(CLOSED) IES Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program

Sponsor Name: 
Institute of Education Sciences
Description of the Award: 

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides scientific evidence to improve education practice and policy and shares that evidence in a way that can be used by educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public. Within IES, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) supports research focused on practices and policies that improve education outcomes and access to education opportunities for all learners from early childhood through adulthood, particularly those at risk of failure. The specific purpose of IES-supported training programs is to further the training of education researchers, including state and local education agency staff. In doing so, IES aims to increase the quality, accessibility, use, and relevance of education research.
In this Request for Applications (RFA), NCER invites applications for training projects that will contribute to its Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences (Research Training).
For FY 2021, IES is accepting applications for training under three programs:

  • Pathways to the Education Sciences (Pathways Training Program; LIMITED: An institution may only be a Lead or Partner institution on one application. You must submit your notice of intent whether you are a Lead OR Partner institution)
  • Postdoctoral Research Training in the Education Sciences (Postdoctoral Training Program)
  • Methods Training Program for Education Researchers (Methods Training Program)

IES training programs prepare individuals to conduct rigorous education research supported by IES across its research competitions, advance knowledge within the field, and address issues important to education policymakers and practitioners. As part of the programs, IES supports

  • Training that adopts new approaches to find and mentor students and researchers from diverse backgrounds to encourage their entry into and success in education research careers
  • Training that includes new ideas, approaches, and perspectives to address long-standing education issues
  • Training that helps researchers, including state and local education agency research staff, acquire skills necessary to obtain, evaluate and generate evidence needed for policy and programmatic decisions


Your application must be directed to one of the following training programs listed below and meet the requirements set out for each program as described in Part II to be sent forward for scientific peer review.

  • The Pathways Training Program funds training programs at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and institutions of higher education that partner with MSIs. These programs are open to all students and are designed to provide upper-level undergraduate students, recent graduates, and/or master’s students with education research experience and professional development in order to prepare these students to pursue doctoral study in the education sciences or in fields relevant to education research. The program places special emphasis on recruiting students from underrepresented groups, including racial/ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, economically disadvantaged students, veterans, and students with disabilities.
  • The Postdoctoral Training Program funds programs to prepare researchers with a doctoral degree to conduct high-quality education research that advances knowledge within the field of education sciences and addresses issues important to education leaders and practitioners. These researchers are expected to learn how to conduct independent research, take on leadership positions within research teams, work directly with practitioners and policymakers, and clearly communicate their findings to multiple audiences.
  • The Methods Training Program funds programs to help current education researchers, including state and local education agency research staff, maintain and upgrade their research and analysis skills in order to conduct rigorous and relevant education research.
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Aug 20, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Submit your notification at the InfoReady competition link to provide your contact information no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OVPR NOI Deadline: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 4:00pm
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
Royel Johnson (Education)