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IES Grant

Title: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Methodological Skill Development
Center: NCSER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Vaughn, Sharon Awardee: University of Texas, Austin
Program: Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Special Education and Early Intervention      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (08/01/2020 – 07/31/2025) Award Amount: $753,806
Type: Training Award Number: R324B200012

Co-Principal Investigators: Clemens, Nathan; Roberts, Greg

The postdoctoral research program will provide postdoctoral fellows with extensive research training in multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), including the development and evaluation of interventions for students with disabilities and innovative and robust methodology, such as a sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials. The overarching goal of this program is to prepare four fellows (with 2 years of training each) to conduct rigorous intervention research focused on students with disabilities.

The training program will be tailored to the individual strengths and needs of the fellows. Each fellow will take a needs assessment and then work with their primary mentor to design an Individualized Fellowship Plan (IFP). The IFP will specify the following key elements for each year: (1) courses suggested and taken; (2) special seminars attended; (3) key mentors (primary, secondary, and external) and the specific needs they will address; (4) goals and activities related to research, knowledge, and methodology; (5) goals and activities related to writing for professional publications; (6) goals and activities related to writing grants; (7) goals and activities related to increasing skills in college-level teaching; and (8) additional objectives based on the unique needs of the fellow. Fellows will be actively involved in the ongoing research of their primary and secondary mentor, have opportunities to engage in research with other faculty, and will also conduct independent research. During the first year, through consultation with the mentor, fellows will choose two federally funded research projects that align with their interests and training objectives. Example research projects include a study to build and optimize an adaptive intervention within a MTSS model to improve elementary school students' academic and behavior outcomes and a study is to test the efficacy of the reading comprehension intervention for middle school learners with disabilities. Throughout the first year, the goal will be for fellows to adopt increasingly primary roles on ongoing research projects as they gain experience and skills. By the second year of the program, fellows are expected to take on a primary role in active research programs; for instance, by developing and coordinating an add-on project to ongoing research or by developing and coordinating a new short-term research project.