The College is a project that aims at supporting early Postdoc researchers with the development of their own projects in the field of interdisciplinary educational research. Its major goals are the promotion of the early independence of excellent young researchers who recently completed their PhDs, and the advancement of interdisciplinary educational research in a life course perspective. Long-term aims of the College are:

  • promotion and improvement of interdisciplinary educational research of young researchers at the postdoctoral level,
  • joint research activities among participating (senior and junior) researchers,
  • the establishment of an interdisciplinary educational research network of researchers working at Leibniz Institutes and universities, and
  • an increased scholarly awareness of “public science”.


The College is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant number: 01JG1201) and the Jacobs Foundation (grant number: 2011-963)—in cooperation with additional funding provided by from the six Leibniz Institutes (mentioned below).


The College started with 30 fellows on March 1, 2013. These fellows were in a pre or post-doctoral status (ABD doctoral students or up to 12 months past promotion). The first round of the College ended in April 2016, which is when the second round of CIDER started with another group of 30 fellows.

The College’s main activities of support include interdisciplinary workshops on theories and methods of subdisciplines in educational research and funding of interdisciplinary projects developed independently by fellows themselves and carried out in cooperation with colleagues from other disciplines within the College. Additionally, the second CIDER round offers funding for participating in interdisciplinary conferences and involves the organisation of two methodological summer schools for master students, where fellows teach (and participate).

Further, the College offers mentoring by one of the participating senior researchers or fellows of the first cohort. To further promote postdoctoral scholars’ early involvement in international educational research networks, the College is supporting research visits abroad, organizing international workshops and conferences, and inviting internationally distinguished scholars in the field of educational research for research visits and the College’s workshops/conferences. These activities do not only support international network-building, but also promote a comparative research perspective and the projects of the College’s postdoctoral scholars. CIDER also cooperates with the Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN) in the organisation of workshops for young scholars in the field of education.

Lastly, the College promotes young scholars’ awareness for “public science” – the sharing of one’s research results with a broader audience by actively engaging in discussions with experts working in politics, schools, organisations and media.

Interdisciplinarity & Research Areas

The College combines efforts to promote young researchers’ early independence with advanced theoretical and methodological training. Moreover, it aims at building sustainable structures of interdisciplinary collaboration. For this, fellows but also senior researchers are encouraged to acquire a solid understanding of the work in other disciplines than their own – a prerequisite for fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations and advances in knowledge. The College combines perspectives from educational science, psychology, sociology, and economics.

The College’s research projects centre around three research areas:

  • Educational inequality and success against the odds
  • Competence development as an educational and social process
  • Returns to education.

The active participation of renowned researchers from the various disciplines in the College’s activities will provide an outstanding setting for developing new and innovative research ideas in the field of interdisciplinary educational research as well as for building a sustainable research network.

The first three years of CIDER have had a lasting impact on interdisciplinary education research and the careers of the participating fellows:

  • CIDER now features 29 small research groups (micro groups) consisting of junior and senior fellows, which are expected to produce more than 30 scientific publications.
  • CIDER has provided financial support for 15 research trips abroad and a variety of conference attendances.
  • Thanks to the involvement of international guests, the theory- and method-oriented workshops have helped fellows become part of an international network.
  • The fellows had the opportunity to receive intensive training on how to work with the datasets relevant to empirical educational research (NEPS, PIAAC, SOEP, PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS).

We are happy to be able to continue the College for Interdisciplinary Education Research (CIDER) with another group of 30 young researchers between April 2016 and April 2019.

Please find the Programme for the first CIDER round 2013-2016 here.

Programme 2016-2019

The first year of the College was devoted to workshops on theory (within the three College’s research areas) and methods, to the development of ideas for interdisciplinary research projects. The kick-off workshop (KW) and the workshop on data in education research (FW) were designed to support the young researchers in developing ideas for interdisciplinary projects. Additionally, there was a public science workshop in July 2016, where fellows learned to improve their awareness on and acknowledgement of the value of doing problem-oriented research and to present research findings to the “public”.

The second year of the College (2017) is devoted to the College’s research projects, tandems and micro work groups, and research visits abroad as well as to preparing publications. This is supported by the spring (SW) and fall workshop (FW) as well as the first workshop of the research networks CIDER and LERN, which aims at connecting the CIDER fellows with other educational researchers and promoting young talents within the LERN network. In addition, as a career development opportunity, the College organized a workshop on soft skills in July 2017 and the second CIDER summer school for graduate students took place at the WZB, where the fellows gave three-day workshops on advanced social research methods.

The third year of the College (2018) will be devoted to the continuation of the College’s research projects and to preparing additional publications.