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U-M receives $4 million federal grant for predoctoral research training program in education sciences

June 9, 2015

The University of Michigan has received a $4 million federal grant to establish a predoctoral research training program in education sciences.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences unites U-M's School of Education, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics to train doctoral students in conducting research to the institute's standards.

Through research apprenticeships, fellows will be trained to estimate the causal effects of educational policies and practices on student outcomes across a broad array of research topics.

Fellows will develop skills in grant writing and management and will enter the program at different points in their doctoral studies, with fellowships ranging from three to four years. Fellows will receive an annual $30,000 stipend plus full tuition and fringe benefits.

"This grant will enable us to train nearly 20 doctoral students, developing their technical expertise and practical experience in causal inference in education research, over the five-year grant period," said Susan Dynarski, an education, economics and public policy professor and co-director of the Education Policy Initiative at the Ford School of Public Policy.

Other U-M faculty working with the fellows are: Brian Jacob, an education, economics  and public policy professor and co-director of the Education Policy Initiative; School of Education professor Stephen DesJardins and assistant professor Christina Weiland; and Department of Economics professors John Bound and Jeff Smith.

"While the program is open to students in any of the social sciences, we anticipate drawing initially from education, public policy and economics," Dynarski said.

Fellows will work on research projects with core faculty and research partners including the Michigan Department of Education; Tennessee Department of Education; Boston Public Schools; Washington, D.C., Public Schools; Florida Virtual Schools; community colleges; and a network of charter schools in Michigan.

In addition to the three partnering U-M units, the Rackham Graduate School will provide supplemental funding support for the grant.