NSF QRM Scholars Program
Quantitative Research Methods for STEM Education Scholars Program
Welcome to the NSF-funded Quantitative Research Methods for STEM Education Scholars Program (NSF QRM Scholars Program)
The NSF QRM Scholars Program pairs early-career education researchers with quantitative mentors to help researchers develop their skills in design, measurement, and analysis. The program offers a year-long training that includes an initial intensive one-week Summer Institute on fundamental quantitative methodology, on-going live-stream (or in-person) workshops, and access to quantitative expertise through ongoing interaction with the assigned mentor. The institute and the subsequent workshops will focus specifically on the data analysis skills, measurement issues, and design principles most applicable to STEM Education researchers.
Throughout the year, Scholars will design and implement a study of their choice with the support of their quantitative mentor and a content area mentor proposed by the Scholar. At the culmination of the program, Scholars will attend a day-long Capstone Conference to share their work.
Applications for the 2020-21 NSF QRM Scholars Program are now closed. Please check back in Fall 2020 for information on applying to the 2021-2022 cohort.
As part of the NSF QRM Scholars Program, you will
- Improve your capacity as an early career faculty or postdoctoral fellow to apply best-practices design, measurement, and data analysis strategies and techniques to your own research;
- Collaborate with a dedicated quantitative mentor throughout the program year;
- Strengthen your peer-support network by connecting with fellow Scholars during the Summer Institute, participating in social media conversations with other Scholars during the program year, and sharing your research with your cohort at the end-of-year Capstone Conference; and
- Gain the skills to work on multidisciplinary teams and develop professional relationships with quantitative methodologists to enhance the methodological rigor of your own research after the completion of the program year.
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NSF Quantitative Research Methods Scholars Program Announces 2020-2021 Cohort
The University of Maryland College of Education’s Quantitative Research Methods for STEM Education Scholars program is excited to announce the selection of the 2020-2021 cohort. The training program, backed by a $1M National Science Foundation grant, is focused on building the statistical capacity of STEM education researchers whose work focuses on issues of equity and inclusion.
Pre-tenure researchers working in academic institutions across the United States submitted high-quality applications to the program. Among those invited to participate in the 2020-2021 cohort, research proposals ranged from investigating how preservice teachers' STEM pedagogical skill and content knowledge could be increased through research experience to exploring how science achievement changes over time among students with disabilities.
NSF QRM Scholars will be paired with quantitative mentors—faculty with expertise in research methods used in the social sciences—from the University of Maryland to support them throughout the year in conducting their proposed research, in addition to a content area expert selected by the scholar.
Designed as a training program that scholars could complete largely from their own academic institutions with an in-person training “kick off,” some components of the NSF QRM Scholars Program have been adapted in light of the COVID-19 crisis affecting academic institutions across the nation and the world.
“We have decided to go forward boldly, embracing virtual learning and collaboration as we start this August,” said Dr. Laura Stapleton, principal investigator and associate dean for research, innovation, and partnerships for the College of Education. “This summer we will launch with an intensive one-week virtual institute involving both asynchronous training and synchronous team building, followed by virtual check-ins and remote workshops with in-person follow-up later in the year.”
During a time when research programs across the world have been affected by the global pandemic, the NSF QRM Scholars Program aims to bring STEM education researchers together as peers, provide support and mentorship, and help them navigate a new research landscape.
“Our program isn’t only addressing a set of critical issues in STEM education, it is helping to seed the future of research in this domain through developing methodological skills and building community,” said Dr. Gregory R. Hancock, co-principal investigator and director of the program in measurement, statistics and evaluation.
The NSF QRM Scholars Program is thrilled to welcome the following scholars to the 2020-2021 cohort:
- Charlotte Agger, Indiana University
- Zachary Barnes, Austin Peay State University
- Natalia Caporale, University of California, Davis
- Heidi Cian, Florida International University
- Sheritta Fagbodun, Tuskegee University
- Udita Gupta, University of Utah
- Jihyun Hwang, University of Iowa
- Emily Jackson-Osagie, Southern University and A&M College
- Sosanya Jones, Howard University
- Gladys Krause, College of William & Mary
- Clara Meaders, Cornell University
- Melissa Navarro, San Diego State University
- Meghan Parkinson, University of North Florida
- Seema Rivera, Clarkson University
- Tiffany Roman, Kennesaw State University
- Prateek Shekhar, New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Susanne Strachota, Ohio University
- Hengtao Tang, University of South Carolina
- Leonard Taylor, Auburn University
- Sarah Urquhart, Texas State University
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Applying to the NSF QRM Scholars Program
The NSF QRM Scholars Program is an NSF-funded project aimed at building capacity in STEM Education research. The program admits 20 new Scholars each year and provides quantitative research training, workshops, mentorship, and opportunities for Scholars to share their work with a broader audience. Following a week-long Summer Institute, Scholars will receive mentorship and training throughout the year, which they may complete while at their home institution.
