Professional Biography

Dr. Maynard is a leading expert in the design and conduct of randomized controlled trials in the areas of education and social policy. She has conducted influential methodological research, including co-developing PowerUP! to support efficient sample designs for causal inference studies, and she has been influential in advancing the development and application of research synthesis methods. In 2016 she will step down from a 12-year tenure as director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Predoctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Education Research, which has served more than 75 Ph.D. students from Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education. 

From 2010 through 2012, Dr. Maynard served as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). As Commissioner, she oversaw the Institute’s evaluation initiatives, the What Works Clearinghouse, the Regional Education Laboratories, and the National Library of Education (including ERIC). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, she was Senior Vice President at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Maynard is president of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, a member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology, a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and a member of the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics management committee. She is past president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and methods editor for both the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. She has received APPAM’s Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation (2009), the Society for Prevention Research Public Service Award (2008; co-recipient), and the Best Book Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence (1998).


M.S. & Ph.D. (Economics), University of Wisconsin, Madison

B.A. (Economics), University of Connecticut, Phi Beta Kappa

Areas of Expertise

Education and social welfare policy
Economics of education
Experimental & qualitative research methods
Research synthesis methods

Selected Publications

Maynard, R. A. (2015). [Review of the book Fighting for reliable evidence, by J. Gueron & H. Rolston]. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 243–247.

Orr, L., & Maynard, R. (2015). Social experiments. In J. B. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed., pp. 291–300). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Earle, J., Maynard, R., & Neild, R. (Joint Committee Co-Chairs). (2013, August). Common guidelines for education research and development. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences & National Science Foundation.

Maynard, R. (2014, January). Policy should focus on better contraception, not more marriage [Social Mobility Memos web blog]. Washington, DC:  Brookings Institution.

Nianbo, N., & Maynard, R. (2013). PowerUp!: A tool for calculating minimum detectable effect sizes and minimum required sample sizes for experimental and quasi-experimental design studies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 6(1), 24–67.

Hawkinson, L. E., Griffen, A., Dong, N., & Maynard, R. (2012). The relationship between child care subsidies and children’s cognitive development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly28(2), 388–404.

Hoffman, S., & Maynard, R. (2008). The study, the context, and findings in brief. In S. Hoffman & R. Maynard (Eds.), Kids having kids: Economic costs and social consequences of teen pregnancy (pp. 1–24). Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press.

Maynard, R., & Hoffman, S. (2008). The costs of adolescent childbearing. In S. Hoffman & R. Maynard (Eds.), Kids having kids: Economic costs and social consequences of teen pregnancy (pp. 359–402). Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press.

Dong, N., Maynard, R., & Perez-Johnson, I. (2008). Averaging effect sizes within and across studies of interventions aimed at improving child outcomes. Child Development Perspectives, 2(3), 187–197.

Herman, R., Dawson, P., Dee, T., Greene, J., Maynard, R., Redding, S., & Dawson, M. (2008). Turning around chronically low-performing schools:  A Practice guide (NCEE #2008-4020). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.

Amato, P., & Maynard, R. (Fall 2007). Decreasing nonmarital births and increasing marriage to reduce poverty. The Future of Children, 17(2), 117–141.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University.

Herman, R., Boruch, R., Powel, R., & Maynard, R. (2007). Overcoming the challenge: A response to Alan Schoenfeld’s “What Doesn’t Work." American Education Research Journal, 35(2), 22–23.

Perez-Johnson, I., & Maynard, R. (2007). The case for early targeted interventions to prevent academic failure. Peabody Journal of Education, 82(4), 589–616.

Maynard, R., & Wilcox, B. (2007). Conducting field experiments of setting-level policies and practices. New York: William T. Grant Foundation Annual Report.

Maynard, R. (2006). Presidential address: Evidence-based decision making: What will it take for the decision makers to care? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 25(2), 1–17.