New Program to Fund Graduate Research in Education
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently announced a new program to fund graduate training programs in the education sciences. These programs will train a new generation of education researchers capable of producing scientific evidence to guide education policy and classroom practice. Such evidence is crucial to the implementation of the education reforms in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and to further the transformation of education into an evidence-based field.
Each of the new training grants will be funded for up to $1 million per year for up to five years. Ten or more training grants could be awarded in the first year of the program. This marks the first time that the department will provide significant support to colleges and universities to develop programs for students interested in pursuing careers in education research. Currently, doctoral-level training in education research is located primarily in schools of education and is not producing sufficient numbers of researchers who are qualified to meet the burgeoning demand for rigorous, quantitative research on the effectiveness of education programs and practices.
“Education is no different from other disciplines — research and science can and should play big roles,” said Secretary of Education Rod Paige. “Solid research will help teachers in the classroom reach their students and in turn help students achieve better results.”
“We want to support the creation of new training programs that will bring together the teaching talents of distinguished scientists who are interested in education but who are frequently spread thin across different academic units on university campuses, or who may work in organizations that conduct education research but are not connected with a university,” said Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, director of IES.
To address the complexity of education issues requiring additional research and the difficulties associated with conducting such studies in the classroom, the new training programs will include faculty with expertise in fields ranging from cognition to epidemiology. Faculty from departments such as psychology, education, economics, sociology, computer science and cognitive neuroscience, as well as from schools of public health and engineering, are expected to participate in the new training programs.
Additional information is available on the IES Web site <http://www.ed.gov/programs/edresearch/applicant.html#predoc04>.
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