Michigan State University in East Lansing has just gotten word that it has won a $5 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to establish a doctoral program to train budding researchers on applying research techniques from the field of economics to critical policy questions in education.
In a press release on the grant that was posted on Thursday, Robert Floden, one of the co-directors of the new program, noted that “the quantitative approaches that economists have developed to explore a wide range of problems are now being applied to education more and more.”
“The problem is there is a national shortage of people who are well trained to use these methods,” he added.
Economist Jeffrey Woolridge is the other co-director of the program, which is being run jointly by the education school and the university’s economics department.
One important thing these program grads will be able to do: Put to use the mountains of longitudinal data on students that states will amass as they use federal stimulus funds to build new data systems.
The new program starts this fall and applications are due July 10.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.