Postsecondary Education Applied Research (PEAR) Fellowship


The Postsecondary Education Applied Research (PEAR) Fellowship provides doctoral students with training in advanced quantitative analysis and the practical skills needed for a career in applied research in postsecondary education. Fellows will emerge from the program ready to engage in original, high-impact research and partner effectively with policymakers and practitioners to inform change.

Fellows receive generous benefits, including full tuition support and an annual stipend of $34,000, to engage in the training program and complete a relevant doctoral degree. Coursework is supplemented by practical training in the nuts and bolts of research, including applying for funding, developing partnerships in the field, and communicating findings. Fellows participate in research apprenticeships with scholars at Teachers College and the Community College Research Center. They also complete yearlong practice or policy apprenticeships at state higher education agencies, large urban postsecondary systems, or nonprofit applied research organizations.

The fellowship is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, with additional funding from Teachers College. It is jointly administered by the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA) and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College. Faculty from other relevant departments, including Organization and Leadership, also contribute to the program.

Important Things to Know

  • The fellowship is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are accepted to doctoral programs in the departments of Education Policy and Social Analysis, Human Development, and Organization and Leadership at Teachers College.
  • Generally, five fellowships will be awarded each year for students starting in fall 2021, fall 2022, and fall 2023.
  • Fellows will complete coursework in quantitative methods (6–12 credits), research design (9 credits, including a proseminar), and postsecondary education (6 credits). They will also complete apprenticeships in research and policy or practice.
  • Fellows will receive a scholarship for tuition and fees as a full-time student, health insurance, a $34,000 stipend, and $2,000 for research and conference expenses each year for four years. The fellowship may also cover a fifth year if needed for fellows to complete their dissertations.

About EPSA and CCRC

Established in 2011, EPSA is an interdisciplinary department that draws on the tools of the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology and on legal reasoning to study education policies ranging from early childhood to postsecondary education.

CCRC is an applied research center that studies community colleges because they provide critical access to postsecondary education and are uniquely positioned to promote equity and social mobility in the United States. CCRC conducts research that helps community colleges and other broad access institutions strengthen opportunities and improve outcomes for their students, particularly those from underserved populations. The center’s broad portfolio of research and evaluation projects will provide opportunities for PEAR Fellows to work with states and colleges across the United States and to be involved in all phases of the research process, from initial design and grant-writing through data analysis and dissemination.

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