PIER - Carnegie Mellon University

PIER: Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research

PIER is an interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, at Carnegie Mellon University aimed at preparing a new generation of researchers who will be:

  • Grounded in cutting-edge theories and methodologies in cognitive and developmental psychology, statistics, human-computer interaction instructional technology, Education Policy and Economics.
  • Familiar with many of the fundamental problems facing education in America.
  • Committed to applying their skills and knowledge to solving those problems.

Students apply to PIER at the same time that they apply for admission to the participating departments, and are only considered for admission to PIER after have they have been accepted into the doctoral programs of one of those participating departments. (In recent years this has included PsychologyStatisticsPhilosophyHuman Computer Interaction, Machine LearningComputer Science, Economics and Public Policy as well as disciplinary departments such as PhysicsChemistry, and Mechanical Engineering.  (See Benefits section for a description of eligibility and levels of support.)

IES supports several other pre-doctoral training grants in the Education Sciences.  A full list can be found here.

Summer 2016 Research Experience for Undergraduates

With funding from CMU’s Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) and departments of Psychology and Human Computer Interaction, Kgomotso Lenah Madisa (University of The District of Columbia, Class of 2017) and Camille Warner (University of The District of Columbia, Class of 2017) are interning in education research labs at CMU this summer.  With funding from the American Psychological Association (APA) and CMU’s Psychology Department, four more talented students have research internships at CMU for the summer: Emily Chavez (California State University, Fresno, Class of 2018), Ashli-Ann Douglas (Fisk University, Class of 2017), Nicole Landa (Illinois State University, Class of 2017), and Roslyn Mays (University of Florida, Class of 2017).

All of the students are participating in the CMU Go Research program, which organizes the housing and social events, offers seminars on topics such as responsible conduct of research, planning for graduate school, the life of a graduate student, etc.  In addition, Professor Anna Fisher organized a set of experiences specific to this cohort of six students, including five reading group sessions with different faculty members, several extra sessions on applying to graduate school, career options, etc., welcome and farewell events, and a student final presentation session that will be attended by a wide audience.  Thanks to professors Anna Fisher (Psychology), Vicki Helgeson (Psychology), Jack Mostow (School of Computer Science), and Erik Thiessen (Psychology) for mentoring these young investigators.

Sharon and Interns

Photo Caption: June Sunset on the Ohio River after touring Pittsburgh via motor boat.  [L to R Back Row: Roslyn Mays, Emily Chavez, Professor Sharon Carver (Psychology), and Nicole Landa, L to R Front Row: Kgomotso Lenah Madisa, Camille Warner, and Ashli-Ann Douglas]