To be eligible for the NSF QRM Scholars Program, you must:
- Be pre-tenure faculty or a postdoctoral fellow at a U.S. academic institution;
- Maintain your pre-tenure status throughout the entire Scholar year;
- Have a research focus related to issues of access and equity of underrepresented populations in STEM within either PK-12 or postsecondary settings.
The NSF QRM Scholars Program is intended to be diverse, and we encourage submissions from applicants who identify with traditionally underrepresented groups or backgrounds.
If you are accepted and choose to join the 2020-2021 NSF QRM Scholars Program, you will be required to engage in the following Program activities:
- Attend the week-long Summer Institute (Aug. 16-22 2020);
- Present your Scholar project at the 1-day Capstone Conference on-site at the University of Maryland, College Park (Aug. 2021, date TBD);
- Participate in 8 online live-stream workshops throughout the year (dates TBD; workshops range from 1-3 days);
- Attend online monthly check-in calls with your Program team, including your Content Area Mentor, Quantitative Mentor, and Graduate Student Liaison (dates TBD);
- Participate in ongoing peer discussions via the moderated online social media group;
- Dedicate sufficient “on-your-own” time to make satisfactory progress on your identified Scholar project throughout the year; and,
- Upon successful completion of the Program, Serve as a mentor for Incoming Scholars during the 2021-22 Program year.
Please see our FAQ for any additional details regarding the above activities.
Applications for the 2021-22 cohort will be announced in Fall 2020.
Applications for the 2020-21 NSF QRM Scholars Program are now closed. Please check back in Fall 2020 for information on applying to the 2021-2022 cohort.
- All applications must be submitted via the application portal:
- Please check back in Fall 2020 for updates on the 2021-2022 application portal.
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The NSF QRM Scholars Program offers a year-long training starting with an intensive one-week Summer Institute on fundamental quantitative methodology, including research design, measurement, analysis, and collaboration. A capstone conference will occur the following summer, where Scholars will present the work they have conducted over the academic year.
Upon completion of the Summer Institute, Scholars will participate in ongoing live-stream (or in-person) workshops and will have access to quantitative expertise through regular interaction with an assigned mentor. The institute and the subsequent workshops will focus specifically on the data analysis skills, measurement issues, and design principles most applicable to STEM education researchers.
The schedule for the 2020 Summer Institute is provided below. To develop ideas about collaboration strategies, each day we will have several ten-minute check-ins with quantitative methodologists from around the country who have worked in collaboration on education research projects; they will share with us their experiences and suggest best ways to work in collaborative relationships.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Institute schedule listed below will be adapted to a fully online format.
SESSION & DAY
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020: Morning
Session #1 - Introductions & Networking: Scholars, Mentors, and Facilitators
Session #2 - Keynote: Dr. Tonya Matthews, Director of STEM Learning Innovation and Associate Provost for Inclusive Workforce Development, Wayne State University
Monday, August 17, 2020: Afternoon
Session #3 - Quantitative Research Design: Threats to validity; Types of experimental and non-experimental Design; Practical experimental designs in education; Aligning design to the research questions
Monday, August 17, 2020: Evening
Tuesday, August 18, 2020: Morning
Session #4 - Measurement, Reliability, & Validity: What is measurement; Why its quality is important; Aspects of construct validity; Evidence of the quality of various aspects of validity
Session #5 - Selection of Measures: Instrument repositories; Use of extant data; Test bias; Invariance of measurement over time
Tuesday, August 18, 2020: Afternoon
Session #6 - Instrument Construction: Cognitive and non-cognitive measurement approaches; Steps of measure development
Tuesday, August 18, 2020: Evening
Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Morning
Session #7 - Measure Validation: Cognitive process model of responding; Use of cognitive interviewing for validation
Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Lunch
Session #8 - Lunch Discussion on Mentoring: How to Work with Your Mentor with Dr. Kimberly Griffin
Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Afternoon
Session #9 - Hands-On Item Analysis for Validation: Inter-item correlation; Factor analysis for scale construction; Differential item functioning
Session #10 - Writing Session: Refine your research proposal & develop individual learning plan
Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Evening
Dinner: On Your Own
Thursday, August 20, 2020: Morning
Session #11 - Nested Data & Multilevel Modeling: Intraclass correlation; Analytic strategies to address nesting; Matching research question to analysis
Thursday, August 20, 2020: Afternoon
Session #12 - Group Comparisons: Power; Treatment Effects; Moderation; Confounders/Covariates
Thursday, August 20, 2020: Evening
Dinner: On Your Own
Session #13 - Writing Session: Work on individual learning plan
Friday, August 21, 2020: Morning
Session #14 - Longitudinal Designs & Data Analysis: Benefits/affordances of longitudinal designs; Individual change and differences in rates of change
Friday, August 21, 2020: Lunch & Learn
Session #15 - Meet the NSF Program Officer: Funding Mechanisms & NSF Agency Priorities with Dr. Finbarr Sloane, Program Director, National Science Foundation
Friday, August 21, 2020: Afternoon
Session #16 - Wrapping it Up: Scholar networking; Building your (online) community; Small group meetings with mentor(s) and review individual learning plans
Friday, August 21, 2020: Evening
Conclude the Institute invigorated and excited to undertake research!
