Interdisciplinary Program in Educational Research

Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship

Across the nation, policymakers and educators make decisions about educational policies, programs, and practices without know- ing whether these decisions lead to improved student outcomes. The current state of educational research has not fully addressed this need of educators and policymakers to know “what works.”

For this reason, the University of Notre Dame is launching an interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship, that prepares students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods to rigorously examine the impact of educational practices, programs and policies.

Join us as we prepare the next generation of educational social science researchers with the proficiency to demonstrate what works in education. Drawing on the expertise of the Fellows of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives in economics, political science, psychology, sociology, STEM education, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and other affiliated centers, we will train students in research design, implementation, analysis, and inference.

The Burns Fellowship provided by the Interdisciplinary Program in Educational Research will prepare Fellows to:

  • Create and carry out field-based randomized studies on educational issues,
  • Apply rigorous statistical methods to student outcome data,
  • Understand the impact of educational reforms at various levels of the education system,
  • Work on interdisciplinary research teams and projects.

A Coordinated Program of Study

Working within the framework of the Ph.D. course requirements of respective departments, students will participate in a small number of interdisciplinary courses to increase their knowledge and skills in educational social science. They will also join a bi-monthly seminar hosted by world-class educational researchers.

Burns Fellowship Benefits

In addition to the stipend (including full tuition remission and health insurance) typically awarded Ph.D. students, students in the interdisciplinary training program receive:

  • A top-off award in each of 5 years—$5,000-$10,000
  • Professional development funding for research and travel (~$2,500/year)

How to Apply

Students apply to become Burns Fellows as part of their application to one of Notre Dame’s Ph.D. programs (e.g., economics, political science, psychology, sociology). After departments screen candidates, the Program Committee will review applications and admit students across affiliated departments and faculty.

If you have questions, please contact:

Jessica Gottlieb at or 574-631-1131

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