Predoctoral fellowship program

An interdisciplinary training program that equips researchers to improve outcomes and address inequalities in education

Learn more about the Causal Inference in Education Research Seminar here

U-M’s interdisciplinary Causal Inference in Education Policy Research (CIEPR) Predoctoral Fellowship program offers three- and four-year fellowships to doctoral students interested in learning how to use causal research methods to evaluate educational policies and practices spanning early childhood to students going into the labor market.

Participating fellows take required courses, work closely with core faculty in research apprenticeships, participate in research workshops, network with eminent education policy scholars, and gain professional skills like presenting research to a range of audiences, writing small and large grant proposals, and building research practitioner partnerships. Most importantly, fellows are part of a community of doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff who share in their passion for improving outcomes across U.S. education.

Program core faculty from U-M’s School of Education, Public Policy, Economics, and Sociology teach core courses, participate in the fellow selection process, mentor and advise fellows, manage the fellows' research apprenticeships, and work closely with fellows to ensure their success. Fellows supported by the program will receive an annual stipend, full tuition support, fringe benefits, and a research allowance to support further professional development activities.

Graduates of the Predoctoral Fellowship program have gone on to successful careers in academia and other research organizations, some of whom now serve in leadership positions within local and state education agencies.

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Required coursework will provide formal training in quantitative methods and contextual knowledge about education policy, institutions, and practice. Students will select most courses based on their research interests and in consultation with the program director. Many courses will satisfy both degree and training program requirements.
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Research apprenticeships

Fellows to learn all phases of the research process, gain hands-on experience working with student-level, longitudinal, administrative datasets, develop expertise in coding and statistical analysis, and cultivate their professional skills. They spend at least one year on a project that is conducted in partnership with an education practitioner or policymaker.
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Seminar & research colloquium

The seminar brings together and supports an interdisciplinary community of scholars interested in education-related topics. We value research that contributes to ongoing academic, policy, and practice conversations and we view our seminar and research colloquia as a classroom that prepares members for careers in research and policy.
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Current fellow

Kelcie Gerson

Kelcie Gerson is a Institute of Education Sciences predoctoral fellow pursuing a joint PhD in Economics and Public Policy. Her research interests include access to higher education, particularly as it relates to rising education costs, student lending practices, and the value of a higher education degree. Before beginning her graduate studies, Kelcie earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University with minors in Economics and Philosophy.
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Current fellow

Kenneth Hofmeister

Kenny Hofmeister is a PhD student in Economics at the University of Michigan. His research interests span the economics of education, labor economics, and econometrics. Prior to starting at Michigan, he worked as a research associate at the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab. He graduated with a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Current fellow

Emily Yerington

Emily Yerington is a doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology (CPEP) at the University of Michigan. She is interested in the impact of school curricula on children's executive functioning skills, emotional regulation, and academic achievement. Emily received her B.A. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, her M.A.T. in early childhood education and Montessori credential from Chaminade University of Honolulu and her M.Ed. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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Institute of Education Sciences

Ongoing support

The predoctoral training program is supported by $8.6M in grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences (R305B150012 & R305B200011), as well as by the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, Department of Economics, and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
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