The Spencer Foundation is seeking applications for its Research-Practice Partnership (RRP) Grants Program to support education research projects that engage in collaborative and participatory partnerships.
This grant program is open to partnerships between researchers and a broad array of practitioners. They define practitioners as school districts, county offices of education, state educational organizations, policy-makers, universities, community-based organizations, out-of-school-time providers, informal educators, and other social sectors that significantly impact learners’ lives. As such, they are open to applications from design-based research teams, networked improvement communities, placed-based research alliances, and other partnership arrangements.
Project budgets up to $400,000 and durations of up to three years.
Activities that May be Funded
- Research Activities: Each proposal should describe new research that would be launched or existing research activities that would be expanded with the grant. Examples might include randomized trials of new curricula, participatory studies with learner and family co-researchers; design-based research focused on teacher classroom practice; needs mapping with community partners; or deep descriptive work focused on a range of learner outcomes. They encourage a wide range of research methods and approaches.
- Research Infrastructure: Funds may be used for building and sustaining infrastructure needs for the research activities of the partnership. These infrastructure needs may apply to the full range of methodological approaches.
- Outreach, Communications, and Relationship Building: Activities that strengthen the working relationship between partners and other stakeholders are also a possible component of the projects. Successful research-practice partnerships devote a great deal of attention to building and maintaining trust across stakeholder groups and within their partnership.
- Capacity Development: Many research-practice partnerships seek to assist the practice partner in developing capacity to use research evidence and data in their daily decision-making. Funds could be used to learn how to better engage others in research, conduct better practice-driven research, or to be better equipped to communicate complex research findings to practitioners, families, communities, or policy makers that were not primary partners.
- Proposals to the Research-Practice Partnership program must be for research and other activities aimed to support collaborative partnerships between academic researcher(s) and a broad array of practitioner(s) of education.
- Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Research-Practice Partnership Grant are expected to have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or demonstrated professional experience appropriate for this program. Note: If the PI or Co-PI from the practice side of the partnership does not have an earned doctorate, they are expected to have appropriate professional experience to serve in this role in the partnership. While graduate students may be part of the team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.
- The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization or public/governmental institution that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals. Examples include non-profit or public colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS (or equivalent non-profit status if the organization is outside of the United States).
- The PI associated with the administering organization for this grant could be either the practitioner or researcher of the partnership. At least one Co-PI should be from the other member organization(s).
- Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.
- Research-Practice Partnership budget totals are limited to $400,000 including up to 15% indirect cost charges.
- Duration proposed may not be longer than 3 years.
- PIs and Co-PIs may only hold one active research grant from the Spencer Foundation at a time. (This restriction does not apply to the administering organization; organizations may submit as many proposals as they like as long as they are for different projects and have different research teams.)
- PIs and Co-PIs may not submit more than one research proposal to the Spencer Foundation at a time. This restriction applies to the Small Grants Program, Large Grants Program, and Research-Practice Partnership Program. If the PI or any of the Co-PIs currently have a research proposal under consideration in any of these programs, they are required to wait until a final decision has been made on the pending proposal before they can submit a new proposal.
For more information, visit https://www.spencer.org/grant_types/research-practice-partnerships