Michael Kieffer, an advanced doctoral student in language and literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is the recipient of the International Reading Association’s (IRA) Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship. The award, which includes a $6,000 prize, was conferred at the association’s 53rd annual convention May 4-8 in Atlanta.

The fellowship encourages and supports research on reading by promising scholars. Kieffer is recognized for his research designed to inform policy and instructional practice to serve the needs of adolescent students, especially English language learners (ELL) in urban settings. Kieffer’s dissertation research combines a longitudinal study of English language learners’ vocabulary knowledge and word learning strategies with evaluation of an academic language intervention in several urban middle schools.

The Chall Research Fellowship supports research efforts in beginning reading (theory, research, and practice that improves the effectiveness of learning to read); readability (methods of predicting the difficulty of texts); reading difficulty (diagnosis, treatment, and prevention); stages of reading development; the relation of vocabulary to reading; and diagnosing and teaching adults with limited reading ability.