University of Virginia Post-Doctoral Education Science Training Program on English Learners (EL-VEST)

The University of Virginia Post-Doctoral Education Science Training Program on English Learners (EL-VEST) offers an interdisciplinary post-doctoral experience designed to recent doctoral graduates to engage in rigorous research in education science focused on English Learners. The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Fellows will receive training that deepens their understanding of the strengths and challenges faced by ELs particularly in school-based contexts. Fellows will also engage in experiences that give them hands-on experiences working with partners (districts, departments of education, education innovation organizations) addressing some of our most intractable challenges in supporting the achievement of EL students, their teachers, and schools. Finally, fellows will receive training in rigorous education research methods and statistics. Fellows come to the University of Virginia and have the opportunity to immerse themselves in mentored research experiences, attend talks and workshops, and address research problems that emanate from partners in the field. New post-docs join a cohort of people at the same point in their career and have opportunities to be mentored and to mentor. The faculty mentors and post-doc craft an individualized plan to help the post-docs reach the next step in their career.

Current Openings

The program is currently recruiting for two postdoctoral fellows to begin training in summer 2022. To apply, visit and search Posting Number R0030894.


The fellows will work with either Sara Rimm-Kaufman or Natalia Palacios as their primary mentor and will develop a line of research that involves collaboration with one or more secondary mentors.

Secondary mentors include:

Associated Staff

Julie Thomas

EL-VEST Coordinator, has been working at UVA SEHD for 13 years and brings deep expertise in project, grant, and budget management – all information that she shares with EL-VEST post-docs to help them learn these critical skills. In this project, she is the primary contact for logistics. As a mother of three, one of her superpowers is her ability to balance many projects at once and bring joy and humor to even the blandest research-related activities. On the weekends you can find her carting kids between soccer, gymnastics, and theater classes, and finding spare moments in between to knock down walls on her latest renovation project with her husband.

Research Project Opportunities