Seeking Funding from the Institute of Education Sciences

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					Seeking Funding from the Institute of Education Sciences
A Guide for WCER Researchers

Russ Whitehurst and the IES Revolution
• IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education • IES is authorized by congress and operates semi-independently • IES has a dramatically different approach to funding than its predecessor, OERI

Russ Whitehurst and the IES Revolution
• Many think IES is focused on a particular methodology • But the real change is not the advancement of one method over another • Rather: a narrowing of the question
– What works in education? – Generally: what works to raise test scores?

Russ Whitehurst and the IES Revolution
• If ―what works‖ is the question, it’s a short step to the randomized controlled trial as the optimal methodology • This is an important question (though not the only important question) • This is the question IES wants to answer

Russ Whitehurst and the IES Revolution
• Other designs permitted when RCTs are not feasible
– Regression discontinuity
• See lecture by Howard Bloom

• RCTs are preferred to answer the ―what works‖ question

– Quasi-experiments with well-controlled comparison groups

Diverse Methodologies in IES-Funded Research
• RCTs are NOT a starting point • IES recognizes that a lot of work must be done before an intervention is ready for a full-scale effectiveness trial • Every IES program area allows 5 goals

Goals of IES-Funded Research Projects
• Goal 1: Analysis of large-scale data bases to generate hypotheses • Goal 2: Development of interventions
– Qualitative methods often appropriate

• Goal 3: Efficacy trials
– Mixed methods often appropriate

• Goal 4: Large-scale RCTs • Goal 5: Measurement (Instruments)

IES Program Areas
Reading and Writing Mathematics and Science Education Cognition and Student Learning Teacher Quality—Reading and Writing Teacher Quality—Mathematics and Science Education Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning Education Leadership Education Policy, Finance, and Systems Early Childhood Programs and Practices Middle and High School Reform Interventions for Struggling Adolescent and Adult Readers and Writers • Postsecondary Education • Education Technology • • • • • • • • • • •

IES Program Areas: Special Education Research
• • • • • • • • • • Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education Reading, Writing, and Language Development Mathematics and Science Education Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning Transition Outcomes for Special Education Secondary Students Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education Teacher Quality Related Services Systemic Interventions and Policies for Special Education Autism Spectrum Disorders

IES Program Areas: New or Unique Topics
• Statistical and Research Methodology • Evaluation of State and Local Programs and Policies

• National Center on Teacher Effectiveness
• National Center on Rural Education • National Center on Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools

What Goes into an IES Proposal?
• Depends somewhat on the goal
– E.g., more emphasis on ―theory of change‖ in goal 2 than in goal 4 – Goals 3 and 4 requires power analysis – All require clear research questions, a well-defined sample (with commitment of participants), a detailed research design, and description of measures

When are IES Proposals Submitted?
• Letter of Intent
– Optional but helpful

• Proposal deadlines: Generally summer and fall
– In 2008: June 26 and October 2 – See:

Recent Examples of IES Awards
– Creating an Integrated Resource Information System to Assess Student, Teacher, Classroom, and School Effects on Value-Added Student Learning Gains and to Support More Cost-Effective Budgeting (University of Wisconsin, Robert Meyer)

Recent Examples of IES Awards
– Improving Postsecondary Preparation in Urban Public High Schools: An Evaluation of AVID in Chicago (University of Chicago, Melissa Roderick)

• See

– A Longitudinal Study of Gender and Mathematics Using ECLS-K Data (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Sarah Lubienski) – Early Learning in Mathematics: Efficacy in Kindergarten Classrooms (Pacific Institutes for Research, Scott Baker)

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