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icon of glasses and a book Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education Sciences


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FY Awards

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Dr. Meredith Larson
(202) 245-7037

Dr. Corinne Alfeld
(202) 245-8203


The Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (Postdoctoral Training Program) provides funds to groups of trainers who recruit, hire, and prepare postdoctoral researchers to conduct high-quality education research. Each of these groups selects a unique focus area that aligns with one or more topic areas and research goals in NCERís primary Education Research Grant competition (CFDA 84.305A) or with NCERís Statistical and Research Methodology in Education (CFDA 84.305D). Fellows receive hands-on training, professional development support, and funds to cover research, travel, stipend, and benefits.

Between FY 2005 and FY 2017, NCER has invested approximately $28.7 million in the Postdoctoral Training program. The Institute has awarded 45 grants to 37 teams of trainers located at 28 different universities across the U.S.


  • The Postdoctoral Training Program was first funded in 2005.
  • Almost 190 postdoctoral fellows have received training through this program, with approximately 20 to 30 who are actively receiving training each year and nearly 170 who have completed their training.
  • Of those who completed their training and for whom the Institute has data, 97 percent (91 fellows) continue to work in education research after their fellowship. Approximately 67 percent of these education scientists work as faculty in academia and 33 percent work as researchers for universities, government agencies, or for for-profit or non-profit research firms.

Why Postdoctoral Training?
In order to advance knowledge and theory in education research, the field needs highly skilled, well-trained researchers who are prepared with expertise in not only methodology and theory but also in communication and dissemination. Many talented potential researchers finish their doctoral programs with some, but not all, of the skills necessary to be effective education researchers. To help support their continued development, the Institute supports teams of trainers across the country to recruit and train the next generation of researchers.

What is the Institute's Goal for Postdoctoral Fellows?
The Institute intends for postdoctoral fellows to be prepared to conduct the type of research that it funds and to translate and disseminate results both to other researchers and to the broader community. The Institute expects that fellows trained through this program will continue to work in education research either in academia, research firms, or the public sphere (for education software developers, local or state education agencies, etc.).



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