Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellowship

Project Status: Current
Focus Areas: Postsecondary Access & SuccessSchool Improvement & Redesign,Teacher Effectiveness
Location: Cambridge, MA (and various residency sites to be determined)
Applications: http://bit.ly/pier-application

The Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellowship, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, is designed to train Harvard University doctoral students on how to conduct quantitative education research in partnership with school districts and state education agencies.

PIER Fellows will learn how to:

  • identify questions that are compelling to state and local policymakers as well as to their fellow academics;
  • work with leaders not trained in research methods, but who have a deep appreciation of the implementation challenges created by “academic” research designs;
  • assemble and analyze administrative data—the vast bulk of which was not collected with research in mind; and
  • present to multiple audiences, including the district and state leaders who might act on the results and who control the data for future projects.
Olivia Chi

Olivia Chi

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Emily Hanno

Emily Hanno

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Blake Heller

Blake Heller

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Kennedy School
Whitney Kozakowski

Whitney Kozakowski

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Christine Mulhern

Christine Mulhern

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Kennedy School
Carly Robinson

Carly Robinson

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Kirsten Slungaard Mumma

Kirsten Slungaard Mumma

Partnering in Education Research (PIER) Fellow
Doctoral Student
Harvard Graduate School of Education

In addition to the benefit of working alongside Harvard faculty and partners, fellows will receive supplemental stipends for their participation in the program.

  • Second year: $5,000 stipend in addition to the standard Harvard GSAS stipend.

  • Third and fourth years: $25,000 stipend in return for 17.5 hours per week (50% time) spent on their research apprenticeship.

  • Summer: Fellows who participate in a non-local internship will receive $5,000 in addition to the standard summer stipend to pay for housing and transportation.

  • Professional support: $2,000 per year to support research, travel, and conference participation.

Application Requirements
• Online application: http://bit.ly/pier-application
• Research statement (1000-1200 words)
• Curriculum Vitae (2-page maximum)
• Unofficial copy of Harvard academic transcript
• Two faculty letters of recommendation with a third optional non-faculty/professional letter

Eligibility
Ph.D. students in social science disciplines in FAS, HKS, and HGSE who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply for fellowships that will start in their second or third year of study. Fellows will receive three years of support if they start in their second year of study, and two years of support if they start at the beginning of their third year of study.

Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated on the basis of academic promise, the analytic promise of the applicant’s research interests, and the match between the candidates’ interests and the strengths of our program and faculty.

The PIER program provides a two- or three-year fellowship for students entering their second or third year of study. If you are selected as a PIER fellow, you will receive the following training and opportunities:

Pro-seminar Series
Leaders in the field will share how research projects evolved, the challenges they faced, and how they were resolved along the way. The mechanics of executing research projects will also be discussed, which includes topics such as IRB protocols, data transfer and security, and working with longitudinal administrative data.

Agency Internship
Through a ten-week internship at a school agency, fellows will develop more insight into the role research can and should play in management, as well as a deep knowledge of the agency’s data and the senior relationships necessary for ongoing research partnerships.

Partnership Discovery Conference
Fellows will participate in an annual conference hosted by the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR), which brings together system leaders and leading researchers to brainstorm new research projects.

Coursework in Quantitative Methods and Education Policy
Harvard has constructed flexible requirements to ensure an understanding of both quantitative methods and education policy that can also be counted towards a fellow’s program requirements—be that education, government, sociology, or economics.
See list of potential courses

Research Apprenticeship
Fellows will receive a stipend to spend 17.5 hours per week conducting research on projects led by a faculty mentor. Fellows will learn data assembly and exploratory data analysis, as well as develop work suitable for publication in peer reviewed journals.

Independent Research
The additional funding will allow fellows to reduce their teaching load and focus on independent research. Fellows will be asked to present their work to both faculty and partner education agencies—providing them with experience communicating with different types of audiences.