IES Principal Investigators Gather for Annual Conference
IES Principal Investigators Gather for Annual Conference

Thomas Brock (NCES Commissioner)

January 2018

On January 9–10, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) hosted its annual Principal Investigators (PI) Meeting for grants funded by the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).

Thomas Brock, NCER Commissioner, delegated the duties of IES Director, and Joan McLaughlin, NCSER Commissioner, welcomed nearly 800 IES-supported PIs, co-PIs, and training fellows. The theme, Relevance and Rigor: Creating the Future of Education Research, emphasized the IES’s commitment to support rigorous research to improve education practice and policy.

Brock provided an update on IES, highlighting major contributions including data collections, methodological advances, researcher training, and direct support to field initiated research. He also pointed to some opportunities for growth at IES including replication studies, better support to state and local education agencies, as well as developing knowledge about new policy priorities in a timely fashion.

Two of the plenary sessions focused on topics where AERA has been actively engaged.

“It's Up to Us: Transparency and the Public Value of Science,” presented by Arthur Lupia, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, discussed the National Academies Roundtable on Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences, of which AERA Executive Director, Felice J. Levine is a member.

Joan Ferrini–Mundy, Chief Operating Officer at the National Science Foundation, spoke about “NSF, IES, and the Future of Education Research.” She touched on critical questions about how to increase the public trust, confidence, and support for science and increasing the relevance of education research.

During her comments about the importance of replicability and reproducibility, Ferrini-Mundy recognized the value of the AERA-NSF Data Sharing and Research Transparency Conference in July. Break-out sessions during the conference fell into four tracks: Diverse Populations, Future of the Field, Methods and Measurement, and Relevance and Transparency.