About EEPS

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) offer a unique program aimed at cultivating human capital within the education policy sector. The Emerging Education Policy Scholars (EEPS) program brings newly minted Ph.D. scholars and Ph.D. candidates who have a keen research eye, fresh ideas, and boundless (or budding) enthusiasm for education policy to our nation’s capital to meet with education-policy experts and to share and brainstorm exciting new directions for K–12 education research. The EEPS program seeks to counter the long-standing, well-documented divide between research and policy in education.

It focuses on three overarching goals:

  • to foster an opportunity for talented, promising scholars to connect with other scholars in their field, as well as to introduce them to key players in the education policy arena;
  • to expand the pool of talent and ideas from which the education policy arena currently draws;
  • and to increase understanding of how the worlds of policy and practice intersect with scholarly research in education and related fields.

EEPS is a seminar-based program that cultivates talent within the education research and policy fields by introducing new scholars to one another and to the members of the reform-minded education-policy community in Washington, D.C. The program encourages new scholars and experts to share both research and ideas.

  • Who are EEPS?

    Emerging Education Policy Scholars are current doctoral candidates or a doctoral-degree recipients in the last five years. They may work in higher education, K–12 administration, or a nonprofit or for-profit organization. They also have a keen interest in public policy, are eager to engage in the national conversation about how best to educate children (including amending the structure of our current system in pursuit of that goal), and are in the process of or have recently completed some notable scholarly research that will further that conversation.

    EEPS are organized into cohorts that meet for two events in D.C., typically in the summer and winter. After the second meeting, EEPS graduate to “alumni status,” have the opportunity to present at future EEPS meetings to new cohorts, and can engage with fellow alumni at cross-cohort EEPS events and annual research conferences.

  • What do EEPS do?

    Participants gather informally with think-tankers, academics, policymakers, and reformers in Washington, D.C. The purpose of these events is to bridge connections between up-and-coming scholars and senior education-policy experts and K–12 education practitioners, as well as to foster an opportunity for both groups to share research and ideas.

  • How are EEPS chosen?

    Admissions decisions are made jointly by Fordham and AEI. We seek a diverse group in terms of experience and expertise. 

  • How do I apply?

    The application window for our 2023 EEPS cohort has now closed. Please email Victoria McDougald @[email protected] to be notified about when the application period for our 2024 cohort will open. 

  • What is the cost of the program?

    There is no cost to apply to EEPS. Accepted scholars attend EEPS events free of charge, and will also be reimbursed for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses.

The EEPS Experience

“While professional societies provide ample opportunity for within field collaboration, we often lack opportunity to bridge the silos. EEPS not only provided me with a broader perspective on education policy, it allowed me to network with folks from different fields working towards similar goals whom I might not have met otherwise.”

Andrew Schaper

Cohort Five

“EEPS allowed me to expand my professional network, and to access a side of policy consideration and dissemination that I had not previously encountered in any meaningful way. Perhaps most importantly, since completing my EEPS experience I have further grown my cross-cohort EEPS network and benefited enormously from collaboration and conversations that this networking has spurred!”

Shaun Dougherty

Cohort Three

“EEPS is professionally valuable, totally unique, and thought-provoking.”

Michael Ford

Cohort Five

“In addition to connecting with other young scholars from across the country, the experience has expanded my view of the ways in which I can use my research to contribute to public debates currently underway in education policy. As a result of the experience, I feel better equipped to translate my research into approachable mediums suitable for broader audiences.”

F. Chris Curran

Cohort Five

EEPS Class of 2021–2022

Christine Anderson 

Administrator for West Aurora School District’s multilingual learner program.

Andrew Camp 

Distinguished Doctoral Fellow at the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform.

Danielle Edwards 

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. 

Brian Fitzpatrick 

Sociologist of Education and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Research in Educational Policy.

Dillon Fuchsman

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research at Saint Louis University.

David M. Houston 

Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, a faculty affiliate at EdPolicyForward at George Mason University, and the Survey Director of the Education Next Poll at Harvard University. 

Michael Little, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. 

Sabrina Little 

Instructor at Morehead State University for Foundations of Education, Education in its Philosophical Context, and Philosophy. 

Kathleen Lynch 

Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.  

Valentina Martinez-Pabon 

Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at Tulane University. 

Becca Merrill, Ph.D. 

Researcher at Education Northwest. 

Emily Morton 

Research scientist at the Center for School and Student Progress at NWEA.

Kirsten Slungaard Mumma 

Postdoctoral fellow at the Wheelock Educational Policy Center (WEPC) at Boston University. 

Mary Pei 

Ph.D. student, Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Lam D. Pham 

Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University.

Carly Robinson 

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University.

Matthew Patrick Shaw 

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education and an Assistant Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University.

Lena Shi 

Doctoral candidate in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Sara Townsend 

Doctoral candidate in education policy at George Mason University. 

Xiaoyang Ye 

Postdoctoral Researcher in Education Policy at the Annenberg Institute of Brown University. 

EEPS Alumni

Annual Newsletters

For more information about the EEPS program, please contact program coordinator
Victoria McDougald ([email protected]org).