National Study of Learning Mindsets
Early Career FellowshipApplication Window Closed

The Mindset Scholars Network and the University of Texas at Austin’s Population Research Center invite applications to join a year-long research network funded by the Bezos Family Foundationusing the National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM) data. The goal of this fellowship is to support early career scholars to use the newly available NSLM survey and administrative data to advance science in education, publish peer-reviewed journal articles, and build a community of interdisciplinary colleagues.

About the NSLM Fellowship Award

Scholars with successful proposals will receive $8,000 as a stipend dispersed directly to the individual. In addition, the Mindset Scholars Network will cover fellows’ travel and expenses associated with two mandatory project meetings: the Orientation and Data Camp Kickoff on September 12-13, 2018 in Austin, Texas, and the Capstone Convening on August 28-29, 2019. Faculty and postdoctoral fellows may invite one project collaborator to the meetings, for whom travel and expenses will be covered. Graduate student fellows will select a faculty mentor to serve as their collaborator on the project. Faculty mentors are expected to support graduate students throughout the entirety of the fellowship by contributing to the development of the project and deliverables; mentors are strongly encouraged to attend events, with travel and expenses covered. An academic manuscript and a brief summary of research for practice and policy audiences will be due on September 30, 2019.

The NSLM Dataset

The NSLM was designed to understand which kinds of students, in which kinds of classrooms, and which kinds of schools are most likely to benefit from online interventions that foster adaptive learning mindsets. The resulting dataset offers the opportunity to investigate many other research questions. It features a wide array of student-, classroom-, and school-level measures and offers the gold standard in methodological practices: a nationally representative sample of high schools and an embedded learning mindset intervention that was randomly assigned to students. Students’ high school academic progress can be followed longitudinally from 9th into 10th grade. We recommend that applicants read more information about the NSLM methodology and research projects using the NSLM data before submitting a proposal. 

  • Open to advanced PhD students and early career scholars (e.g., postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and assistant professors within 5 years of PhD completion) in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics), or related field (e.g., statistics)
  • Must reside in the US for the duration of the fellowship
  • Must analyze large and complex database by writing reproducible syntax in Stata, R, or SAS. Other packages will be considered

Applicants should submit the following materials:

  • CV; not to exceed 2 pages
  • Abstract of project description and significance; 150 words max. Abstracts from successful proposals will be posted to the MSN website
  • Project proposal that uses NSLM data to answer novel research questions; 2 single-spaced pages max for Background and Methods, 1 single-spaced page appendix max for Dissemination Plan and Timeline; 12-point font, 1-inch margins. The proposal should specify motivation for the research, explain the study objectives, describe the approach, and outline the dissemination plan and timeline. Please use the following italicized headings:
    • Background and Theoretical Framework
      • Include research questions and significance
    • Methods
      • Include main variables of interest and modeling approach
    • Dissemination Plan and Timeline
      • Indicate the journal or type of journal in which you expect to publish your final academic manuscript
      • Fellows are requested to post a draft of their academic manuscripts to a preprint repository within their field (e.g., PsyArXiv, NBER). Indicate which site you will use. This working paper will also be posted on the MSN website
      • The MSN will work with fellows to produce a brief paper (1 – 3 pages) summarizing key findings for education practice and policy audiences
      • Describe any anticipated academic, practice, and/or policy presentations, or other anticipated dissemination activities
      • Include all Key Dates (listed in the table below) in the timeline
    • Name, institution, and email of collaborator (optional for postdocs and faculty): A collaborator may be included on the project, but one is not required for postdocs and faculty. Selected fellow will be responsible for the completion of all required analysis and written deliverables and must serve as the primary author on all written work. Graduate students must include their faculty mentor as their project collaborator.

Faculty mentors should submit a letter of recommendationFor graduate students only. Please address the following in the letter of recommendation:

  • How long you have known and worked with the applicant?
  • What makes the applicant an excellent fit for this fellowship?
  • What support will the applicant need in order to be successful applying rigorous methodological practices, analyzing large and complex data, completing the proposed project in the allotted time, and developing a publishable scientific manuscript and brief summary of findings for policy and practice audiences?
  • How will this fellowship opportunity facilitate the applicant’s scientific and professional development?

In selecting fellowship recipients, the following criteria will be considered:

  • Qualifications of applicant
  • Scholarly significance and potential broader impact of the proposed project
  • Quality of research design (including feasibility of methodology with available data and timeline)
  • Strength of recommendation letter. Graduate students only

Key Dates

Application and letter of recommendation due July 31, 2018
Applicants notified of decisions August 8, 2018
Fellowship Orientation and Data Camp Kickoff Event (in-person) Sept 12-13, 2018
Progress memo due February 1, 2019
Interim check-ins (virtual) March 2019
Academic manuscript and summary brief drafts due July 5, 2019
Academic manuscript revision due; working paper August 2, 2019
Capstone Convening Event (in-person) August 28-29, 2019
Final academic manuscript and summary brief due September 30, 2019

For questions about the application, please contact