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IES Grant

Title: An RCT Institute for Established Researchers
Center: NCER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Hedges, Larry Awardee: Northwestern University
Program: Methods Training for Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (09/01/17–08/31/20) Award Amount: $799,669
Goal: Training Award Number: R305B170016

The purpose of this 3-year methods training grant is to increase the number of researchers with training in the planning, design, execution, and interpretation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in education sciences necessary to carry out trials and increase the number who actually carry out RCTs in education. Each year, the program will train 30 people (90 participants total) for 2 weeks in a residential summer training institute. Spanning nine 8-hour sessions, the training will cover multiple topics relevant to preparing, conducting, and analyzing data from RCTs, through a combination of group instruction and group project work.

The goal of the group instruction units is to provide an overview of aspects of the design, planning, analysis, and interpretation of randomized trials in education. The training is intended for researchers who have some background in statistics and computing and who are employed in settings in which they could be conducting randomized trials, so some of the material may be familiar to participants, but this training will hone in on the elements that are most relevant to the design and implementation of RCTs. For example, participants will learn how to apply what they may already know about multilevel models to RCTs in ways that would allow them to adapt to complex cases (e.g., unbalanced randomized block designs or three-level experiments).

The primary goal of the group work is to produce a realistic experience of planning a study that fits within realistic constraints of budget, human capital limitations within the research team, and limited time to prepare the proposal. During the group work units, participants will collaborate on a proposal, similar to one that could be prepared as an IES Efficacy and Replication research project. Participants will have access to the instructors and a group of consultants to assist during the group work as necessary. Each group will present their proposals in a 1-hour session to the instructors and to the other participants for thorough feedback.

This training is a continuation of the summer institutes on randomized trials that IES funded from 2007–2016, which have received very positive immediate and long term responses from participants.

Related IES Projects:
A Summer RCT Training Institute for Established Researchers (R305B130023)
RCT Training Institute (R305U110001)
Proposal for an RCT Training Institute (R305U080001)