Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop
Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop


The American Educational Research Association (AERA) invites fellowship applications for an Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop to be held Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 19, during the 2020 AERA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. This workshop is designed to build the talent pool of undergraduate students who plan to pursue doctorate degrees in education research or in disciplines and fields that examine education and learning from early childhood to workforce participation. This research can be in areas such as children and youth, school and schooling issues, higher education, education policy, student achievement, curriculum and instruction, education psychology, or education leadership.

This undergraduate fellowship seeks to attract students who have an interest in pursuing careers as researchers, faculty members, or other professionals engaged in advancing knowledge or solving challenging problems in the field. Applicants are expected to have recent or ongoing research exposure related to an education research question or topic. Such work might be an independent project pursued with benefit of an advisor or mentor, research recently undertaken or being done in the context of a course, or a research experience that is part of a research group or team.  

Workshop Description

The workshop will offer an overview of the field of education research and significant areas of inquiry, address how quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in studies and present some innovative methodological approaches, and speak to the relevance and applications of research to education policy and practice. The workshop will also provide attendees with an understanding of the education research profession and professional work in the field. 

Instructors for the workshop are faculty and researchers from both academic institutions and research organizations (e.g., American Institutes for Research, Educational Testing Service, the College Board, and Rand) will introduce education research as a field and share their area of expertise and knowledge with the fellows. The workshop will also focus on exploring graduate education, applying to graduate school, and beginning a career in education research. Further components of the workshop include a poster presentation session and a designed experience of exposure to the Annual Meeting, both of which are described below.

Part of the workshop experience engages fellows in presenting their research in an invited undergraduate poster session during the Annual Meeting. This session provides an opportunity for the fellows to visually display their work and be able to discuss what they found, are doing, or accomplished with session attendees that include other undergraduates, graduate students, and early career as well as senior scholars. The poster session component of the workshop allows those participating to have an experience of presenting research and receiving feedback in a supportive environment and in a way similar to graduate students and career-long professionals. Each poster will reflect the original work (solo authored) work of the undergraduate fellow. 

Fellows will interact with faculty members and graduate students who serve as program mentors. An additional component of the workshop is that fellows will attend pre-selected paper sessions, symposia, or key events at the AERA Annual Meeting. This part of the workshop curricular provides fellows with the opportunity to learn about the research enterprise and experience what research professionals do at research conferences.

Application Details

Dates: The Workshop activities will take place Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 19, 2020 during the 2020 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Award: Fellows will participate in the Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop during the AERA 2020 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The award includes conference registration and two nights of lodging. The fellows and/or their home institutions are responsible for transportation costs to and from San Francisco. Most meals are part of the Workshop activities.

Eligibility: Candidates may come from a broad range of fields across the arts and sciences. Underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities and women are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be:

  • Students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year of college in good academic standing.
  • Interested in pursuing a graduate or professional degree that can lend itself to education research areas such as children and youth, school and schooling issues, higher education, education policy, student achievement, curriculum and instruction, education psychology, or education leadership.
  • Have current or ongoing research that can be presented in a poster session. 
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents; non-U.S. citizens attending a school in the U.S.

Application Requirements:

  1. Study objectives or purposes
  2. Perspective(s) or theoretical framework 
  3. Research methods, techniques, or modes of inquiry 
  4. Data source(s)
  5. Key features or preliminary results  
  • Personal Statement
    In one statement of no more than 500 words (double-spaced) the applicant should address the following:
    • What are your education research interests and what are you doing to help further develop these interests and enhance your research and writing skills?
    • How are your course work, extra-curricular activities, leadership roles, work experiences, and/or other academic and life experiences preparing you to pursue a graduate or professional degree?
  • Resume (one page) which includes any educational background, training, jobs, activities, honors, and other academic achievements. Include information on any research experiences you may have had.
  • An unofficial undergraduate transcript.

Before uploading your materials as one PDF, please use the following naming convention for your attachment: "Last name, First name_USW." Combine the research poster synopsis (500 words), personal statement (500 words, double-spaced), one (1) page resume, and unofficial undergraduate transcript into one (1) PDF document and in the order listed, before uploading to the system. Include your full name and institution in the header of your application document. 

  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member who is familiar with your academic ability and potential. The recommender must address: (a) the quality and potential of the applicant’s academic work and research skills and (b) the applicant’s potential to pursue a graduate or professional degree in the field of education research. The letter of recommendation must be sent electronically (fellowships@aera.net) by the recommender and but received by the deadline.

Where to Apply: AERA will only accept applications via the online application system. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of senior scholars and researchers. All materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on November 8, 2019.

About AERA: AERA, founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results. AERA shares the products of scholarly research with peers, future educational researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the public through its annual meeting, publications, and professional development activities.

Direct all questions to George L. Wimberly, Director of Professional Development, at 202-238-3200 or fellowships@aera.net.

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