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IES Grant

Title: Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences
Center: NCER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Uttal, David Awardee: Northwestern University
Program: Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years Award Amount: $4,116,861
Type: Training Award Number: R305B080027

The Northwestern University Multidisciplinary Program in Educational Sciences (MPES) was established through an IES grant in 2004. Under this predoctoral research training grant award, MPES trained students to conduct research on education policy and student learning. Effective education reform requires that researchers understand the basic cognitive foundations of learning. The MPES program had three related goals. The first was to provide a unified interdisciplinary program of coursework and research mentoring on linkages among education policy, student cognition, and achievement in mathematics and reading. The second goal was to ensure that the students receive training in rigorous, causally focused research methods. The third goal was to foster research collaborations among faculty and graduate students from different disciplinary traditions who have common interests in policy, learning, and methodology. Bringing together faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, the program created collaborations that result in cutting-edge empirical, methodological, and theoretical work on relations between education policy and practice.

28 students completed the training program funded under this award.

Anderson, Eleanor (ORCID) Licalsi-Labelle, Christina (ORCID)
Bauer, Lauren Lowenstein Lo, Abraham (ORCID)
Becker, Kelly Iwanaga Marin, Ananda (ORCID)
Branigan, Amelia Marsh, Ryan
Cannon, Sarah (ORCID) Mekinda Bartges, Megan
Cheon, Bobby (ORCID) Ogawa, Scott
Hallberg, Kelly (ORCID) Puckett, Cassidy (ORCID)
Jenkins, Stuart Takiar Pustejovsky, James (ORCID)
Jones, Brady (ORCID) Shirrell, Matthew (ORCID)
Keifert, Danielle (ORCID) Smith, Lindsey
Kim, Debbie Sparks, Jesse (ORCID)
Kovalsky, Elyse Vargas, Robert
Kuyper, Arend (ORCID) Yang, Christine
Lau, Chris Zapata-Gietl, Claudia

Project Website:

Related IES Projects: Northwestern University previously received an award (R305B040098) to implement the MPES research training program, and have subsequently received two additional awards to continue the training program (R305B140042; R305B200037).


Anderson, E. R. (2017). Accommodating change: Relating fidelity of implementation to program fit in educational reforms. American Educational Research Journal, 54(6), 1288–1315.

Berland, L. K., Schwarz, C. V., Krist, C., Kenyon, L., Lo, A. S., & Reiser, B. J. (2016). Epistemologies in practice: Making scientific practices meaningful for students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(7), 1082–1112.

Branigan, A. R., Freese, J., Patir, A., McDade, T. W., Liu, K., & Kiefe, C. I. (2013). Skin color, sex, and educational attainment in the post-civil rights era. Social Science Research, 42(6), 1659–1674.

Branigan, A. R., McCallum, K. J., & Freese, J. (2013). Variation in the heritability of educational attainment: An international meta-analysis. Social forces, 92(1), 109-140.

Cannon, S., & Becker, K. (2015). Life tables: A new perspective on teacher career patterns. Teachers College Record.

Cheon, B. K., & Chiao, J. Y. (2012). Cultural variation in implicit mental illness stigma. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 43(7), 1058–1062.

Dobie, T. E., & Anderson, E. R. (2015). Interaction in teacher communities: Three forms teachers use to express contrasting ideas in video clubs. Teaching and Teacher Education, 47, 230–240.

Hallberg, K., Wing, C., Wong, V., & Cook, T. D. (2013). Experimental design for causal inference: Clinical trials and regression discontinuity designs. The Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Methods in Psychology, Vol. 1, 1, 223.

Hedges, L. V., Pustejovsky, J. E., & Shadish, W. R. (2012). A standardized mean difference effect size for single case designs. Research Synthesis Methods, 3(3), 224–239.

Jones, B. K. (2016). Enduring in an "impossible" occupation: Perfectionism and commitment to teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 67(5), 437–446.

Keifert, D. T. (2021). Family culture as context for learning through inquiry. Cognition and instruction, 39(3), 242–274.

LiCalsi, C., Ozek, U., & Figlio, D. (2019). The uneven implementation of universal school policies: Maternal education and Florida's mandatory grade retention policy. Education Finance and Policy, 14(3), 383–413.

Marin, A. M. (2019). Seeing together: The ecological knowledge of indigenous families in Chicago Urban forest walks. In Language and Cultural Practices in Communities and Schools (pp. 41-58). Routledge.

Marin, A. M. (2020). Ambulatory sequences: Ecologies of learning by attending and observing on the move. Cognition and instruction, 38(3), 281–317.

Marin, A., & Bang, M. (2018). "Look it, this is how you know:" Family forest walks as a context for knowledge-building about the natural world. Cognition and Instruction, 36(2), 89–118.

Puckett, C. (2019). CS4Some? Differences in technology learning readiness. Harvard Educational Review, 89(4), 554–587.

Puckett, C. (2020). Digital Adaptability: A New Measure for Digital Inequality Research. Social Science Computer Review, 0894439320926087.

Puckett, C., & Nelson, J. L. (2019). The geek instinct: Theorizing cultural alignment in disadvantaged contexts. Qualitative Sociology, 42(1), 25–48.

Pustejovsky, J. E. (2014). Converting from d to r to z when the design uses extreme groups, dichotomization, or experimental control. Psychological Methods, 19(1), 92.

Shirrell, M. (2018). The effects of subgroup-specific accountability on teacher turnover and attrition. Education Finance and Policy, 13(3), 333–368.

Shirrell, M., & Reininger, M. (2017). School working conditions and changes in student teachers' planned persistence in teaching. Teacher Education Quarterly, 44(2), 49–78.

Sparks, J. R., & Rapp, D. N. (2011). Unreliable and anomalous: how the credibility of data affects belief revision. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (Vol. 33, No. 33).

Sparks, J. R., & Rapp, D. N. (2011). Readers' reliance on source credibility in the service of comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37(1), 230.

Vargas, R. (2014). Criminal group embeddedness and the adverse effects of arresting a gang's leader: A comparative case study. Criminology, 52(2), 143–168.