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Multicultural and Equity Issues
  • Comparative and International Education

Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Psychology
University of Connecticut, U.S.A. (1988)
Major Areas: Curriculum Development; Research and Evaluation;
Special Education: Gifted


Research Interests
  • Identifying and meeting the needs of underserved and marginalized gifted learners
  • An examination of resilience and development of excellence in high-ability learners from extreme circumstances
  • Comparative research on issues of equity and access
Current Funded Projects

JACOB K. JAVITS, United States Department of Education. (2015-2020)
Collaborative Demonstration grant with Seminole County Public Schools
PI(s):Jeanette Lukens (SCPS); UCF PI Gillian Eriksson (CEDHP)

Co-PIs: UCF Dr. Haiyan Bai (Research)
Title of Funded Proposal: ELEVATE: English Learner Excellence eVolving through Advanced Teacher Education Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education: Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program #5206A150014 ($2,500,000)

Eriksson, G.I.; Cavillia, D. (UCF) Merritt, T; Braddock, D. (OSCD) Affective Education for Academic Success. Secondary Gifted. (2016-2017) Project Collaborative Curriculum Challenge Grant ; FLDE Challenge Grant with Osceola Public Schools District

Eriksson, G; Holt L (UCF) Gifted Mindsets Project: Brain-Based Learning. (2014-2015). Project Collaborative Curriculum Challenge Grant ; FLDE Challenge Grant with Brevard County Public Schools


  • UCF Scholarship for Teaching and Learning Award, 2017
  • UCF College of Education and Human Performance Teaching Incentive Program – Excellence in Teaching Recipient, 2017 and 2009
  • UCF Women of Excellence for Global Achievement (2016), UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty & Life at UCF
  • American Psychological Association Board of Educational Affairs Golden Psi Award of Excellence (APA, 2015) for Curriculum Design for Gifted Students (co-award with Dr. M Gill and Dr. D. Hahs-Vaughn)