Fabian T. Pfeffer

Training Program in Causal Inference in Education Policy Research at the University of Michigan

Research Project Description
Susan Dynarski, Stephen Lowell DesJardins, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Matthew Stephen Ronfeldt, Brian Jacob, Christina Jo Weiland, Kevin Michael Stange, John Bound

The Predoctoral Training Program will train students to design and implement research that yields causal estimates of the effects of education policies. Students will develop skills through classroom training, research apprenticeships, intensive mentoring, active participation in a weekly workshop, and collaboration with education practitioners.

In order to be eligible for the Training Program, students must be enrolled full-time in a University of Michigan PhD program. We anticipate primarily drawing on doctoral students in Education, Public Policy, Economics, and Sociology but will seek to recruit doctoral students focused on education policy research from any of the social science disciplines. Fellows must also be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Fellows will complete all requirements of their home doctoral program. Fellows will typically apply to the Training Program after their first or second year in their doctoral program, once they have completed its foundation quantitative sequence. In order to help with recruitment to UM of highly qualified candidates, UM applicants who have previous experience and training in causal inference in education research may be offered the fellowship during the admissions process. Depending on when they enter the Training Program and how many of its requirements they have left to complete, they will be appointed as 3-Year or 4-Year Fellows.

As required by IES, fellows will earn a Certificate in the Education Sciences. UM? School of Education and Ford School of Public Policy jointly sponsor this certificate, reflecting their shared role in cultivating the study of education policy at UM. The UM certificate requires: i) five approved courses in quantitative analysis (15 credits) ii) a year- long course in causal inference for education policy taught by core faculty (6 credits) iii) an elective in education policy, institutions or practice (3 credits) iv) a research apprenticeship/practicum (12-month 50% effort) for each year of the Fellowship.

Fellowship Terms and Cost-Sharing

IES provides each fellow, for up to four years (maximum of 68 fellow-years): $34,000 (12-month) stipend, $12,000 in tuition support and $2,000 in research expenses. Rackham and the home departments of the doctoral students are asked to make up the funding shortfall (e.g., tuition, health insurance, fringe, overhead).

This proposal requests support for a total of 68 fellow years, spread across a total of 21 fellows who will be provided with 3-Year or 4-Year fellowships.

Education, U.S. Department of

Funding Period: 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2025

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