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Thank you for your interest in the Motivation in ST Math (MIST) Fellowship. This fellowship is associated with the NSF CAREER Project: The Measurement and Influence of Mathematics Motivation in a Digital Mathematics Software, PI Teomara (Teya) Rutherford (Award #1845584).

Collecting data from elementary students can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming. Large-scale funded projects often collect masses of data, but do not have the person-power to make the best use of them. In this fellowship, two advanced doctoral students will have access to the data collected as part of Dr. Teya Rutherford’s NSF projects focusing on Motivation in ST Math (MIST). Fellows will each be funded $5,000 for the summer to focus on writing an article (conducting data analysis* and manuscript writing) using data collected on academic motivation from 20K+ elementary students.

Two fellows will be selected for this fellowship. The fellowship period will take place between May 2024 and September 2024 for a two-month intensive period; specific dates are flexible and will be negotiated with each fellow. Following the two-month period, the fellow will continue working on their manuscript until it is submitted for publication.


  • Doctoral students in Education, Psychology, or related fields who have completed at least two years of doctoral study
  • Twenty hours a week availability for two months during the summer of 2024
  • Ability to continue working on the manuscript until it is submitted for publication
  • International students are eligible for this fellowship (and can work remotely from outside of the U.S.)


  • Emerging expertise in theories of achievement motivation
  • Experience with statistical analyses, including multilevel models, structural equation modeling, or person-centered analyses
    • Prefer experience with Stata or R
  • Experience working on prior research projects applying theories of achievement motivation
    • Prefer knowledge of/experience with situated expectancy–value theory, academic emotions, or self-regulated learning
  • Strong academic writing skills


  • Work 20 hours per week over a two-month period during the summer of 2024
  • Have a draft journal manuscript completed by the end of the fellowship period
  • Design and follow a plan to submit the manuscript for publication to a peer-reviewed journal before January 2025


  • 5K funding (4K for summer, 1K at manuscript submission)
  • Access to data on student motivation gathered over 10+ years across multiple US districts
  • Mentored manuscript writing with support for all stages through structuring the manuscript, analysis, and final editing
  • Continued access to the MIST data after the completion of the summer project
  • Support and camaraderie from the postdocs and students within the Rutherford Lab


Applicants should be current PhD students who will receive their degree after June, 2024 and who began their program before August, 2023. Those who plan to graduate between June, 2024 and August, 2024 may apply, as long as they have not started full-time postdoctoral employment before August, 2024.

Applicants can be from any related field, including but not limited to Learning Sciences, Educational Psychology, other Psychology fields, STEM Education, Educational Technology, Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Informatics.

Two fellows will be selected based on individual criteria and also with consideration to diversity of specific research questions. Selection criteria will include experience with and interest in academic motivation, learning technologies, and/or mathematics education; statistics and data science skills and experience; writing strength; and expressed interest in the MIST project, including the applicant’s initial research question. 

To aid the applicant in drafting the required interest statement, this poster presenting some of the motivation data collected may be helpful. In addition, this collaborator information document provides some information about the structure of ST Math and may also prove helpful. Finally, applicants may find it useful to read PI Rutherford’s prior research on ST Math. A list can be obtained from Google Scholar here


Complete this google form and upload (within the form) a single pdf with the following elements:

  1. Applicant’s CV
  2. An unofficial transcript or list of courses undertaken during the PhD
  3. A one-page statement of interest indicating the reasons behind the applicant’s desire to participate in the fellowship, how the applicant believes they meet the stated qualifications, and one or more potential research questions the applicant would like to investigate during the fellowship

The application deadline is March 15, 2024. Finalists will be selected by April 1 for interviews to occur that week. Finalists will be asked for a letter of recommendation from their advisor. 

Final decisions will be released by May 1st. A waitlist may be maintained through one week before the start of the fellowship.

*All analyses will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the University of Delaware Institutional Review Board and the research offices and review boards of the participating school districts.