A new University of Maryland training program for early career STEM education researchers, supported by a $1M grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to strengthen researchers’ design, measurement and analysis skills.
The “Research Methods Institute” program provides yearlong trainings to cohorts of 20 early-career STEM education researchers, who are selected from institutions nationwide after submitting a research proposal. They receive support and collaborative opportunities to better assess the complex issues in STEM education.
“Our training program is designed to help researchers learn the latest methodological tools, enhancing the scope of research skills brought to bear on these critical education issues,” said Gregory R. Hancock, College of Education professor and co-principal investigator.
To improve understanding of diversity issues in scientific fields, the scholar-mentor model program pairs scholars who research issues of equity and access in STEM education with experienced quantitative research methodologists.
“Achievement gaps and equity issues in STEM education are very important,” said Laura Stapleton, a College of Education professor and co-principal investigator. “If not researched with proper rigor, we won’t have the insights we need on how to improve STEM education and better prepare a diverse scientific workforce.”
The research team also includes measurement, statistics and evaluation faculty Tracy Sweet, Jeffrey Harring, Yang Liu, Peter Steiner, Ji Seung Yang and Hong Jiao in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology; Ebony Terrell Shockley, associate clinical professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership; Kimberly A. Griffin, associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education, and several graduate students.