Professional Biography

Rebecca 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 application of research synthesis methods in education and social policy. She designed and directed the University’s Predoctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Education Research, which served more than 75 Ph.D. students from Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education between 2004 and 2016. From 2010 through 2012, she served as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), where she oversaw the Institute’s evaluation initiatives, the What Works Clearinghouse, the Regional Education Laboratories, and the National Library of Education.

She is a Fellow of the American Education Research Association, an elected member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology, and recipient of the Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation (2009) and the Society for Research on Adolescence Social Policy Best Book Award for Kids Having Kids (1998). She also is past President of both the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1993, she was Senior Vice President at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Current and Recent Research Projects and Advisory Roles

Dr. Maynard has a varied portfolio of research projects, including roles as co-investigator for the Center for Research Use in Education and for an IES-funded evaluation of Year Up’s Professional Training Corps programs; co-PI for an IES-funded project of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness to develop a Registry of Causal Inference Research in Education; and as a member of the technical team for the What Works Clearinghouse Statistics, Website and Training (WWC-SWAT) project. In addition, she serves on numerous advisory boards and committees, including the advisory boards for Project Evident, Horizons National, the Western International School of Shanghai, and the Committee on Evidence-based Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


Published Research Tools

Dong, N., Kelcy, B., Spybrook, J., & Maynard, R. A. (2016). PowerUp! Moderator: A tool for calculating statistical power and minimum detectable effect size differences of the moderator effects in cluster randomized trials. [Software].

Dong, N., Kelcy, B., Spybrook, J., & Maynard, R. (2016). PowerUp! Mediator: A tool for calculating statistical power for causally-defined mediation in cluster randomized trials. [Software].

Dong, N., & Maynard, R. (2013). PowerUp!: Main Effects: A tool for calculating minimum detectable effect sizes and sample size requirements for experimental and quasi-experimental designs. [Software].


M.S. & Ph.D. (Economics - Public Finance & Labor), 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 Books, Articles, and Research Reports

Maynard, R., Baelen, R., Fein, D., Shivji, A., & Souvanna, P. (2018, June 18). Improving learning & development completion: Experimenting with alternative strategies for monitoring & supporting academics in the PTC. Post-read for Year Up staff conversation. Bethesda, MD: Abt Associates.

Anderson, D., Spybrook, J., & Maynard, R. (2018). REES: A Registry of efficacy and effectiveness studies in education. Educational Researcher. DOI: 0013189X18810513

Maynard, R. (July 2018). The role of federal agencies in the design and administration of evidence-based policies. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 678(1), 134–144.

Maynard, R. (2018). The practice and promise of policy analysis and program evaluation to improve decision-making within the U.S. federal government. In J. Hird (Ed.), Policy analysis in the United States. Bristol, UK: Policy Press at the University of Bristol, (pp. 93–112).

Maynard, R., Goldstein, N., & Nightingale, D. (2016). Program and policy evaluations in practice: Highlights from the federal perspective. In L. Peck (Ed.), New directions for evaluation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley (pp. 109–134). DOI: 10.1002/ev.20209

Granger, R., & Maynard R. A. (2015). Unlocking the potential of the "What Works" approach to policymaking and practice: Improving impact evaluations. American Journal of Evaluation. DOI: 10.1177/1098214015594420

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

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

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. DOI: 10.1080/19345747.2012.673143

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. DOI:

Metzger, C., Maynard, R., Vultaggio, J., Daizen, T., Promboon, S., Ip, K., Park, S. (2010). A comparative perspective on the secondary and post-secondary education systems in six nations: Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, Thailand and the United States. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 1511–1519. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.227.

Ritter, G., & Maynard, R. (2008). Using the right design to get the wrong answer? Results of a random assignment evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programJournal of Children's Services3(2), 4–16.

Hoffman, S., & Maynard, R. (co-editors & contributing authors). (2008). Kids having kids: Economic costs and social consequences of teenage pregnancy. Washington, DC: 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.

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. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press (pp. 359–402).

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, DC: 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.

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.

LaLonde, R., & Maynard, R. (1987). How precise are evaluations of employment and training programs? Evaluation Review, 11(4), 428–451.

Fraker, T., & Maynard, R. (1987). The adequacy of comparison groups designs for evaluations of employment-related programs. Journal of Human Resources, 22(2), 194–227.