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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



Since FY 2005, IES has supported programs to train over 200 individuals through Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education Sciences grants. This program funds groups of faculty research trainers who recruit, hire, and prepare postdoctoral researchers to conduct high-quality education research.. IES encourages training programs to recruit fellows from underrepresented demographic groups including minority groups and those with disabilities, those coming from smaller or less well-known institutions, or those with non-traditional backgrounds including former practitioners or institutional researchers.

Each training program selects a unique focus area that aligns with one or more topic areas and project types in NCERís primary Education Research Grant competition (CFDA 84.305A) or with NCERís Statistical and Research Methodology in Education (CFDA 84.305D) grant competition. Starting in FY 2020, IES has been focusing on particular education research content areas of high-interest due to growing need for research on particular populations or issues. For example, for the FY 2021 competition, IES highlighted the need for training in four areas: adult learners with low skills, career and technical education, education leadership, and English learners.

As part of their training, postdoctoral fellows receive hands-on training, professional development support, and funds to cover research, travel, stipend, and benefits. The typical fellowship lasts 2 years, with a range of 1 to 3 years.

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, IES supports postdoctoral training programs across the country to recruit and train the next generation of researchers.

IES is specifically interested in ensuring that the next generation of researchers is prepared to conduct and use the type of work that IES funds. Thus, IES expects that fellows trained through this program will continue to work in the broad field of education research whether that be in academia, research firms, the private sphere (e.g., as curriculum developers), or the public sphere (e.g., as analysts for local, state, or federal agencies).


Technical Working Group Minutes