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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
September 29, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Receives Multi-Million Dollar Grant To Train the Next Generation of Education Researchers

The award reflects Carnegie Mellon's cutting-edge research into improving instruction

PITTSBURGH—The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Carnegie Mellon University a five-year, $5 million grant to train doctoral students from several disciplines—including psychology, computer science, philosophy and statistics—to conduct applied educational research. The students will earn a Ph.D. in their chosen field while performing research aimed at improving instruction in schools.

The grant is part of a series of initiatives by the Education Department and its Institute for Education Sciences (IES) to develop research-based education programs and teaching strategies that will help K-12 schools improve student achievement. The program is a perfect fit for Carnegie Mellon, which is already on the leading edge of interdisciplinary research into instructional technology and the psychology of learning. Among the best-known examples are Cognitive Tutor®, a comprehensive secondary mathematics curricula and computer-based tutoring program that has been commended by the U.S. Department of Education and is in use in 1,700 schools nationwide; Project LISTEN, a reading tutor used by hundreds of elementary school students; and the Open Learning Initiative, a series of Web-based introductory level college courses developed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers.

Part of the IES's Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences, the grant will support an additional 15 to 20 doctoral students each year at Carnegie Mellon who are interested in pursuing careers in educational research. As part of their training, the Ph.D. students will spend a year conducting research in schools to help close the gap between the results of laboratory studies and actual classroom experience. In addition, the grant will support a new interdisciplinary speaker series on educational issues.

"This program will formalize and integrate activities in education research that have been growing at Carnegie Mellon over the past five to 10 years. Now we can do this on a much more integrated basis," said Psychology Professor David Klahr, the director of the training grant at Carnegie Mellon.

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