Princeton Researchers Awarded Funding for Innovative Education Research Projects

Feb 26 2020
By B. Rose Kelly
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Several researchers based at Princeton University will receive funding to work on innovative, cross-disciplinary education research projects over the next two years.

Nearly $300,000 was awarded by the Overdeck Education Innovation Fund to Mingyu Chen, Edward Felten, Jennifer Jennings, Adam Kapor, Christopher Neilson, and Olga Russakovsky.

The Overdeck Innovation Fund was created by the Overdeck Family Foundation, which donated more than $1 million to the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to support creative research projects and programs addressing important issues in education.

Funds will be distributed for the projects below.

  •  “AI4All Educational Summer Program.” Felten and Russakovsky are the principal investigators of the project, which will be a summer camp for high school students from populations traditionally underrepresented in artificial intelligence (women, racial minorities, and students from low income-backgrounds). The duo will receive $100,000 in total funding, distributed across two years.
  • “Investigating Sources of Gendered STEM-ability Beliefs from Kindergarten through 8th grade.” Chen and Jennings are the principal investigators of the project, which will study the development of beliefs among parents, teachers, and children on the relationship between gender and STEM ability. They will receive $95,000 in funding.
  • “Making Centralized School Choice Work in Practice: Evaluating Informational Interventions in Equilibrium.” Kapor, Neilson, and Seth Zimmerman of the University of Chicago will be the principal investigators of this already in-progress effort. The additional funding, totaling $95,000, will allow the team to evaluate the impact of outreach and educational technology interventions with regard to equitable access in school choice systems.

“There is real value in conducting research on education, and these particular projects have a range of focus and significant implications for policy,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, and the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education and professor of economics and public affairs. “I congratulate all of the grantees and look forward to seeing the outcomes of their work.”

The Overdeck Family Foundation

The Overdeck Family Foundation was established in 2011 by John and Laura Overdeck, with the goal of providing all children the opportunity to unlock their potential. The Foundation funds research and organizations that measurably enhance education inside and outside the classroom and supports five areas: early childhood, educators, schools, out-of-school STEM opportunities, and the use of data to improve policy and practice.

Laura (Bilodeau) Overdeck graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University, and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences’ Advisory Council.  She is a former member of the Woodrow Wilson School Advisory Council.