Interdisciplinary Training Program for Predoctoral Research in the Education Sciences
Since 2005, the Interdisciplinary Training Program in the Education Sciences (ITP) at the University of Wisconsin- Madison has been helping to address the need for skilled researchers who can carry out research that will provide solid evidence about what programs will most benefit our nation’s students. As one of a network of predoctoral training programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the ITP is preparing a new generation of outstanding education science scholars. By drawing on the talents and research interests of over 20 outstanding campus scholars and pairing academic, professional, and financial supports with field research opportunities and practical experience, ITP offers a select group of doctoral students in economics, political science, psychology, social welfare, sociology, educational leadership & policy analysis, educational policy studies, and educational psychology the opportunity to learn how to design, carry out, and translate research on educational processes and educational improvement.
UW’s training program focuses on three themes: 1) Design and implementation of field-based randomized studies in schools and other complex, real-world settings; 2) Statistical analysis of quantitative survey, observational, and assessment data on education, with special attention to questions of causal inference; 3) Translation of research to maximize impact on educational policy at the federal, state, and local levels. While our focus on rigorous methodological training remains paramount, starting in 2015 we began to give greater attention to providing relevant and timely opportunities that engage ITP fellows by linking this methodological training to the real-world problems in the field through research-to-practice internships and weekly seminars that encourage broad participation from policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.