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The NSF QRM Scholars Program brings together quantitative methodologists, experts in STEM Education research, and graduate student liaisons to guide Scholars through the process of developing and implementing their research proposals. Scholars will be paired with one of our methodology experts, who will also lead workshops during the Summer Institute and throughout the year. Graduate student liaisons will work with Scholars to ensure that they have the assistance they need, and our STEM education experts will conduct monthly check-ins with Scholars to assess progress and provide additional support.
Meet our Team:
Laura M. Stapleton
|Laura M. Stapleton is Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, and Partnerships. She is also a Professor in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation (EDMS) in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland and served as the Associate Director of the Research Branch of the Maryland State Longitudinal Data System Center from 2013-2018. She joined the faculty of the college in Fall 2011 after being on the faculty in Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. She currently serves as Associate Editor of AERA Open and each year teaches as part of the faculty of the National Center for Education Research funded Summer Research Training Institute on Cluster Randomized Trials at Northwestern University. Prior to earning her Ph.D. in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation, she was an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and, subsequently, conducted educational research at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and as Associate Director of institutional research at the University of Maryland.|
Gregory R. Hancock
|Gregory R. Hancock is Professor, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, and Director of the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of the Center for Integrated Latent Variable Research (CILVR). His research interests include structural equation modeling and latent growth models, and the use of latent variables in (quasi)experimental design. His research has appeared in such journals as Psychometrika, Multivariate Behavioral Research, Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Methods, British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Review of Educational Research, and Communications in Statistics: Simulation and Computation. He also co-edited the volumes Structural Equation Modeling: A Second Course (2006; 2013), The Reviewer's Guide to Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (2010; 2019), Advances in Latent Variable Mixture Models (2008), Advances in Longitudinal Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2012), and Advances in Latent Class Analysis: A Festschrift for C. Mitchell Dayton (2019). He is past chair of the SEM special interest group of the American Educational Research Association (three terms), serves on the editorial board of a number of journals including Psychological Methods, Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, and Multivariate Behavioral Research, chairs the Statistical and Research Methodology grant panel of the Institute of Education Sciences, and has taught over 100 methodological workshops in the United States, Canada, and abroad. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science, and received the 2011 Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring by the American Psychological Association.|
|Dr. Kimberly Griffin is the incoming Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs in the University of Maryland College of Education. She is also an Associate Professor in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy Program (Student Affairs Area of Specialization) and is the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Her research is driven by a commitment to promoting access and equity in higher education, and her work focuses on mentoring and career development, diversity within the Black experience in higher education, and faculty diversity and inclusion. Her research has been published widely and funded by the Burroughs Welcome Fund, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation. Dr. Griffin also contributes to national conversations on equity and inclusion, and she has collaborated and consulted with the Association of Women in Science, National Academies, American Council on Education, and the Council of Graduate Schools to discuss extant research and new initiatives. Dr. Griffin earned her doctoral degree in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA, her Master's degree in Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, and her Bachelors degree from Stanford University in Psychology. Prior to completing her doctoral work, Dr. Griffin worked in higher education administration, focusing on diversity recruitment, admissions, and retention in undergraduate and graduate education.|
Jeffrey R. Harring
|Dr. Harring is a Professor in the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation (EDMS) program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the the EDMS faculty in the fall of 2006, Dr. Harring received an M.S. degree in Statistics in 2004, and completed his Ph.D. in the Quantitative Methods Program within Educational Psychology in 2005, both degrees coming from the University of Minnesota. His research on mixture modeling, longitudinal methods, and structural equation modeling has appeared in such journals as Psychometrika, Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Structural Equation Modeling, and Sociological Methods & Research. Dr. Harring is an Associate Editor of Psychometrika and is an editorial board member of three other flagship quantitative methods journals.|
