Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) Pre-doctoral Fellowships

What is VEST?

The Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) pre-doctoral 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.

Fellows also are required to complete additional coursework at U.Va. that focus on topics in education and methods. They also must participate in summer statistical workshops.

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

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.

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 Steering Committee is comprised of:
Bob Pianta, Director
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Associate Director
Jim Wyckoff, Associate Director

The Admissions and Program Progress Committee is comprised of:
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

Undergraduate Research

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.

Program Funding

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.

Project News

Contact

CurryVEST@virginia.edu

Mailing Address:
Curry School of Education
PO Box 400879
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office: Ruffner Hall 267

Associated Faculty



 

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