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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) 245-6566

The Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (Predoctoral Training Program) was established in 2004 to increase the number of well-trained PhD students 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.

For FY 2015, Predoctoral Training Program grants will be awarded to institutions of higher education that create cohesive graduate training programs in which predoctoral students will graduate within a traditional academic discipline (e.g., economics, education, psychology) and also will earn an Education Sciences Certificate. 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 of the training program must be on applied research in education.

Predoctoral 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. In order to develop fellows into professionals that can independently conduct high quality research, programs will provide comprehensive training in multiple areas:

  • Subject-matter and methodological knowledge and skills
  • Research experience and collaboration with education practitioners and/or policymakers
  • Communication skills
  • Grant-writing skills
  • Research administration and grant management skills
  • Career development

Although the format of predoctoral training programs will vary, required common elements include a coordinated curriculum, an ongoing lecture series or “proseminar”, opportunities for fellows to conduct research and to collaborate with education practitioners and researchers, and an Education Sciences certificate that signifies that fellows have completed the training program's requirements.

The Institute distinguishes 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 Institute-funded predoctoral training program.

Upon completion of the award, all grantees (new and renewal) under the Predoctoral Training Program topic will provide the following:

  • 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, proseminar, methodological workshops, research opportunities, opportunities to collaborate with practitioners and policymakers, presentation and writing opportunities)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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 sciences,
    • 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.
  • Recommendations for future predoctoral training programs