|Dr. Hong Jiao is an associate professor at the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park specializing in educational measurement and psychometrics in large-scale assessment. She received her doctoral degree from Florida State University. Prior to joining the faculty in Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation at UMD, she has worked as a psychometrician at Harcourt Assessment for over four years. She has served as a committee member, co-chair, and chair on several committees for NCME, AERA Division D, and the Psychometric Society. She also serves on the Research and Psychometric committee for the PARCC consortium testing programs. Charing the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Maryland state testing programs and as director for Maryland Assessment Research Center (MARC), she works with TAC members and the MARC team to help the state to provide rigorous testing programs to the state test stakeholders. She co-organized several conferences and co-edited the books on different cutting-edge topics in assessment including technology-enhanced innovative assessment and the applications of artificial intelligence in assessment. She has published and presented on a variety of topics, including multilevel IRT modeling, modeling complex local item dependence in innovative assessments, mixture item response theory modeling, integrating responses and response time for cognitive diagnosis.|
|Yang Liu is currently an Assistant Professor in the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program of the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Quantitative Psychology and M.S. degree in Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on statistical models for item response data, procedures for assessing goodness of model fit, and quantification of uncertainty in statistical decision-making. He is also interested in applications of item response models to psychological, educational, and health-related research. Dr. Liu's Personal Website.|
Peter M. Steiner
|Peter M Steiner is an Associate Professor in the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation (EDMS) program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the EDMS faculty in fall of 2019, he was a faculty member of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010-2019), a research associate at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University (2007-2010), and a researcher and Assistant Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria (1997-2007). Peter M Steiner received a master’s and doctorate degree in Statistics from the University of Vienna and a master’s degree in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. His research on causal inference, replication, and factorial surveys has appeared in such journals as Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Evaluation Review, Sociological Methods & Research, Journal of Causal Inference, or the Journal of the American Statistical Association. In 2019, he received the Causality in Statistics Education Award of the American Statistical Association.|
Tracy M. Sweet
|Tracy Sweet is an Associate Professor in the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. She completed her Ph.D. in Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on statistical social network models with particular focus on the types of multilevel network models needed for education data. Her recent work on network models includes modeling networks as mediators and cluster analysis on networks. Her research also includes data science methods; a recent project focuses on how data science methods such as machine learning algorithms should be applied to multilevel data.|
Ebony Terrell Shockley
|Dr. Terrell Shockley is the College of Education's Diversity Officer, an Associate Clinical Professor, and Director of the Office of Teacher and Leader Education for the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership. A component of her work includes directing the Master's Certification (MCERT) Program, for graduate students seeking an M.Ed. and certification in art education, dance education, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, physical education, science education, social studies education, Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and world languages education. Under her leadership, the MCERT program appeared on the National Education Association's website as a featured teacher residency model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfWrNWbdyjs and 100% of the MCERT teacher candidates seeking positions as classroom teachers receive jobs each year.|
Ji Seung Yang
|Dr. Yang is an Assistant Professor of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation (EDMS) in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. Before joining the EDMS faculty in the fall of 2013, Dr. Yang worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received her Ph.D. in the Social Research Methodology Program (focus: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Educational Research) within the School of Education and Information Studies in 2012. Prior to joining UCLA, she earned her M.A. and B.A. in Education at Yonsei University, Korea.|
Yi earned her master's degree in EDMS in 2018 and is currently pursuing her PhD in the EDMS program. Before that, she received a master's degree in Applied Psychology at New York University and spent two years conducting empirical research on adolescents' socio-emotional development at Purdue University. The experience of dealing with data and applying different analytic methods to answer various research questions contributed to her interest in quantitative methodology. Yi’s research interests include SEM, LGM, random variability modeling, power analysis, and planned missing data designs.
Francesca D. Henderson
Francesca is a native San Diegan who is in her first year of doctoral studies in Mathematics Education. As a previous math teacher, vice principal, and a career educator she ultimately wants to work to empower teachers and students to use math as a tool to both understand and change the world. She joins the QRSM team excited to work with scholars on their path to utilize quantitative methods in their research.
