Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) Predoctoral Fellowships
What is VEST?
The Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) predoctoral fellowship program provides intensive research training in education sciences. VEST integrates the use of theoretical models of causal inference from various sciences (e.g., psychology, economics, biostatistics) with research designs, analytic techniques and methods that support causal inferences in studies of school, classroom and program effects.
More specifically, training applies rigorous methods to three substantive research topics identified by IES: a) teacher quality, b) early childhood, and c) social and behavioral contexts for academic learning. Conceptual and methodological emphases in the core curriculum ensure students are proficient in developing and testing research hypotheses through research designs and through experimental and quasi-experimental statistical procedures that support causal inferences.
Fellowship Details & Benefits
VEST fellows participant in an intensive 20 hr/wk research apprenticeship under multiple mentors and advisors. Please see examples of research opportunities in Education Policy and Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science. Fellows must complete an education-based dissertation.
All VEST fellows participate in the Curry Research Lectureship series (including a proseminar course) and have an opportunity to interact individually with the top researchers in the field of education.
VEST fellows receive financial support including a $30,000 stipend (12 months), $10,500 towards tuition and insurance, and funds for research and travel.
Our Fellows & Alumni
Learn more about our current 4-Year and 2-Year fellows participating in VEST and their student community at U.Va. With over 75 alumni across education, economics, sociology, and psychology departments at U.Va, VEST has produced highly trained professionals who hold positions from postdoctoral scientists to education statisticians to assistant professors. Learn more about our VEST Alumni and what they are saying about the fellowship program through our Question & Answer article series.
Current and past fellows like us on Facebook.
How to Apply
Applicants to the Curry School of Education's Ph.D programs, Education Policy and Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science, are automatically considered for Four-Year VEST Fellowships. Visit the Curry School of Education admissions website for more details on deadlines and requirements.
In addition, U.Va. doctoral students from other social science graduate programs may apply for Two-Year VEST Fellowships, to begin during the 3rd year or later of their PhD program. Applications for the VEST 2-yr program are run separately from the Curry School of Education admissions and typically announced in November of each year with an application deadline around February 1st. Email CurryVEST@virginia.edu for more details.
Faculty affiliates serve as mentors and co-mentors to our fellows. Four-Year Fellows in Curry Ph.D programs have a primary mentor from Curry and in their 3rd year, a co-mentor from another discipline. Two-Year fellows from other disciplines continue to work with their primary advisor from their home department and work with a Curry co-mentor as well.
Our faculty affiliates engage in training experiences that offer extensive expertise including econometric models of teacher quality, the RCT design and analysis, and the design and evaluation of professional development supports for teachers and their effects on student learning.
Faculty affiliates from the Curry School of Education are listed to the right. Below is a list of affiliated faculty from other schools at U.Va.
The Directors & Steering Committee:
Bob Pianta, Director
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Associate Director
Jim Wyckoff, Associate Director
The Admissions and Program Progress Committee:
Bob Pianta, Director
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Associate Director
Jim Wyckoff, Associate Director
Joanna Lee Williams, Education
Josipa Roksa, Sociology
Sarah Turner, Economics and Education
Dan Willingham, Psychology
Faculty Affiliates at U.Va. are from the College of Arts & Sciences and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy:
Allen, Joseph, Psychology
Friedberg, Leora, Economics
Hurd, Noelle, Psychology
Lillard, Angeline, Psychology
Reppucci, Dick, Psychology
Ruhm, Chris, Public Policy & Economics
von Oetzen, Timo, Psychology
Willingham, Dan, Psychology
Wilson, Melvin, Psychology
The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is an intensive 8-week internship program at the Curry School of Education that is affiliated with the VEST program. Our faculty and fellows mentor undergraduate interns during the summer as we help train the next generation of educational researchers.
The Curry School of Education received funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education in 2004 to implement a Fellowship Program in the Education Sciences. Additional grants were awarded in 2009 and 2014 that has allowed the Curry School to build upon the existing Fellowship program and provide interdisciplinary training to students.
