Financial Education Database Training Fellowship Application

In 2021, Knology released a suite of research products to support A New History of Investment in Financial Education across the United States, a project funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

by Knology
Feb 14, 2022

In 2021, Knology released a suite of research products to support A New History of Investment in Financial Education across the United States, a project funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). These two products were developed for the field to use in future research.

  1. Our Database & R Package contains records of historical investment in financial education and financial health outcomes for residents across the United States. The database is open access and is offered in .CSV format and as an R package titled KnologyFinEdSpending.
  2. The Mapping Tool can be used to represent changes in financial education investments and financial health outcomes from 2001 to 2019. Designed as a Shiny app, the interactive Mapping Tool allows users to manipulate variables such as types of financial education investment and types of financial health indicators and compare data across states and years.

Knology and NEFE are pleased to offer an exclusive fellowship program for a small group of emerging scholars to contribute to the next wave of research, using the database and mapping tool. Fellows will receive technical support through a workshop series to develop research questions and design analysis plans that use the database, mapping tool, and any other publicly available datasets. Fellows will work collaboratively as part of a learning community at the start of the program and can work individually, with other fellows or their colleagues throughout the program. The goal of each fellow’s work will be to produce a final essay or report for Knology and NEFE’s websites, a peer review journal submission, a technical trade journal submission, popular press, presentation for public distribution, or web resource.

About the Database

From 2019 to 2020, Knology built an extensive database as part of our research into financial education spending at the state level and financial health outcomes for individuals living in those states. To build the database, Knology expanded existing datasets and gathered data that had not yet been centralized. The database features information on states’ mandates or legislation for financial education for middle and high school students, which we collected from previous studies, legal records, and web searches. To capture non-profit organizations’ investments in financial education, we received invaluable data and support from the Council for Economic Education. For information about financial health outcomes, we used data from the United States Federal Reserve’s annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking. 

Fellowship Overview

The fellowship will last from April 2022 to September 2022, with final reporting presented at the end of the project convening in September 2022. Fellows will attend two introductory sessions led by Knology in Spring 2022 that will introduce you to the database and mapping tool and allow you to workshop research ideas with the cohort of research fellows and Knology staff. The research will be self-guided with support from Knology and NEFE. Fellows will have the opportunity to schedule office hours with Knology and NEFE staff to receive support on topics such as:

  • Setting up research questions and plans
  • Coding and advanced statistical analysis in R for quantitative research
  • Instrument development for surveys and interview scripts
  • Writing for peer-reviewed journals
  • Other topics!

To consider:

  • Fellows may work with other fellows or outside collaborators to examine their research questions.
  • The current data package is in the statistical software R. Fellows may use statistical software other than R if they choose, but intermediate/advanced proficiency is advised as workshop organizers will not be able to assist with language troubleshooting outside of R.
  • Fellows may seek independent course credit for participation in the fellowship. NEFE and Knology cannot guarantee this or provide credit directly but can provide documentation as necessary if you wish to work with your institution to receive credit.

Fellowship Objectives

Building capacity of emerging scholars in using publicly available data on Financial Education to explore research questions that will advance the field.

Fellowship Requirements:

  • Attend introductory meetings to learn about the dataset and present/workshop ideas for research projects to Knology staff and other fellows. These meetings will be led by Joseph de la Torre Dwyer, lead researcher, and developer of the database & mapping tool
  • Regular bi-weekly check-ins with Knology staff to review progress and receive critical feedback
  • End of fellowship final written or programmed product (paper, presentation, report, web resource)


Who should apply? Graduate students or Early Career Researchers

  • Must have a background in social sciences, education, financial education, public policy, economic theory. Basic grounding in economic theory is ideal
  • Familiarity with data analysis in R or other coding languages
  • Master’s level statistics coursework preferred
  • Applicants of diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply


NEFE will provide eligible fellows a grant of $5,000 for successful completion of the program. Eligibility for the grant will be determined through the application process. Applicants may be eligible to participate in the fellowship even if they cannot accept the grant.

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