The current demand is not being met for researchers trained in rigorous, quantitative research. This shortage of educational researchers is critical in the area of engineering education, since very few doctorates in engineering have an education focus, and even fewer have significant assessment content in their educational programs. Previous publications detailed plans to develop coursework in engineering education and discussed the target groups for engineering education degree programs. In this paper, we focus on building a strong research base for Engineering Education and future program graduates at Virginia Tech. Central to this mission is collaboration across departments and colleges, including but not limited to Engineering and Education. This will be accomplished by leveraging existing research collaborations with a variety of innovative graduate program structures.