College of Education

Technology Innovation in Educational Research and Design

TIER-ED Graduate Fellows Program

AY 2019- 2020
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 8, 2019 by 5 pm Central Time

Technology Innovation in Educational Research and Design (TIER-ED) Fellowships will be awarded each year to graduate students working on a research project in a TIER-ED focused area. TIER-ED strongly encourages designing, developing, building, trialing, assessing, scaling, disseminating, and commercializing evidence-based, replicable, cutting-edge, and transformational technological tools, solutions, and platforms to support, enhance and create innovative learning environments and practices.  The Fellows selection process is competitive and research projects are chosen by a committee of faculty members from disciplines within and outside of the College of Education. Applications are solicited each Spring for the academic year beginning the following Fall. The proposed research must be interdisciplinary and must have a strong and clearly defined technology focus, with implications for critical issues in education (e.g., learning, equity and access, etc.). The proposal must be submitted jointly by the student and at least two faculty co-advisors from different disciplines. The Co-Advisors must be TIER-ED affiliates, and can be from the same department, but must have different research foci, bring different expertise, etc. TIER-ED Fellows selected by the committee will receive $20,000 for one academic year (9 months) and that will also make the Fellow eligible for tuition waiver (unless in a self-supporting or cost-recovery program; prospective applicants can check with their respective departments). The fellowship comes with expectations that Fellows will regularly utilize  the TIER-ED student/faculty workspace at the Children’s Research Center and participate in TIER-ED initiatives during the award year. TIER-ED Fellows will also present their research progress and processes at a TIER-ED community event or seminar in Spring semester.



  • Must be enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Illinois,  and remain enrolled throughout the duration of the fellowship (AY 2019-2020).
  • Must be an on-campus, active full-time student.
  • Must show significant progress in completing coursework and have both advisors’ nominations to apply for this fellowship.
  • Must plan to do research on or with one or multiple technologies and their role in addressing critical issues in education.
  • Must be interested in interdisciplinary research and show clearly how the proposed study has scope for such collaborative work.

Selection Criteria

  • Clearly stated project idea with concise literature review demonstrating originality and creativity in the proposed research.
  • The visibility of interdisciplinary work that the study incorporates. Proposed work needs to clearly explain why it requires the integration of more than one discipline to achieve the perceived goals.
  • The relevance of the project to the vision and goals of TIER-ED.
  • The TIER-ED affiliates’ commitment to invest in the project and collaborate with the student applicant. TIER-ED affiliates are members who are invested in the goals of TIER-ED, research interest lies in the domain of technology and learning,  and are actively involved in the development, expansion, and advancement of TIER-ED initiatives. Our current affiliates are listed on the TIER-ED website and it includes information on how to become an affiliate.
  • Clear and feasible research activity timeline and expected milestones to be completed by the end of the fellowship period. 


Procedure for Applying

All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. CST on Friday, March 9, 2019. Please submit the following documents with a cover letter by email to, and request that your recommenders submit their letters directly to TIER-ED at within 5 days of the application deadline.

Below are the required documents to apply for the fellowship:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Project description (maximum 4 pages single-spaced, excluding references). It should explain the interdisciplinary nature of the project.
  • Research statement (maximum 2 pages single-spaced). It should identify your Co-Advisors, and include a clear statement of their role in the  proposed research, an explanation on why this research is important, its relevance to TIER-ED vision and goals, and your expected milestones during the fellowship period.
  • Names and email addresses of two references (at least 1 of which is one of the Co-Advisors). You must ask your referees to directly email references to TIER-ED.
  • Graduate Transcript  (Unofficial or official).


For Additional Information or questions, please contact

Tabassum Amina
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Technology Innovation in Educational Research and Design (TIER-ED)
135 Children’s Research Center
51 E Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820