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AERA Grants Program Holds Fall Research Conference
 
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October 2015

 Evan K. Heit (National Science Foundation)


Outstanding early career scholars and researchers gathered in Washington, D.C., for the AERA Grants Program Fall Research Conference on October 8–10. This invited conference featured papers from scholars funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported AERA Grants Program and the AERA-Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Dissertation Fellowship supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The AERA Grants Program is directed by a Governing Board of senior scholars and researchers, who also participated in the conference.

The research conference is part of the professional development and research capacity building activities AERA provides to early career scholars. Evan K. Heit, director of NSF’s Division of Research on Learning, discussed the agency’s role in and support for quantitative research on STEM education. NSF continues to align its support of research that advances STEM and the overall knowledge development. The Governing Board and the early career scholars engaged in a dialogue with Heit to better understand NSF research priorities and concerns.

The dissertation students and early career scholars are addressing important education research issues and questions on topics such as STEM participation, equity in education, and the social context of education. Each of the studies uses large-scale, federally funded data sets such as the Educational Longitudinal Study, High School Longitudinal Study, and the U.S. Census. Other studies use the MET data to examine classroom experiences. The table below lists the early career scholars and their program.

The Governing Board interacted and worked with the grantees throughout the conference and provided feedback on the papers presented. Governing Board member Barbara Schneider (Michigan State University) opened the conference with a discussion on developing a research agenda using the large-scale datasets.

Ongoing dialogue between the Board and the early career scholars addressed topics such as setting research priorities, navigating research support, and research and publishing productivity. Board members Heather Hill (Harvard University), Marta Tienda (Princeton University), and Margaret Burchinal (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) participated and provided additional mentorship during the entire conference.

“AERA is deeply committed to this kind of activity that brings together new members of the research community with other more experienced researchers and scholars. The work these scholars are doing is important, at all levels, and may have far-reaching implications for the education of students,” commented Felice J. Levine, AERA Executive Director and Grants Program Principal Investigator.

 

An important result of building the research infrastructure is the abundance of solid research that is produced by awardees of the program. The research presented during this conference was supported by the AERA Grants Program under NSF Grant DRL-0941014. The Governing Board has selected these individuals based on the quality of the research and the topic being investigated. These presenters represent only a small number of the highly qualified and successful awardees who have been supported by the AERA Grants Program.

Fall 2015 Research Conference -- Graduate Students and Early Career Scholars 
Grantee  Fellowship Program Doctoral Institution
Melinda Adnot AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship University of Virginia
Jessica Alzen AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship University of Colorado, Boulder 
Rachel Ayieko  AERA Grants Program  Michigan State University 
Kri Burkander  AERA Grants Program   Michigan State University 
Kaisheka Juree Capers  AERA Grants Program   Texas A&M University 
Frank Christopher Curran  AERA Grants Program   Vanderbilt University
Murat Demirci  AERA Grants Program   University of Virginia
Elizabeth Dyer  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship Northwestern University 
Serena Hinz  AERA Grants Program   Vanderbilt University
Rebecca Hinze-Pifer  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship University of Chicago 
Brian Holzman  AERA Grants Program  Stanford University 
Jamie Humphrey  AERA Grants Program  University of Colorado, Boulder 
Akisha Jones  AERA Grants Program  University of Delaware 
Megan Kuhfeld  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship Harvard University 
Se Woong Lee  AERA Grants Program  University of Wisconsin, Madison 
Amy Li  AERA Grants Program  University of Washington
Kathleen Lynch  AERA Grants Program  Harvard University
Alyn McCarty  AERA Grants Program  University of Wisconsin, Madison
Tinia Merriweather  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship Fordham University 
Hannah Miller  AERA Grants Program  University of Wisconsin, Madison 
Joel Mittleman  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship Princeton University 
Soojin Park  AERA Grants Program  University of Wisconsin, Madison 
Guan Saw  AERA Grants Program  Michigan State University 
Kevin Schaaf AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship University of California, Los Angeles 
Adela Soliz  AERA Grants Program Harvard University
George Spencer  AERA MET Dissertation Fellowship Harvard University 
Siri Warkentien  AERA Grants Program Johns Hopkins University 
 
 
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