A multi-year training program for Penn Ph.D. students committed to learning rigorous methods for conducting actionable, equitable field-based research to inform policy and practice.

The University of Pennsylvania's Predoctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Research in Education is a collaborative initiative among the Graduate School of Education, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Policy and Practice, and the Annenberg School for Communication.

Since 2005, the program has supported more than 70 IES Predoctoral Training Fellows from doctoral programs in Education, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Communications, Criminology, and Business. From 2020 to 2025, the program will enroll 30 fellows for two to three years each. In addition to financial support, the program provides fellows with education and research opportunities that complement those offered through their disciplinary-based doctoral training program. The program is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Grant R305B200035.

About the Program

Penn’s IES Predoctoral Training Program is a competitive program offering financial and skill-building support for two to three years. Students in good standing may apply to the program after completing one year of doctoral studies. Fellows must have a substantive and substantial interest in applied education research and must be committed to participating in the program for a minimum of two years. 

Application deadlineFor more information, contact Cecilia Dye, Program manager.

Apprenticeship15 to 20 hours a week in an approved research or practice apprenticeship

Financial supportAnnual stipend of $34,000  
Up to $12,000 towards tuition, fees, and health insurance  
Funding to attend professional conferences  
Some dissertation expenses 

Additional resourcesSpecialized lending library 
Seminars & trainings

Certificate offeredFellows successfully completing the program receive the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education Sciences upon earning their Ph.D.


Fellows participate in an interdisciplinary core curriculum that includes coursework in quantitative methodologies, experimental research designs, implementation research, and education policy. In addition, fellows will participate in ongoing research with faculty mentors and research organizations (1 year minimum) and complete a year-long policy/practice apprenticeship with education agencies or in practice settings that actively produce and use research. The training program includes an ongoing interdisciplinary seminar on conducting rigorous, applied education research, and methods workshops that complement training available through courses and professional networking support.

Fellows will gain expertise in interdisciplinary research methods, including randomized controlled trials of education programs, policies, and practices. They will be part of an intellectual community of peers and faculty who share interests in rigorous applied education research that is actionable, equitable, and used. The program structure provides scaffolding that enables fellows to attain broader and deeper skills without materially altering their time to degree completion through weekly lectures, special trainings, apprenticeships, and participation in research conferences. 

In addition to spending 15 to 20 hours a week in an approved research or practice apprenticeship, fellows are expected to participate in the program’s seminar series, attend program-supported trainings that address skills needed for the Certificate of Advanced Studies, participate in at least one professional conference annually, capitalize on opportunities to present their own work or collaborative work in workshops and at conferences, and send all publications they co-author based on work they do during their fellowship to the ERIC Clearinghouse.   

Kindergarten classroom

About the Institute of Education Sciences

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the US Department of Education was founded in 2002 with the mission to provide rigorous and relevant evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information broadly. IES funds educational researchers nationwide to conduct studies that seek answers on what works for students from preschools to postsecondary, including interventions for special education students.

Our Faculty


A. Brooks Bowden

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Columbia University

Rebecca A. Maynard

Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Penn GSE Faculty Ryan S. Baker
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
Penn GSE Faculty Robert F. Boruch
University Trustee Chair Professor of Education and Statistics
Ph.D., Iowa State University
Penn GSE Faculty Wendy Chan
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Penn GSE Faculty John W. Fantuzzo
Albert M. Greenfield Emeritus Professor of Human Relations
Ph.D., Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
Penn GSE Faculty Manuel S. González Canché
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Arizona
Penn GSE Faculty Michael A. Gottfried
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Emily Hannum
Professor of Sociology and Education, School of Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Michigan 
Penn GSE Faculty Richard M. Ingersoll
Professor of Education and Sociology
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty John MacDonald
Professor of Criminology and Sociology, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Penn GSE Faculty Laura W. Perna
Vice Provost for Faculty
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Penn GSE Faculty Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin
Viola MacInnes/Independence Professor of Nursing
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Penn GSE Faculty Janine Remillard
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Penn GSE Faculty Lauren Russell
Professor of Practice
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Penn GSE Faculty Xi Song
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Penn GSE Faculty Jonathan A. Supovitz
Ed.D., Harvard University
Penn GSE Faculty Petra Todd
Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Economics
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Penn GSE Faculty Sharon Wolf
Associate Professor
Ph.D., New York University

Partner Organizations

Research Organizations

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Mathematica Policy Research
  • MDRC
  • Abt Associates
  • Research for Action


Education and Policy Organizations

  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • School District of Philadelphia, Office of Climate and Safety
  • School District of Philadelphia, Office of Research and Evaluation
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Departments of Education and Human Services
  • Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, University of Pennsylvania
  • Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania


Statue of Benjamin Franklin sitting on a bench

Contact Us

Cecelia Dye
Program Manager