Dr. Meredith Larson
Telephone: (202) 245-7037
The Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (Postdoctoral Training Program) supports programs that prepare education researchers to conduct and communicate high-quality, independent education research that advances knowledge within the field of education sciences and addresses issues important to education policymakers and practitioners. It is intended to support the training of fellows who have high potential but may need more research experience and mentoring before launching their careers.
The Institute encourages recruitment of fellows from groups underrepresented in education research (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, students from low-income families, and students with disabilities). Fellows who complete an Institute-funded postdoctoral training program are to have the skills necessary to produce research that is methodologically rigorous and aligned with the Institute's research programs (in particular, NCER's Education Research Grants competitions and NCER's Statistical and Research Methodology in Education competition), and to communicate their research findings effectively to researchers, education policymakers, and practitioners.
Postdoctoral training programs must provide practical, hands-on experiences; enrichment of theoretical and empirical knowledge; and opportunities to build professional skills and networks that will support working with other researchers and with practitioners, policymakers, and other education stakeholders. The Institute's objective is to build capacity for high-quality, scientific research and to address questions relevant to both theory and practice.
Although the Postdoctoral Training Program is open to applications focusing on any research topic identified in the Institute's Education Research Grants Program (CFDA 84.305A), the Institute particularly encourages applications that address research topics which have not generated large numbers of high-quality applications to the Institute's research grants competitions in recent years:
In addition to addressing specific research topics, the Institute encourages postdoctoral training programs to include meaningful opportunities for fellows to work closely with state and local education policymakers and practitioners in designing and conducting research projects in order to prepare fellows to establish and carry out research in full partnership with practitioners. The Institute's peer reviewers are asked to consider these issues in their evaluation of the Significance of the Postdoctoral Training Program applications.
Different models for postdoctoral training may be used. For example, an individual faculty member or researcher could be the sole mentor for one to two postdoctoral fellows and also the Principal Investigator for the project. Alternatively, several faculty members or researchers could jointly train up to four postdoctoral fellows with one serving as the Principal Investigator and all serving as researcher mentors.