Tessa L. Johnson
Tessa is a PhD student in the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Master of Science in Educational Research from Georgia State University. Ms. Johnson’s research has centered around creating and improving statistical methods for analyzing complex data structures in a longitudinal context, such as modeling time as an outcome in latent growth models, accounting for similarities among schools when modeling student mobility in longitudinal studies, and exploring the development of ensembles of social networks in the classroom over time.
Monica is a recent graduate of the EDMS program, earning her PhD in 2020. She earned a Master’s degree in Research, Measurement, and Evaluation form the University of Miami in 2015 while working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, FL. Through that work, she became interested in the role of questionnaires and surveys in research, which led her to pursue a Ph.D. in the EDMS program in 2015. Monica's research interests include: Item Response Theory, Item Factor Analysis models, and the effects of measurement error on causal inferences.
Yuting is a doctoral student in the Human Development program with a specialization in educational psychology in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures with a specialization in linguistics from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Currently, her research interest centers around relational reasoning, including examining the manifestations of relational reasoning in classroom discourse and measuring relational reasoning abilities in children and adolescents. She is also interested in studying college students' behavior and mental processes when processing information from multiple sources.
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We are excited to work with a new cohort for this year's NSF QRM Scholars Program. Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If the answer to your question is not provided below, please contact us at email@example.com.
- Adaptations Due to COVID-19
- Application Materials
- Time Commitment & Program Benefits
- Travel Information
- Who is eligible to participate in the program?
To be eligible for the NSF QRM Scholars Program, you must be pre-tenure faculty or a postdoctoral fellow at a U.S. academic institution and have a research focus related to issues of access and equity of underrepresented populations in STEM within either PK-12 or postsecondary settings. You must maintain your pre-tenure status throughout the entire academic year of your Scholar term. The NSF QRM Scholars Program is intended to be diverse, and we encourage submissions from applicants who identify with traditionally underrepresented groups/backgrounds.
- How do you define "early career"?
Early career scholars at U.S. academic institutions who are pre-tenure and who will maintain their pre-tenure status throughout the entirety of the academic year of their Scholar term (e.g., 2020-21) are eligible to apply.
- Do you have to be a tenure-track faculty member to apply?
The NSF QRM Scholars Program is intended to serve early career faculty in academic institutions who engage in STEM Education research. Applicants do not need to be tenure-track to apply. Postdoctoral fellows are eligible as are clinical faculty who received their doctoral degrees within the past 5 years. It will be the responsibility of the applicant and their letter writers to demonstrate an applicant's interest in and capacity for conducting research during the Scholar year.
- Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible?
There are no citizenship requirements for acceptance into the program. However, applicants must be employed by a U.S. academic institution to be eligible to participate.
- How do you define "academic institution"?
Eligibility is restricted to individuals employed by a degree-granting institution in the United States that offers associate's degrees or higher and participates in the Title IV federal financial aid programs.
- I am a researcher in a STEM field with interest in STEM education. Would I be eligible even if I am not currently an education researcher?
You don't have to be an "education researcher" to be eligible, you just need a proposed project that is related to STEM education.
- Am I the right fit for this program?
"In my doctoral program, I took courses in item response theory, structural equation modeling, and meta analysis. I sometimes use Monte Carlo simulations to calculate power for my research studies."
No, you are not a fit for our program. We are sure that you will be successful in your quantitative ventures, but this program is designed for those scholars who were unable to fit such coursework in their graduate studies.
"I took one research methods course that covered quant methods in my program but focused on qualitative inquiry methods and took courses in ethnography, case study, and constant-comparative methods."
Yes! You sound like a great fit. NSF is interested in training folks who have the important knowledge base in STEM education but could not fit quantitative courses into their doctoral program. Scholars with the skills to conduct both qualitative and quantitative inquiry are needed to answer the important questions posed by the current state of our education system.
"I did take several quant classes in my doctoral program, such as multilevel modeling and factor analysis. But, to be honest, I haven’t used these methods since I graduated and I don’t really remember what I supposedly learned."
Yes! It sounds like you had (and have) the interest but just need a reminder! We can remind you! (As long as you don’t mind a little repetition).
- How will the program requirements change due to COVID-19?
Participant safety is our top concern. In light of the current situation, we are currently working with experts in online education to deliver our 2020 Summer Institute online rather than in-person. If travel restrictions are relaxed throughout the 2020-21 Scholar year, we may be able to invite participants to an in-person meeting. More information will be communicated to cohort members as it is available.