- Class of 2017: Kosovich Helps Community College Students Get Motivated, Succeed
- Video: Noelle Hurd gives Curry Research Lecture on 3/3/17
- Student Spotlight: Christina Mulcahy Discusses Her Early Math Work and Mentoring Experience at Curry
- VEST Alumna Uses Curry Training as Springboard for Future Work with Communities of Color
- Video: Mark Lipsey gives Curry Research Lecture on 11/11/16
- Holland Banse Awarded Fellowship to Study Effective Learning Environments for ELL Students
- Video: Jenny Roe - “Natural Solutions To Tackling Behavior and Performance in Urban School
- Curry Alumna, Anne Cash, Discusses Her Passion for Teacher Training and Current Research
- Ed Policy Ph.D Alumna Reflects on Her Time at Curry and in the MPP Dual Degree Program
- Prof. Castleman: How to Pay for Success in Higher Education
- Ed Policy Graduate Student Joins AEI’s 2016 Academy on Education Policy
- Student Profile: Francisca Romo Aims to Return to Chile and Make a Difference
- Video: Elise Cappella gives CRC Keynote & Curry Research Lecture on 2/26/16
- Curry Researchers Pen Top Articles for AERA Journals
- Video: Peter Youngs gives Curry Research Lecture on 11/6/15
- Video: Doug Harris gives Curry Research Lecture on 10/16/15
- Fitzpatrick Answers Questions on her VEST Experience at Curry and U.Va. Economics Department
- Leslie Booren Named 2015 Outstanding Curry Staff Member
- Alumnus Myles Durkee Discusses His Research on the Racial Experiences of Minority Students
- Student Spotlight: Katherine Ross Creates a Social Emotional and Mindfulness Research Agenda
- Ed Policy Grad Student Shares His APPAM Research Conference Experiences
- Ed Policy Student Wins AERA-MET Dissertation Fellowship to Study Changes in Teaching Practice
- Student Profile: Carol Paxton Focuses on What Teachers Need to be Successful
- Video: Sandra Graham gives Curry Research Lecture on 4/24/15
- Student Profile: Amy Roberts Wants Her Research to Impact Teachers and Policy Makers
- Student Spotlight: Scott Latham Broadens His Interests in Education Policy at U.Va.
- Video: Adam Gamoran gives Curry Research Lecture on 4/10/15
- Video: Kevin Miller gives CRC Keynote & Curry Research Lecture on 3/27/15
- Curry School Students and Faculty Have Strong Showing at Annual Education Research Conference
- Holland Banse wants to bridge the gap between research and practice
- Video: Amanda Williford gives Curry Research Lecture on 2/13/15
- CASTL’s Jeff Kosovich Publishes on Carnegie Commons Blog
- Video: Jeff Henig gives Curry Research Lecture on 12/5/14
- Student Profile: Helyn Kim Returns to Curry to Focus on Researching Early Foundational Skills
- Video: Susanna Loeb gives Curry Research Lecture on 11/14/14
- Student Profile: Micela Leis Wants Every Child to Feel Excited About Going to School
- Student Spotlight: Mindy Adnot Tackles Tough Teacher Evaluation Issues
- Alumna Laura Brock Reflects on her Research Training at Curry
- Video: Catherine Bradshaw gives Curry Research Lecture on 10/10/14
- EdPolicyWorks Profiles Prof. Gibbs and Economics Graduate Student Zagardo
- Two SURP Interns Describe Their Preparation for Graduate School
- Curry Resources and Support are Key for Two SURP Interns
- Teamwork is the Foundation for Graduate School for Two SURP Interns
- Mentoring Research and Being Mentored is Top Priority for Two SURP Interns
- Youth-Nex and VEST Fellows Compete, Innovate, and Collaborate
- SURP Kicks Off by Partnering with U.Va.‘s Center for Undergraduate Excellence
- Curry Research Lectureship Series: Brian Nosek Talks “Scientific Utopia”
- Video: Jim Spillane gives Curry Research Lecture on 5/2/14
- Class of 2014: Manuela Determined to Improve Education Everywhere
- Ed Policy Student Lands AERA Grant to Study Changes in School Readiness
- Graduate Student Banse Receives Curry Foundation Award
- Terri Sabol, a VEST Alumna, Answers Questions about her Curry Experience
- Video: Laura Justice gives Curry Research Lecture on 4/11/14
- Public Day: Youth-Nex and VEST Fellow Ross’ Project Chosen
- Curry Graduate Student Takes On Leadership Role at National Research Conference
- Members from VEST participate in key roles at CRC
- Curry Faculty and Students Head to AERA
- LoCasale-Crouch Discusses VEST and Why She Stayed at the Curry School
- Dunlop Answers Questions on her VEST Experience at Curry and U.Va. Economics Department
- Prof. Castleman Enhances the Mentorship Model at EdPolicyWorks
- Paxton Blogs about Crossing Discipline Borders at Curry
- VEST Fellows from EdPolicyWorks and CASTL Featured in the Curry Alumni Magazine
- VEST Alumni, Wei-Bing Chen, Answers Questions on her Curry Experience
- Video: Bridget Terry Long gives Curry Research Lecture on 11/22/13