Chloe Gibbs Named New Director of the Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research

Chloe Gibbs, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been selected to direct the Institute’s Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (ND PIER).

Gibbs will lead ND PIER’s efforts to train Notre Dame doctoral students across the social sciences in conducting rigorous, relevant and impactful education research.

“I’m delighted that Chloe will take on the role of director of ND PIER,” said Mark Berends, the Hackett Family director of the Institute. “Her experience studying in a similar program at the University of Chicago and her engagement in ND PIER from its beginning have helped the program grow and flourish. I’m excited about her leadership going forward to train graduate students to conduct rigorous research on educational practices, programs, and policies.”

ND PIER prepares doctoral students in fields such as economics, law, psychology and sociology to use tools of research design, analysis and inference to examine important questions on the impact of education practices, programs and policies. Students work with Institute fellows and faculty members from across the University to study and understand interventions, investments and reforms from the classroom to the statehouse.

Gibbs joined Notre Dame's economics department in 2015, and she is also a faculty affiliate of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, where she leads randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of education interventions and policies. She was previously on the faculty at the University of Virginia's Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy with a joint appointment in the School of Education and a research affiliation at EdPolicyWorks. Before that, Gibbs served as a researcher at the American Institutes for Research.

“I am excited to work with the ND PIER faculty committee and our impressive, dedicated students to help prepare the next generation of education researchers,” Gibbs said. “They will study the pressing issues confronting policymakers and practitioners and will generate the kind of useful, high-quality evidence that can shape education systems and outcomes for the better.”

Gibbs teaches a graduate class on designing and analyzing experiments that ND PIER students take as part of their training. In her research, she is broadly interested in measuring the effects, both intended and unintended, of policies and programs targeted at children from disadvantaged families. Her recent research includes analyzing the impact of full-day kindergarten on participants, their families, and school systems using experimental and quasi-experimental methods, investigating the intergenerational transmission of Head Start effects and exploring the effectiveness of out-of-school supports such as mentoring, summer school and technology-based platforms for struggling students.

She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago's Harris School, where she was supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s pre-doctoral training program in education sciences, and her dissertation was recognized with awards from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Association for Education Finance and Policy. Her research has been cited by Education Week, TIME, U.S. NewsThe Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and has been funded by the National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor. She most recently received a research grant from the American Educational Research Association’s grants program for her project, The War on Poverty and Higher Education Access: Educational Attainment and Intergenerational Effects of Upward Bound.