Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences

Training researchers whose evidence-based results will help inform education policy and practice.


The Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences (ITP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of a network of pre-doctoral training programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. The ITP is preparing a new generation of outstanding education science scholars by training them in methods of causal inference in the social sciences, engaging them in a weekly seminar and supporting their translational research through a variety of internship opportunities. The community of faculty and Ph.D.-level researchers that work with ITP Fellows come from academic departments in education, social work and across the social sciences. Fellows join an interdisciplinary research community including doctoral students in economics, political science, psychology, social welfare, sociology, educational leadership & policy analysis, educational policy studies and educational psychology.

Upcoming Events

March 8, 2024
  • ITP Seminar: Erin Gill

    March 8, 2024  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Room 259 | Educational Sciences, 1025 W Johnson St, Madison, WI 53706, USA

    Erin Gill, Graduate Student and ITP Fellow, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, UW-Madison

    Title: Here or There? LGBTQ+Students’ Access to Safe Schools by Locale in Wisconsin
    Abstract: Amid increasing political efforts to expand or restrict LGBTQ+-affirming practices in K-12 schools, LGBTQ+ students’ access to safe schools varies across Wisconsin. In this talk, I draw on the geography of opportunity framework to consider LGBTQ+ students (1) exposure to discrimination and (2) access to affirming resources in schools. I will present two studies that examine LGBTQ+ middle and high school students’ school safety and mental health first across city, suburban, town, and rural school districts in Dane County, Wisconsin, and then across schools in the state of Wisconsin. My research highlights LGBTQ+ students’ inequitable access to safe schools by locale in Wisconsin and considers where educational policymakers and practitioners should bolster LGBTQ+-affirming practices. 

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March 15, 2024
  • ITP Seminar: Kat Swerbenski

    March 15, 2024  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Room 259 | Educational Sciences, 1025 W Johnson St, Madison, WI 53706, USA

    Kat Swerbenski, Graduate Student and ITP Fellow, Psychology, UW-Madison
    Title: Making "Fast Friends" during childhood and adolescence: Examining online and school contexts 
    Abstract: Close peer relationships are critical to children's and adolescents’ healthy development and well-being, yet youth sometimes struggle to make friends. This work tested whether an online version of the Fast Friends procedure could engender closeness among 9- to 13-year-old youth. Participant dyads were randomly assigned to answer personal questions that encourage self-disclosure and play a collaborative game (Fast Friends condition) or to engage in similar activities without self-disclosure or collaboration (control condition). To build on this research, we are working on adapting the procedure to help students form close peer relationships during school transitions, which is a time in which students’ social networks are typically disrupted, which can result in students feeling a diminished sense of social support.

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Coursework: ITP Seminar

This project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education.