An Impact Evaluation of the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program

Last registered on September 08, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

An Impact Evaluation of the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program
Initial registration date
September 08, 2020

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
September 08, 2020, 2:43 PM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

University of Notre Dame

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
College of William and Mary
PI Affiliation
University of Illinois

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We will implement a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program for underserved young adults. Interns complete a 4-month boot camp during which they build technology and leadership skills, receive a weekly stipend, and network with local technology executives. Alumni receive 20 months of post-program support. The program screens applicants on leadership ability and grit. After this initial screening, successful applicants will be randomly assigned either to a final panel interview that determines program access, or to a control group that is ineligible to participate. We will recruit an experimental sample of 750 individuals distributed evenly between the treatment and control groups. Our study has two aims. First, we will investigate factors that predict successful selection into the program using data collected during the application process. Second, we will exploit experimental variation in program participation to estimate the program’s causal impact on earnings, education, and usage of government programs over two years. We hypothesize that access to the i.c.stars program increases students’ earnings, either leads to or substitutes for formal education, and reduces reliance on government benefits.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Reif, Julian, William Skimmyhorn and Patrick Turner. 2020. "An Impact Evaluation of the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program." AEA RCT Registry. September 08.
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Experimental Details


The evaluation will include applicants to the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program who consent to participate in the study. All applicants will be offered a gift card ($10) to participate in the research study. Applicants are screened for leadership ability and grit using written essays, questions about leadership scenarios, and simple coding exercises. Successful applicants will be randomized into a treatment group or a control group. The treatment group will complete a final panel interview that determines program access. The program includes four months of technology and leadership training, during which participants receive a weekly stipend (Chicago interns receive $200 per week and Milwaukee interns receive $150 per week). Program alumni receive professional development training, coaching, and placement services for up to 20 months.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Quarterly earnings and employment based on state UI earnings data; Annual earnings from tax returns
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Outcomes will be measured relative to the cohort start date that the individual applied to. Because the training component of the program lasts four months, our primary earnings outcomes will be measured three to six quarters after application. We will construct two primary measures: (i) earnings (ii) indicator for earning more than $7,500 in a quarter ($30,000 in a year)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We will endeavor to link applicants to secondary outcomes related to government benefit receipt: SNAP and TANF participation and receipt amount, Medicaid participation based on state administrative records (if possible); as well as outcomes related to post-secondary education (National Student Clearinghouse), credit bureau records, and address history (Infutor data solutions).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will recruit study participants from applicants to the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program. Each applicant completes a form that includes demographic and socioeconomic information that will be used as potential baseline covariates. Applicants will meet individually with the i.c.stars recruitment manager to be introduced to the study. Applicants who consent to be included in the research will receive a $10 gift card for their participation.

We will implement stratified randomization before the final step of the screening process. Applicants who have passed all steps of the screening process leading up to a final panel interview will be entered into a lottery to determine treatment status. Randomization will be stratified within each site (Chicago, Milwaukee) based on gender (male vs. female or other) and educational attainment (high school diploma or GED vs. some college).

Individuals placed in the treatment group will be invited to complete the final step of program screening, a panel interview. Based on their performance in the interview, they will either be (i) invited to enroll in the program, (ii) placed on a wait list, or (iii) informed they were not accepted into the program. Those who are assigned to the control group will not be invited to continue the process.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done on an office computer using Stata’s pseudo-random number generator.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
750 applicants
Sample size: planned number of observations
750 applicants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
375 applicants in the treatment group; 375 applicants in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We assume a post-randomization take-up rate of 64 percent (share of the treatment group who enroll in the program), 80 percent power, and a type-1 error rate of 5 percent. We base control group means and standard deviations on the reported outcomes in the Year Up evaluation (Fein and Hamadyk,2018). Under these assumptions we are powered to detect the following effects under simple random assignment: Quarterly Earnings MDE: $1,150 increase among those who enrolled in the program; $740 increase for the entire treatment group (mean = $3,600; SD = $3,600) Indicator for earning more than $30,000 per year: 11.4 percentage point increase among those who enrolled in the program; 7.3 percentage point increase for the entire treatment group (mean = 0.15)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Notre Dame Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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