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Summer Research Training Institute: Cluster-Randomized Trials: June 21–July 3, 2009

Objective: The National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education announces its third Summer Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials to increase the national capacity of researchers to develop and conduct rigorous evaluations of the impact of education interventions.
Type: Training
Dates: June 21 to July 3, 2009

Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN
The Training Institute will be held at the Wyatt Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt University is centrally located in Nashville, Tennessee. Classroom instruction will take place in the Wyatt Center at Vanderbiltís Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Institute participants will be housed at the Embassy Suites Hotel within walking distance of Vanderbilt University.

Project Website:
Course Content: The course sessions will provide intensive training on planning, implementing and analyzing data from a cluster randomized trial.

The Course Will Enable Participants To:

  • Describe the principles underlying randomized experiments and their advantages for making causal inferences.
  • Understand the hierarchical structure of populations in education (students nested in classes nested in schools) and its implications for study design and analysis of data.
  • Select appropriate measures for assessing outcomes, describing implementation fidelity, and capturing process variables.
  • Acquire knowledge and strategies for designing and conducting a cluster-randomized trial.

For more information about the course content, please view the presentations from the 2007 IES Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials.

Training Institute Sponsor: Northwestern University, with a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, is providing support for this Summer Training Institute.
Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria for Training Institute Fellows:
  1. Applicants must have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D.) and experience conducting research relevant to education.
  2. Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).
  3. Preference will be given to individuals who (a) have demonstrated their ability to conduct independent research, (b) are currently employed in a setting in which conducting research relevant to education is part of their regular responsibilities, and (c) can demonstrate that they have a need for the knowledge and skills addressed in the Training Institute. Each application will be evaluated on its own merits. If more than 30 meritorious applications are received, other criteria such as disciplinary, geographical, and institutional diversity will be taken into account.
  4. Applicants must have a solid understanding of statistical methods and be experienced in using personal computers and statistical computer packages. The Training Institute will include hands-on data analysis sessions. Participants are expected to know how to perform basic SPSS or SAS procedures, including running statistical analyses (e.g., frequency distributions, cross-tabulations, means, regression analyses).

Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral fellows, junior researchers, and senior researchers who would benefit from the knowledge and skills addressed in the Training Institute are encouraged to apply.

If selected for participation in the Summer Training Institute, individuals who require reasonable accommodations for disabilities should contact Judy Formosa at Vanderbilt University.

Costs and Stipends: Northwestern University will pay for travel to and from the Summer Training Institute site, lodging, and meals on days of instruction, and for course materials. Summer Training Institute Fellows will be asked to pay a fee of $250.00 dollars to help defray the costs of the Summer Training Institute. Fellows are responsible for the cost of meals in transit (to and from the Summer Training Institute site) and on the weekend (June 27-28, 2009).
Application Procedures: The Summer Training Institute will be offered June 21–July 3, 2009. If you are interested in attending the Summer Training Institute, please use the link below to submit the following materials:
  1. A copy of your curriculum vitae. Your curriculum vitae should include information on:
    1. Your title/position at your institution or organization
    2. Your academic/professional degree
    3. Your citizenship status (citizen or permanent resident)
    4. A list of currently funded research grants and the sources of funding
  2. A 2– to 3–page personal statement describing:
    1. Your current and planned intervention research projects
    2. Your previous statistical training and familiarity with statistical packages such as SPSS, SAS, or HLM
    3. How this workshop is likely to influence your future research
Requirement: The personal statement is limited to 3 single spaced pages in 12-point font and must be attached as a MS Word document or as a PDF file.

Application materials should be submitted online at:

All applications must be received no later than Friday, March 20, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified no later than April 30, 2009 via e-mail. Selected applicants will receive the Summer Training Institute course schedule and information about travel and lodging.
Contact Information:

RCT Training Institute inquiries:

Dr. Christina Chhin
National Center for Education Research
Institute of Education Sciences
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208
Telephone: 202-219-2280

Inquiries about submission of the RCT Training Institute application materials:

Judy Formosa
Peabody Research Institute
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37203
Telephone: 615-322-8540