Participating students come from all over NYU – including multiple departments at Steinhardt, Psychology and Sociology at Arts and Science, and the Wagner School of Public Service. Students collaborate and communicate across disciplinary lines, leading to a more robust understanding of the education landscape and its many interwoven challenges.
Beyond its interdisciplinarity, a hallmark of the IES-PIRT program is its attention to methodological rigor through training in causal inference – or the ability to delve deeply into your data to show exactly what variable created a change during your research.
Maia Connors PhD ’15 (Applied Psychology) was an IES-PIRT fellow in her time at Steinhardt. Now, she is the director of research and policy initiatives for Start Early, a Chicago-based nonprofit that – among other roles – partners at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure programs, policies, and systems put families first.
“The IES-PIRT program was an extraordinary addition to my training...I wouldn’t be the scholar I am today or have the breadth of understanding across disciplines that I do without my time with that great group of people.”
Now in its third five-year grant of funding from IES, the IES-PIRT fellowship is also putting a greater emphasis on equity, recruiting primarily from groups underrepresented in the education sciences, including scholars of color, students from low-income families, immigrant origin students, and individuals with disabilities.
This attention to diversity and inclusion goes beyond the researchers themselves to encompass the areas of education they hope to impact. Some recent interest areas include factors affecting literacy development for multilingual children, the relationship between digital inequity and academic outcomes, and the intersection of immigration and education policy.
“The IES-PIRT program was an extraordinary addition to my training,” says Connors. “I wouldn’t be the scholar I am today or have the breadth of understanding across disciplines that I do without my time with that great group of people.”
For the upcoming year, IES-PIRT has recruited nine incoming doctoral students (six from Steinhardt), as well as one advanced fellow, also from Steinhardt.