National Data Institute

National Data Institute: Using Federal Data to Support
Research on Science, Engineering, and Postsecondary Education

The application process for  2013 is closed.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) operates the National Data Institute: Using Federal Data to Support Research on Science, Engineering, and Postsecondary Education. The Institute is an intensive introduction to NSF and NCES datasets and research methodologies using large-scale national data sources.
The Institute is open to:
  • Institutional research professionals who wish to increase their knowledge of national datasets and skills for using such data in their IR role on campus
  • Faculty and graduate students with research interests in science, engineering, or postsecondary education
  • Staff from state and national associations with interests in science, engineering, or postsecondary education data sources
  • Postsecondary education researchers from non-U.S. institutions (limited number of spaces available)*
Note: All participants must have basic knowledge of statistical methods and experience using statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA).
The Institute aims to achieve four major objectives:
  • Stimulate interest in using national data to address research questions in institutional research, science and engineering, and postsecondary education
  • Instruct participants in the methods of using national data to conduct analyses, with primary emphasis on the new web-based data analysis systems developed by NSF and NCES
  • Enhance understanding about methodological and technological issues relevant to large-scale national data collection
  • Foster collaboration between participants and NSF and NCES staff to improve future data collection and analysis
Fellowship selection is based on a brief application. The deadline for applications is March 21, 2013. Selection notifications will be announced on April 18, 2013.
The application components are outlined below.
  • Contact information
  • Statement of interest and applicant’s learning goals
  • Statement of current research interests
  • Self-assessment of statistical and research skills, and knowledge of NSF and NCES datasets
  • Abbreviated curriculum vita
  • Letter of support (required for graduate students not working full-time)
Applications must be submitted online. Assistance is available from the National Data Institute (NDI) Team at or 850-385-4155 x203.
*Funding from NSF and NCES is only available for individuals from U.S. postsecondary education institutions. In addition, one or two individuals from non-U.S. institutions may be accepted each year contingent on availability of AIR funding. The application is the same for individuals from U.S. and non-U.S. institutions.
The Institute will be held July 14 – 20, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Hotel, instructional costs, and U.S. roundtrip transportation are provided for Institute Fellows. International travel is covered up to $700.
Overview of the Institute schedule:
  • Fellows will devote the equivalent of one day to background reading and preparation prior to attending the Institute
  • Sunday, July 14, Travel to Washington D.C. (a.m.); Institute registration and opening session (p.m.)
  • Monday, July 15 – Friday, July 19 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 20 (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon) and travel home (p.m.)
The Institute includes lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on instruction. A laptop computer with wireless internet capabilities is required. Topics and activities include:
  • Overview of NSF databases
  • Overview of NCES databases
  • Demonstrations and exercises using specific datasets
  • Technical issues using national datasets and tools
  • Data confidentiality
  • Applying for a restricted use license
  • Day trip to either NSF or NCES
  • Data Policy Seminars from leading national policy experts
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with colleagues
STEP 1: Individuals are encouraged to begin the application process as early as February 1, 2013 by providing initial contact information as the first step: name, email address, physical address, and institution affiliation. Providing this information assures that updates and deadline reminders will be sent to individuals via the email address provided. Providing contact information does not commit an individual to submit an application.
STEP 2: Complete the online application by following the National Data Institute Guidelines (PDF).

It is recommended that applicants write each section using word processing software and when finalized, cut and paste the text into the online application.

*Note: Applicants can save an application and return later to add and/or edit information until the application is finalized or the application system closes on March 21, 2013.
STEP 3: Submit the online application. When an application is successfully submitted a confirmation message will be sent to the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the final application and save the confirmation notice as receipt of a successful submission.
For questions and assistance please contact the National Data Institute (NDI) Team at or 850-385-4155 x203.

An application may be withdrawn at any time before a final funding decision is made. A request for withdrawal must be sent to NationalDataInstitute@airweb.orgConfirmation of the withdrawal request will be sent to the applicant.

Applications are reviewed by AIR and a panel of national experts. Selection notifications will be announced on April 18, 2013. The names and institutional affiliations of Fellowship recipients are part of the public record that is provided to NSF and NCES and listed on the AIR website.
Coordination of Travel to Institute
Detailed instructions for making travel arrangements will be provided to each selected Fellow.
Preparation for Institute
Electronic reading documents will be sent to Fellows in advance of the Institute. Fellows will need to devote the equivalent of one day to background reading and preparation prior to attending the Institute. Fellows will also be required to participate in an online survey prior to the Institute.

Name Institution/Affiliation
Mike Armijo University of Pennsylvania
Eric Atchison Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
Mary Nguyen Barry Education Trust
Mike Bohlig Center for Community College Student Engagement, University of Texas at Austin
Pat Boyer University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Jason Brunner College for Financial Planning
Jon Burton University of Wisconsin-Stout
Throy Campbell University of Texas at Arlington
Allison Cantwell University of California, Riverside
Yi Cao Portland State University
Cheryl Carrico Virginia Tech
Tongshan Chang University of California System Administration Central Office
Angie Choi University of Arkansas Little Rock
Renee Clark North Carolina State University
Grant Clayton University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Ed Collins University of Nevada Las Vegas
Lucien Robert Costley Seton Hall University
Will dela Cruz University of Texas at San Antonio
Cathy Delgado The University of Texas System
LaVerne Ellerbe Tidewater Community College
Shelly Engelman The Findings Group, LLC
Barbara Escobar University of Wisconsin- Madison
Chris Feit Kansas State University
Dennis Flanders Emmanuel College
Ann Gansemer-Topf Iowa State University
Juan Garibay University of California, Los Angeles
Paul Gore University of Utah
Chris Guillory Baton Rouge Community College
Thomas Harnisch American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Donielle Harsh West Virginia University
Erik Hines University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Nicole Holland Walden University
Stacy Kelly Northern Illinois University
Cindy Kilgo University of Iowa
Wendy Kilgore American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Chiaki Kotori Lycoming College
Jinrong Li State University of New York
Joyce Main Purdue University
Shabnam Mehra University of South Florida
Jim Mello University of Hartford
Christopher Nellum University of Michigan
Federick Ngo University of Southern California
Kim Noh University of Connecticut
Tim O'Malley Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
John Orange Trinity University
Justin Ortagus Pennsylvania State University
Drew Pearl University of Georgia
Luke Rapa Michigan State University
Dan Robertson Cornell University
Karen J. Robinson University of Virginia
John Stanley University of Hawaii at Manoa
Tim Stanley Utah Valley University
Rahel Tekle American Association of Community Colleges
Josh Trapani Association of American Universities
Carrie Tsosie San Juan College
Jasmine Ulmer University of Florida
Marissa Vasquez Urias San Diego State University
Neena Verma University of Massachusetts President's Office
Christopher Vinger New York University
Charity Walters University of Montana Western
Chad Wells University of Cincinnati
Dean Williamson Prairie View A & M University
Dallin Young University of South Carolina
Natasha Yurk Indiana University- Bloomington