NSF Selects AERA and ICPSR to Create New Data Hub to Boost STEM Education Research Efforts
NSF Selects AERA and ICPSR to Create New Data Hub to Boost STEM Education Research Efforts

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2020

Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
Dory Knight-Ingram, ICPSR, dkni@umich.edu

NSF Selects AERA and ICPSR to Create New Data Hub
to Boost STEM Education Research Efforts​

ANN ARBOR, Mich., and ​WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2020​—The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) have joined forces to create a research data hub to connect, educate, and build a community around STEM education data resources. This new platform was competitively selected for support by the National Science Foundation through its Core Research Program in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (ECR).

The new Data Resource Hub—Partnership for Expanding Education Research in STEM (PEERS)—is a web-based platform that will include wide-ranging forms of data and data resources and foster new networks of research collaboration and communication in STEM education. AERA and ICPSR will also offer training, technical assistance, and professional development opportunities to expand access to and use of data and to support innovative ideas and inquiry.

The PEERS project is being led by Principal Investigators Margaret Levenstein (ICPSR) and Felice J. Levine (AERA), and co-Principal Investigators George Wimberly (AERA) and Susan Jekielek (ICPSR).

“We are proud to announce the establishment of the ECR Data Resource Hub through collaborative awards to AERA and ICPSR,” said Karen A. Marrongelle, head of NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate. “The Hub will facilitate data sharing and analysis and provide technical assistance to advance data skills, tools, and resources across the STEM education research community. It will play a significant role in our efforts to advance excellence in U.S. STEM education.”

“Currently data, resources, and knowledge are found within siloed networks of colleagues and agencies, slowing the diffusion of best practices and access to data resources, and potentially excluding researchers and research approaches,” said Levenstein, ICPSR’s executive director.

AERA Executive Director Levine emphasized that “PEERS will build a first-of-its-kind community that connects researchers and resources, with the ultimate goal of widening the net of what are useful and useable data and the diversity of education researchers and other scholars examining these assets.”

AERA and ICPSR each have a long history of providing leadership and research support within the education research community, including on other joint efforts.

“This collaboration reinforces our commitment to build something larger than ourselves and to bring others into the conversation,” said Levenstein, who noted the project’s aim to support ethical collection and use of confidential STEM education data. 

Levine added, “We see PEERS as a compelling opportunity to promote access to and responsible use of both quantitative and qualitative data, publicly available and restricted access, and to support methodological training that will diversify the people and the methods in STEM education research.”

An advisory board made up of scholars with expertise in data methods and analysis will provide guidance on the project. The advisory board consists of the following individuals.

  • Sean P. “Jack” Buckley, Imbellus (former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics)
  • Greg J. Duncan, University of California, Irvine
  • Gustavo E. Fischman, Arizona State University
  • Kris D. Gutiérrez, University of California, Berkeley
  • Larry V. Hedges, Northwestern University
  • Andrew Dean Ho, Harvard University
  • Michelle G. Knight-Manuel, Columbia University, Teachers College
  • Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, California Institute of Technology
  • Chandra L. Muller, University of Texas at Austin
  • William F. Tate IV, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician of the United States (emerita)
  • Elizabeth Yakel, University of Michigan 


About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

Founded in 1962, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is one of the world’s oldest and largest social science data archives, with nearly 800 member institutions worldwide. ICPSR's mission is to advance and expand social and behavioral research, acting as a global leader in data stewardship and providing rich data resources and responsive educational opportunities for present and future generations.