- What information needs to be included in the Statement of Interest?
We are interested to learn about what YOU are interested to learn about. You can propose to work during the 2020-21 academic year on a specific research project or you can propose to work on a federal or foundation grant proposal for funding (e.g., perhaps an NSF proposal, due in 2021). We are interested in identifying participants whose aim is to study and address inequities in the educational system regarding STEM education.
More specifically, applicants should describe their background and personal goals in relation to their eligibility for the NSF QRM Scholars Program (2 pages maximum). They should also describe a tentative research project or proposal that they would like to work on over the Scholar year (around 1 page), providing a general idea about the population of interest an the research questions to be addressed. A description should be provided as to how the proposed project aligns with the goals of the NSF QRM Scholars Program. In total, the Statement of Interest should be no more than 3 pages maximum.
- How specific does my description of the research project or proposal need to be?
With only a page, we are not expecting too much detail, just a general tentative description of your research questions and population of interest. If you already know the type of design or data collection you would like to do, feel free to share that. However, it is also important to note two things: 1) once you are at the Summer Institute, you might change your research focus or choose to collaborate with another scholar that you meet; 2) you can describe either a research project that you want to conduct or a proposal that you want to write to seek funding.
- Does my proposed project have to involve quantitative research methods?
We are specialists in quantitative methods and are best suited to help mentor you in quantitative research, so your proposal should be quantitative in nature. That said, we don't expect you to come into the program with a vast wealth of experience using quantitative methods, and you don't have to propose to use the most complex model you can think of for your quantitative analysis. (Did someone call for a parallel process growth mixture latent transition analysis with fuzzy clustering? Anyone? No?) Your proposed research will be tentative and should provide a general idea about the population of interest an the research questions to be addressed. You aren't required to identify a specific quantitative method to use in your proposal at all as your analysis plan will likely change after you've received some quantitative training and mentorship.
- What are the goals of the NSF QRM Scholars Program?
NSF was seeking research methods institutes to "build capacity in STEM education research." And that is what we are aiming to do. We would be honored to train and collaborate with researchers who will make a difference! Specifically, we hope that you will exit our program with: 1) quant skills, 2) ideas of how to collaborate with quant methodologists who specialize in advanced approaches, 3) a cadre of fellow STEM education researchers with whom you can commiserate and celebrate, and 4) a completed research study or proposal. Not bad for a year’s worth of work!
- Do I need to have a Google Scholar profile set up before I apply?
Yes. We ask you to do that for several reasons. First, it provides us with an external source to validate some of your application information. Second, it increases your research profile (if you did not already have a GS profile set up). Finally, as with any funded project, the funders are interested in finding out if the funded program "makes a difference." Following those applicants who participated in the program as compared to those who did not will provide us one piece of evidence regarding the efficacy of our training program.
- What if my Content Area Mentor and my Department Chair/Research Supervisor are the same person?
That is absolutely fine! We only need to hear from the supervisor to make sure that they are A-okay with you not being around for a week in August and occasionally doing some on-line training. The Content Area Mentor will verify that you have someone to lean on to help with content that we are woefully unprepared to help with.
- What should be included in the Letter of Support from my Content Area Mentor?
We need to know that this person is there for you. That you can ask them questions to help out when you have questions about content specific issues. They don’t need to be physically able to meet with you or dedicate many hours of service, but need to be available as a sounding board. Also, they should provide some indication of the feasibility of your proposed project/proposal within the Scholar year.
Specifically, this letter should outline the Content Area Mentor's support of the applicant’s research proposal (e.g., acknowledgment of the importance of the proposed research; recognition of the applicant’s scholarly potential and ability to carry out the proposed project). The letter should also speak to the mentor’s willingness and ability to provide ongoing mentorship to the applicant throughout the Scholar year to support the development and implementation of the Scholar’s project. The Research Letter of Support should be no more than 2 pages maximum.
- What should be included in the Administrative Letter of Support?
This very short letter just needs to indicate that the supervisor understands that you will be attending a week-long institute from August 16-21, 2020 in College Park, MD, will attend eight online live-stream workshops during the Scholar year (dates TBD), and will attend a 1-day Capstone Conference in August 2021 (dates TBD). This letter should be no more than 1 page maximum.
- What should I highlight in my 5-page CV? My current CV is way more than the maximum of 5 pages!
