Education Fellows

Education Fellows

SIF137 School of Education and Human Development Fellows

Project Manager: Justin Thompson

This award is intended to enhance the recruitment and retention of high-caliber doctoral candidates at the School of Education and Human Development.

BoV Approved: March 2018

Project Dates: 7/09/2018 – 7/08/2022

Funding Awarded: $2,508,894

Executive Summary

The School of Education and Human Development has tested “small‐bet” innovations to increase research productivity and teaching effectiveness among faculty and graduate students that have contributed to the school’s rise in several influential rankings (e.g., moving from 31st to 18th in US News and World Report Ranking of Graduate Schools of Education; 13th worldwide in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities). Innovations have enabled the school to increase the number and amount of research awards, even as available federal funding has receded. This SIF award proposes to pilot a school‐wide adoption of five innovations that will further enable the School’s research success and impacts. These innovations include:

  1. Enhanced recruitment of extraordinarily talented doctoral student applicants, including larger funding packages for top candidates in fall, spring and summer terms; 
  2. Career planning assistance for academic and non‐academic job markets;
  3. Grant‐writing instruction for graduate students, especially in pursuit of prestigious fellowships;
  4. Enhanced presence of doctoral students and national research conferences; and
  5. Enhanced mentorship of students.

This five‐pronged approach will allow the School of Education and Human Development to attract the highest‐achieving doctoral students, continue to improve its standing in national and global rankings, and create a best practice for start‐to‐finish support for graduate students. Ultimately, the school’s goal is to make an even greater contribution to the scholarly productivity of the University and its impact of research on large social challenges, using teams of faculty and highly qualified graduate students, which would serve as a model for other schools across Grounds.

Current Status: Active


The PAC conducted an annual review of this award and considered a one-year no-cost extension request in February 2021. The PAC is pleased with the conduct and progress of this award, and noted that it has many success stories.The project team provided comprehensive reporting that demonstrates excellent project progress: an increase in the GRE scores of matriculating students, increased acceptance rate of admission offers by highly qualified candidates, and movement of the School in national rankings in a positive direction. The metrics regarding graduation rate, placement, and grant achievement will be assessed when enough time has passed to make that possible. The diversity of the applicant pool has increased significantly (20% increase in African American applicants, 121% increase in Hispanic applicants). Dozens of students have attended conferences as a result of this SIF award in order to present their work, network, and gain experience, and also thereby enhancing the reputation of the School’s graduate programs. The PAC determined that the no-cost extension request is justified, given that Education research has been severely impacted by the pandemic due the nature of the work. An additional year was granted to give the project team time to complete the original goals.