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Institute of Education Sciences

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Funding Opportunities | Education Research Grant Programs

Program Announcement: Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (84.305B)

Program Officer:
Dr. Katina Stapleton
Telephone: (202) 219-2154


The Institute established the Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (Predoctoral Training Program) in 2004 to increase the supply of scientists and researchers in education who are prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research that advances knowledge within the field and addresses issues important to education leaders and practitioners. To date, the Predoctoral Training Program has supported 18 training programs, some of which have received renewal funding. These awards were to be used to prepare predoctoral fellows to conduct scientific research, develop competitive grant proposals to address relevant education topics, and meet the methodological requirements specified for the Institute's research grant competitions. Fellows who complete their training program should have the skills necessary to produce research that is rigorous in method as well as relevant and accessible to education stakeholders such as practitioners and policymakers. The training programs, as a whole, are expected to cover the range of the research topics and research goals used to organize the Institute's Education Research Grants program (84.305A).

For FY 2014, Predoctoral Training Program grants will be awarded to institutions of higher education that create cohesive graduate programs in which predoctoral students will graduate within a traditional discipline (e.g., economics, psychology) and also will earn an Education Sciences Certificate. Predoctoral fellows are expected to conduct dissertations on education topics relevant to education in the United States. The proposed training programs should be interdisciplinary and involve a number of academic disciplines (e.g., economics, education, psychology, public policy, sociology, statistics, among others). The lead department may be any of the participating departments, but the focus must be on applied research in education.

For FY 2014, The Institute is distinguishing between New Predoctoral Training Program grant awards and Renewal Predoctoral Training Program grant awards. New training program grants will be awarded to institutions of higher education that are seeking to start a new predoctoral training program. Renewal grants will be awarded to institutions of higher education seeking to continue an existing predoctoral training program.

The Institute expects the grantee to provide the following at the end of a Predoctoral Training Program project:

  1. A description of the training program as realized over the course of the grant including descriptions of all key components discussed in the original application (e.g., required courses, seminar series, methodological workshops, research opportunities, opportunities to collaborate with practitioners and policymakers, presentation and writing opportunities).
  2. A description of the fellows accepted to the program, identification of completers and non-completers, and their research products (dissertation, presentations, publications, and other work).
  3. A fully specified description of the measures used to track the progress of fellows through the training program as well as data demonstrating the program's level of success in recruiting, training, and placing fellows.
  4. A determination of the program's success in preparing fellows with the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out the type of research described in the original application including the following:
    • Fellows' contributions to research of use to practitioners and policymakers,
    • Fellows' contributions to the field of education research,
    • Fellows' employment after completing the program with attention to whether and where they have begun careers in education research, and
    • Analysis of the cost per fellow training year including recruitment efforts.
  5. Recommendations for future training programs.

Note: Training grant awards are made to academic institutions, not to individual fellows. Students interested in becoming predoctoral training fellows must apply for admission to a training program, not to IES. Each training program has its own admission process and selection criteria. Potential fellows can receive information about applying for a fellowship by contacting the training program directly or by reading Applying for a Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program Fellowship ( Not all programs are accepting applications at this time.

Note: The 84.305B Request for Applications (RFA) was updated with minor corrections on May 9, 2013. If you downloaded this RFA before May 9, 2013, please download the revised RFA.