Improving the reliability of empirical research will require many strategies over many years. One “theory of change” is to start at the beginning by targeting undergraduates during their first experiences with collecting, processing, and interpreting data. If inculcated in college, good habits and rigorous expectations can last a lifetime. The benefits will be seen not only among those who go on to become academics, but also among those who become doctors, lawyers, leaders, and informed citizens generally.
With this motivation, economist Richard Ball has developed the Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research (TIER) Protocol, which guides novice researchers on how to work with data. Starting with liberal arts colleges, over 120 faculty have participated in extended workshops on how to teach this protocol, and it is being used in 25 courses, and been featured in webinars run by the American Statistical Association. Funds from this grant provide support to Ball to continue expanding valuable partnerships, training programs, and curricular development projects for the TIER protocol, with particular emphasis on improving its footprint at research universities.