Can Virtual Training Help Nurture Invisible Geniuses?

Last registered on April 13, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Can Virtual Training Help Nurture Invisible Geniuses?
Initial registration date
April 01, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 13, 2023, 3:21 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

University of Bristol

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Many talented youths don’t realize their potential due to various barriers. This research project aims to find ways to identify and nurture talent in the context of mathematics, by running a randomized controlled trial combining virtual training (an intensive 4-month-long course delivered by a state-of-the-art education provider) with small cash grants as an incentive. We work with national mathematics organizations in a dozen developing countries to recruit top scorers in national intermediate mathematics competitions for the project. We then investigate whether the training enables individuals to further develop their talent. Meanwhile, the cash prizes provide incentives to engage with the training fully, and they also recognize and empower individuals. Our primary endpoint is learning as measured by the performance on a dedicated math test.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Agarwal, Ruchir and Patrick Gaule. 2023. "Can Virtual Training Help Nurture Invisible Geniuses?." AEA RCT Registry. April 13.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


We provide access to a virtual training course. The course covers Intermediate Counting and Probability and is specifically aimed at gifted high-school students. The course runs weekly for 18 sessions of 1.5 hours each and also includes regular homework.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Performance at a dedicated math test.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will set up a test specifically aimed at measuring learning.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Life satisfaction
Satisfaction with career prospects
Intention to study abroad
Math Olympiad Results
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Most secondary outcomes will be collected through a survey.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We define clusters of size 4 of students from the same country and similar talent levels. Within each cluster, we randomize half of the participants to the treatment group.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual students
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 clusters (groups of students from the same country and with similar levels of talent)
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 students in treatment, 300 students in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
+0.23 standard deviation in a standardized test with mean 0 and standard deviation 1.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
School of Economics Research Ethics Committee (SEREC) [at the University of Bristol]]
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number