Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences
Dr. Katina Stapleton
The Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences (Predoctoral Training Program) was established by IES to increase the number of well-trained PhD students who are prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research.
Predoctoral Training Program grants are awarded to institutions of higher education that create cohesive graduate training programs in which fellows receive training in conducting education research while earning their doctorates within a traditional academic discipline. Fellows are trained to develop education interventions (e.g., curricula, professional development) that are grounded in a science of learning; to evaluate education programs, practices, and policies using rigorous and well-implemented experimental and quasi-experimental designs; and/or to employ sophisticated statistical methods to examine large state and local datasets to identify potential solutions to education problems.
While the formats and foci of IES-funded predoctoral training programs vary, required common elements include:
Between 2004 and 2020, IES established interdisciplinary predoctoral training programs at 21 universities for a total investment of almost $209 million in predoctoral training.
Grounding education policy and practice in the United States on evidence requires transformation of both the research and practice fields. Practitioners have to turn routinely to education research when making important decisions, and education researchers have to produce research that is relevant to those decisions. To achieve this ambitious agenda, there is a need for a cadre of well-trained scientists capable of conducting high quality research that is relevant to practitioners and policy makers.
In 2004, IES created the predoctoral training program to address this need. Between 2004 and 2020, IES has held seven competitions and made 47 training grant awards. Twenty-one of the awards were to establish new training programs and the other 26 were to continue existing programs. The longest running programs (with 4 awards) are located at Northwestern University, University of Virginia, University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Since 2004, over 1000 fellows have received training through an IES-funded predoctoral training program. In June 2022, to document the background and rationale for these training programs and help articulate the theoretical models for each of the programs, including assumptions, inputs, activities, and outputs. WestEd will work with IES to identify metrics and potential data sources to better understand the successes and impacts of the current and possible future programs.
Outstanding Predoctoral Fellows
Each year, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recognizes an outstanding fellow from its Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences for academic accomplishments and contributions to education research. Here are the awardees:
|IES Outstanding Predoctoral Award Winners|
|2008||Shayne Piasta||Florida State University|
|2009||Anita McGinty||University of Virginia|
|2010||Vivian Wong (ORCID)||Northwestern University|
|2011||David Purpura||Florida State University|
|2012||Elizabeth Gunderson (ORCID)||University of Chicago|
|2013||Gerardo Ramirez||University of Chicago|
|2014||Nathan VanHoudnos||Carnegie Mellon University|
|2015||Meghan McCormick and Eric Taylor||New York University
and Stanford University
|2016||Rachel Baker||Stanford University|
and Callie Little (ORCID)
and Florida State University
|2018||Dominic Gibson (ORCID)||University of Chicago|
|2019||Sade Bonilla (ORCID)||Stanford University|
|2020||Kenneth Holstein (ORCID)||Carnegie Mellon University|
|2021||Marissa Thompson (ORCID)||Stanford University|
Applying to an IES Predoctoral Training Program
Students interested in becoming predoctoral training fellows must apply for admission to a training program, not to IES. Each training program has its own admission process and selection criteria. Potential fellows can receive information about applying for a fellowship by contacting the training program directly. Not all programs are accepting applications at this time.