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Summer Research Training Institute: Cluster-Randomized Trials: July 20–30, 2015

Objective: The National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education announces its ninth Summer Research Training Institute on cluster-randomized trials (CRTs) in education sciences. The purpose of this training is to prepare current education researchers to plan, design, conduct, and interpret cluster CRTs. This program builds off of two former training programs: Proposal for an RCT Training Institute and RCT Training Institute.
Type: Training
Dates: July 20–30, 2015
Location: Northwestern University; Evanston, IL
The Training Institute will be held at the Hotel Orrington Center near the campus of Northwestern University. Northwestern University is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in the town of Evanston, just north of Chicago. Institute participants will be housed at the Hotel Orrington. The hotel is located within walking distance of Northwestern University.
Project Website:
Course Content: The course sessions will provide intensive training on planning, implementing and analyzing data from cluster-randomized trials (CRTs).

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 CRT.

For more information about the course content, please view the presentations from the 2008 IES Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials.

Training Institute Sponsor: Northwestern University and Michigan State University are providing support for this Summer Training Institute through a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences.
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 Summer Training Institute are encouraged to apply.

If selected for participation in the Summer Training Institute, individuals who require reasonable accommodations for disabilities should contact Valerie Lyne at Northwestern University.

Costs and Stipends: Northwestern University will pay for participants' lodging and for course materials. A limited amount of funds are available for special situations where participants are accepted but lack travel funding or for participants from school districts or state governments.
Application Procedures: The Summer Training Institute will be offered July 20–30, 2015. If you are interested in attending the CRT Training Institute, please e-mail the following materials to Valerie Lyne at and complete the online application form at the link below by Monday, April 20:
  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 Monday, April 20, 2015 at 8:00pm ET.

Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified by Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 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. Phill Gagne
National Center for Education Research
Institute of Education Sciences
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208

Inquiries about submission of the RCT Training Institute application materials:

Valerie Lyne
Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University
2040 N. Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
Telephone: 847- 467-4001