Let's be honest, we cannot really evaluate your CV in terms of your content area preparation or regarding the significance of your research proposal (heck, we are quantitative methodologists, after all, what do we know about those things?) But what we are interested in is: do you have the passion to address equity issues in STEM education? Do you have the desire to add to your quantitative toolkit? And are you a pre-tenure faculty at an institution in the US? If the answer is "yes" to those three questions, then you are in the pool! If we have more than 20 eligible applicants for the program then we will select via lottery folks for the program for 2020-21, stratified by type of institution and geographic location.
- What are the file type requirements for my application documents?
All files must be uploaded as PDFs. Follow these instructions for saving Microsoft Word files to PDF.
- How do I submit my application?
Applications must be uploaded and submitted via the application portal (see the Applications page for the link and the application instructions documentation). The portal will open on January 15, 2020, and the priority submission deadline is March 1, 2020. The application portal requires that the main written components of the application be uploaded as PDF documents.
- Can I save my progress and return to my application?
The application portal is managed via InfoReady (see the Applications page for the link and the application instructions documentation). The applicant will be required to register and create an account before you can submit an application. The system will then allow applicants to save their progress and continue at a later date. Only one application may be submitted by each applicant. Note that if you have not submitted a saved application by the deadline (March 1, 2020), your application will not be received by the review committee. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
That said, the portions of the application requiring manual entry are relatively brief, including the participant’s name and contact information, a link to their Google Scholar page, a brief abstract outlining the Scholar’s proposed research, and PDF uploads for additional components of their application (Statement of Interest, Research Letter of Support, and Administrative Letter of Support). The application can reasonably be uploaded in a single sitting taking no more than 20 minutes.
- Do you accept applications over email?
Applications must be submitted via the application portal. No submissions will be accepted over email. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- When will I find out if I am selected?
Applications are due by March 1, 2020. We intend to have selected and invited the cohort by April 30, 2020 (and hope to meet you over a virtual "coffee" before the Summer Institute).
- What is the time commitment of participating in the Program?
Scholars must commit to participating in the one-week Summer Institute (August 2020) and end-of-year Capstone Conference (August 2021) in person at the University of Maryland, College Park, campus (NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Institute may be delivered online). The ongoing workshops and trainings throughout the year will be provided both online (or, if local, in person). Workshops last between 1 and 3 days, and Scholars will be required to participate in 8 workshops throughout the year. Scholars must commit to attending online monthly mentorship meetings with their quantitative mentor, content area mentor, and graduate student facilitator. In addition, Scholars will be asked to engage in peer discussions via the moderated social media group. Finally, Scholars will need to dedicate sufficient "on-your-own" time to make satisfactory progress on their chosen research proposal throughout the Scholar year.
Following the Scholar year, Scholars will serve as peer mentors for the incoming cohort following the successful completion of their program. Graduated Scholars will connect with Incoming Scholars at the Capstone Conference and via the moderated social media groups.
- How much time will I need to dedicate to working on my Scholar project throughout the year outside of our week-long Summer Institute and online workshops?
The Summer Institute and online live-stream workshops are intended primarily as instructional time to help you learn advanced quantitative skills that will help you add to your research toolkit (see the Summer Institute page for the daily schedule). While there will also be time for you to work on your individual workplan during the Summer Institute and there will be social time to build ties with your fellow Scholars and quantitative mentor, the bulk of the work on your Scholar project will be completed during the year from your home institution. We will have monthly mentorship calls with you, your Content Area Mentor, quantitative mentor, and your graduate student liaison to help check in with your progress. One of the goals of the program is for you to have completed your Scholar project by the end of your Scholar year, which you will present at the 1-day Capstone Conference in August 2021. You are likely much more familiar with your work style than we are, but we would recommend that you dedicate regular time to working on your project to ensure that you are able to reach this goal.
- How much time will I need to dedicate to engaging with peer Scholars via social media throughout the Scholar year?
Current Scholars will engage with their peers via a moderated group on social media. The Quantitative and Content Area Mentors will not be members of this group, but the graduate student liaisons will post weekly discussion topics and will answer questions. However, the goal of this interaction is not to promote Scholar-to-liaison interactions, rather it is to promote Scholar-to-Scholar interactions. There is no direct requirement for the maximum amount of time Scholars will dedicate to engaging with their peers over social media, but at minimum, Scholars should schedule time to regularly check in with the group and create and respond to posts as needed.
Though it should go without saying, any repeatedly disruptive or inappropriate behaviors in any aspect of the Program, including on social media, will not be tolerated.
- What are my obligations following the Scholar year?
