MPES Welcomes Professor Patricia Burch!

“Improving Access to, Quality and the Effectiveness of Digital Instruction in K-12 Education”

Patricia Burch
Associate Professor of Education
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California

Thursday, October 6th, 2016
12:30-1:30 PM
Annenberg 303

Digital instruction – using a digital platform (such as netbook, computer or handheld device) as a central part of instruction – is rapidly becoming a commonplace component of K-12 classroom and supplemental instruction. There is considerable variation in how providers of educational technology describe what they do, their services, how students access services, and what is delivered, complicating efforts to accurately assess its impact. This paper presents findings from a quasi-experimental mixed methods study of digital tutoring using rich, longitudinal observational and interview data, student attendance patterns and effects of digital tutoring on low-income students’ reading and mathematics achievement. We find significant associations between formats, curriculum drivers, tutor locations, and other characteristics of digital providers and their effectiveness in increasing student achievement, as well as differential access by student characteristics, that warrant further investigation as digital providers’ roles in K–12 instruction continue to expand.

Brian Jacob visits MPES fellows

Please join MPES for a colloquium talk:

“Differentiated Accountability and Education Production: Evidence from NCLB Waivers”

Brian Jacob
Walter H. Annenberg Professor of
Education Policy and Professor of Economics
University of Michigan
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
2:00-3:00 PM
Annenberg 317*space is limited so please arrive early

See Talk Flyer Here

MPES is now accepting 2016 Applications!

The Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences (MPES) is a pre-doctoral training grant that brings together faculty and doctoral students from Economics, Human Development and Social Policy, Learning Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics, with support from the U.S. Department of Education Sciences (IES). Our program provides up to 3 years of graduate student tuition, plus a $30,000 annual stipend and funding to support research and travel to Ph.D. students who will write a dissertation on an education-related topic. The Department of Education is committed to producing scholars who are prepared to contribute to their mission of establishing an evidence-based approach to understanding and improving American education.

In addition to the tuition and stipend benefits, MPES provides a range of opportunities. MPES fellows are required to take additional coursework, engage in a research apprenticeship with affiliated faculty members, attend bimonthly seminars on education research and occasional conferences, and participate in a practicum at Evanston Township High School designed to address applied research questions. Optional training opportunities include a summer internship at the American Institutes for Research.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • A 1-2 page memo describing your research interest in education
  • A V. or résumé, including GRE scores and any awards received
  • One letter of reference from a faculty member in your Ph.D. program that speaks to your academic promise and the centrality of education to your research interests (this can be included in your application, or can be emailed directly to Prof. Rapp by the faculty member).

Eligible graduate students must be currently a first-year student in the Ph.D. programs in Human Development & Social Policy, Learning Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, or a second-year student in Economics. Candidates must be committed to writing a dissertation on an education-related topic. Eligibility is limited to United States citizens.


Please submit applications via email to the MPES Director, Prof. David Rapp, at

MPES Welcomes Lindsey Richland for Colloquium Talk

Professor Lindsey Richland (University of Chicago) will be presenting “What is Higher Order Thinking in Mathematics, and Challenges in Ensuring Access for All” 

Thursday, December 3rd 2015
12:30-1:30 PM
Annenberg 303

Lindsey Richland is an Associate Professor of Comparative Human Development and a member of the Committee on Education at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and held a prior faculty appointment at the University of California, Irvine in the School of Education. She examines both the basic science of relational reasoning, memory, and higher order thinking development, and mathematics and science classroom practices that support and build on these developing competencies. Dr. Richland is also a member of the Spatial Intelligence Learning Center, and was awarded a National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her work has been supported by a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation as well as grants from the Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Naval Research, the National Institutes of Health, and the Spencer Foundation.

Please join us!! Email with any questions.

MPES Alum Aaron Sojourner visits NU

Sojourner, labor economist and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, will visit NU this Friday, April 24th, 2015 to give a talk, “Early Production of Cognitive Skill: Evidence from Randomly-Assigned Childcare Prices and Pre-natal Investments.”

Join MPES in Annenberg 303
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Talk Flyer Here

2015 MPES Application Due TODAY

Applications for the second Cohort of MPES fellows are due today, April 3rd, by 5 PM.

Please contact Elora Ditton at regarding any application or submission questions

REMINDER: MPES 2015 Applications are due April 3rd, 2015 @ 5 PM

With support through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Sciences (IES), Northwestern University has established the Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences (MPES) which  is designed specifically for students who wish to pursue a research agenda that focuses on questions in U.S. education, from an interdisciplinary perspective. The program provides:

·      A unified program of required and optional coursework in the following areas:  cognition and student learning, quantitative and qualitative methods, evaluation, design, human development, and reading and mathematics education.

·      A research apprenticeship experience with core and affiliated faculty of the program.

·      Bimonthly seminars that create a stimulating intellectual center for the faculty and students interested in education related research issues.

·      Workshops on special topics that are relevant to education research.

·      Funding to support graduate student fellow’s travel to conferences and their research.

·      Up to three years of graduate student tuition support along with a generous stipend of $30,000 per year.

We are currently in the process of recruiting graduate student fellows for year 2 of the grant. Interested students should submit the following to Diane Schanzenbach via email at, by no later than April 3rd, 2015 at 5:00 PM:

  • 1-2 page memo that outlines the applicant’s research interest(s) in education
  • Résumé or C.V., including GRE scores and any awards received
  • One letter of reference from a faculty member in the applicant’s Ph.D. program that speaks to the applicants academic promise and the centrality of education to the applicant’s research interests

*Note: In order to be eligible for funding under the grant you must be a U.S. citizen and a first year PhD student in Human Development and Social Policy, Learning Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics or a second year student in Economics.

Upcoming Informational Session: March 12th (4:30 pm) in the Annenberg 2nd floor commons.