The Institute for Education Science has awarded University faculty members $9.2 million for four different education research projects. Each of the University’s four projects that received IES grants focus on K-12 education. One project will focus on providing cultural proficiency training to teachers and closing the achievement gaps between white children and children of color. “We try to motivate teachers to make changes, to become aware of potential biases, and to create strategies to engage different learners in their classrooms,” said Catherine Bradshaw, associate dean for research at the Curry School and primary investigator for two of the funded projects. The other projects that were funded focus on providing students with adult mentors, evaluating Maryland’s statewide Positive Behavior strategy and providing students with more service-learning opportunities in science classrooms. The Curry School received the third-highest award among education schools across the country, Bradshaw said. “The Curry School and U.Va. were very broadly successful for IES funding,” Bradshaw said. The Curry School has been increasing its focus on research in recent years and has consistently secured funding awards, even while increasing its number of research submissions, Bradshaw said. In 2013, 104 applications were sent to the IES. In 2014, 166 proposals were submitted, Curry School Dean Robert Pianta said. “The Curry school in general has made a lot of strategic investments in our research area over the last five years or so under Dean Pianta’s leadership,” Bradshaw said. This growth is an opportunity to engage students in education research, Pianta said. “These are the kinds of projects that are examples of the way in which Curry faculty is engaged in solving problems in the real world,” Pianta said. The IES, a federal organization which provides funding for education research across the country, reviews grants through a rigorous peer review process. Faculty members from the Curry School and the College of Arts and Sciences will work together on the four projects.