Scholars will serve as peer mentors for the incoming cohort following the successful completion of their Scholar year. Graduated Scholars will connect with Incoming Scholars at the Capstone Conference and via the moderated social media groups.
- What do Scholars get out of participation?
Scholars receive a year of training in quantitative research methods, a year of one-on-one mentorship from an expert in quantitative methodology, and a lifelong peer network of STEM Education researchers. In addition, Scholars will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the National Science Foundation program officer who oversees the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings for STEM Education research funding (Dr. Finbarr Sloane).
- The Program Team mostly consists of quantitative methodologists. In order to be successful in STEM Education research, we need to collaborate with content area experts. How does the Program incorporate content area experts into the Scholars' experiences?
In order to apply, Scholars must identify a Content Area Mentor, and the Content Area Mentor must commit to mentoring the Scholar on their proposed research throughout the year. In addition, the Program Team includes an expert in STEM Education research, Dr. Ebony Terrell Shockley, and an expert in mentorship, Dr. Kimberly Griffin.
- What do Content Area Mentors get out of providing mentorship to their Scholar?
Although Content Area Mentors do not receive direct compensation for participating in the program, content area mentors will be included in the ongoing mentorship of the Scholar and will have the opportunity to work with the Scholar and their quantitative mentor on the Scholar’s proposed research.
- How should I select a Content Area Mentor?
Your Content Area Mentor should be someone with expert knowledge in the content area of your proposed research for your Scholar year. They should also be someone with the capacity and ability to provide ongoing need-based research support and mentorship to you throughout your Scholar year. The Content Area Mentor also has the option if they wish to join in on the monthly quantitative mentorship meetings, but there is no expectation that they have to join.
- Does the content mentor need to be a tenured faculty member?
With regard to content area mentors, think about this project needing an advisory board: we will supply the quantitative expert for your advisory board and you should select a second person who would be the most help to you for the rest of the project. If this were a federal grant proposal, you would need to explain the advisory board members' expertise and how that expertise will be utilized for the project. Often non-tenured scholars don't have the recognized expertise, so it is more typical to see tenured faculty as advisory board members (content area mentors in this case). However, there is no requirement for this program to include a tenured faculty member (in fact, the content mentor might be in industry, depending on the needs of the project).
- How do I ensure success in working with my Quantitative and Content Area Mentors throughtout the year?
Dr. Terrell Shockley from the University of Maryland will hold monthly check-ins with the Scholars to ensure that partnerships are functioning smoothly. In addition, during the week-long Summer Institute, Scholars will attend a training on how to work effectively with their mentors.
- If accepted, how do I maintain good standing during my Scholar year?
In order to maintain good standing within the Program, Scholars must attend the Summer Institute in person, participate in 8 workshops throughout the year (either from their home institution via the online option or in-person at their own travel expense to UMD), participate in monthly check-ins with their quantitative mentor, engage in peer discussions via the moderated social media group, make satisfactory progress on their chosen research proposal, and present their work in-person at the Capstone Conference at UMD at the end of their Scholar year. (NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Institute may be delivered online.) For individuals who are not making progress or participating within any of these areas, the graduate student liaisons will make contact and work to help support the Scholar in completing their activities. If the Scholar is then unable to participate, the Scholar may discuss exiting the program with their Quantitative Mentor. We understand that sometimes life happens, and every effort will be made to retain Scholars in the Program. The number one key to success in this Program is open and ongoing communication with your graduate student liaison and Quantitative Mentor.
Though it should go without saying, any repeatedly disruptive or inappropriate behaviors in any aspect of the Program, including on social media, will not be tolerated.
- Will I need to travel to the University of Maryland, College Park?
Scholars will need to be able to attend the week-long Summer Institute and the end-of-year Capstone Conference in person (NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Institute may be delivered online). The upcoming Institute will occur August 16 - 21, 2020. The Capstone Conference will be held prior to the Summer Institute for the following year in 2021. Once the Summer Institute is completed, Scholars may choose to attend future workshops, trainings, and mentorship meetings via livestream from the comfort of their home institutions. To ensure that these online meetings can occur, applicants must attest that they have access to a reliable internet connection and webcam-enabled computer.
- Will I need to pay for my own travel?
Reasonable travel expenses (e.g., airfare, ground transportation, hotel) for the week-long Summer Institute and Capstone Conference will be covered by the Program. The registration costs for attending the ongoing workshops and trainings online will be covered by the program. Should the Scholar wish to participate in person in the ongoing workshops, training, and mentorship sessions throughout the year, the Scholar will need to arrange and pay for their own travel.
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