The 2021 application process is now open.
For more information about the application process and requirements, download the guidelines document (PDF).
- Application deadline: November 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Selection: Applicants will be notified via email from AIR on Monday, January 4, 2021
Read more about the Institute from two past participants.
About the Institute
The NCES Data Institute: Using Federal Datasets to Support Research on Postsecondary Education (Institute) provides an intensive introduction to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) datasets and research methodologies.
The Institute is ideal for:
- Graduate students
- Early- to mid-career IR professionals
- Staff from state and federal agencies and other higher education organizations.
The Institute is limited to 30 participants who'd like to:
- Increase their knowledge of IPEDS and other NCES datasets
- Apply their new knowledge of IPEDS and other NCES datasets in a group setting
- Understand how federal data are utilized in postsecondary education research
- Form their own higher education research agendas
2021 Institute Components
1. 5-week online course
2. 15-week group capstone project
3. 3-day face-to-face meeting in Washington, D.C.
Each of these components build on one another to create a holistic learning experience. Participants are required to participate in and complete all elements of the Institute.
Cost: While there is no charge for any component of the Institute, participants are responsible for the cost to attend the face-to-face meeting (travel, lodging, and meals).
January 19 – February 19, 2021
5-week online course
Prior to starting the course, participants are assigned to a research group. Course material includes:
- An intensive introduction to NCES datasets
- An introduction to research methodologies when using national datasets
- Exercises that reinforce the content and allow participants to apply their new knowledge
February 22 – June 4, 2021
15-week capstone project
Immediately following completion of the online course, each research group—with guidance from mentors—works together to complete a research project, which includes:
- Exploring potential research topics
- Conducting a literature review
- Developing a group research question
- Identifying relevant NCES datasets
- Performing analysis using public-use data
- Writing an executive summary
- Preparing a PowerPoint presentation
June 8–10, 2021
3-day face-to-face meeting in Washington, D.C.
This collaborative and interactive meeting builds on the knowledge participants gained during the online course and capstone project. The meeting takes place in Washington, D.C. a
- An orientation to the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), NCES, and the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC)
- Panel discussions and speaker presentations on topics such higher education research, publishing, the role of the higher education community, and policy
- An opportunity for groups to present their research projects to NCES and all meeting participants
- Dedicated time for research groups to refine their projects based on feedback from NCES staff and fellow participants
- Time to develop plans to complete the projects and discuss the potential for dissemination of results after the Institute through conference presentations and/or publications