The Spencer Foundation is seeking applications for the Small Research Grants on Education Program to support education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived.
The goal of this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education. They seek to support scholarship that develops new foundational knowledge that may have a lasting impact on educational discourse.
- Budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years.
- Proposals to the Research Grants on Education program must be for academic research projects that aim to study education. Proposals for activities other than research are not eligible (e.g., program evaluations, professional development, curriculum development, scholarships, capital projects). Additionally, proposals for research studies focused on areas other than education, are not eligible.
- Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Small Research Grant on Education must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.
- The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization 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 colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.
- 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.
How To Apply
Small Grant proposals must be submitted through an online application form following the guidelines below.
- Step 1 – Registration
- Note: This application is configured for the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project to register and submit the form. If someone other than the PI will be completing the online application (e.g., an administrative assistant), the PI should register as described in Step 1, then provide their username and password to the person assisting them with the application.
- If you (the PI) have never accessed the Spencer Foundation online portal, you must register and create a profile by clicking the “Register Here” button on their email address. Follow the guidelines on the registration page to create your profile.
- If you already have an account, log on to update your profile and access the application.
- Step 2 – My Profile
- After logging in, follow the directions to complete the information requested on the My Profile page and upload your current CV (10-page limit). The My Profile page is your online account with the Spencer Foundation whether you are applying for a grant, reviewing a proposal, or submitting a grantee report.
- Note: If you will have Co-PIs on your project, they must also register and complete their profile information if they wish to be included in the application.
- Step 3 – Start a Proposal
- To fill out the application, go to your Workbench and click the Apply button for the Small Research Grants on Education. Your draft application can be saved and returned so that you may continue work on it at a later time and can be found on your Draft Proposals list on your Workbench.
- The Small Research Grants Program in Education uses a peer review process for all eligible submissions. Each proposal will be reviewed by both external panel reviewers and internal staff. The review process for this program takes approximately 5-6 months from the deadline date.
- The review panel for this program is made up of scholars in the field of education research with expertise across many disciplines and methodological areas. Panelist are asked to rate and comment on the following aspects of your proposal:
- Significance of the Project: Reviewers will evaluate the centrality of education in the research, the importance of the topic to its field, and the quality of the research question(s) and/or direction of inquiry.
- Connection to Research and Theory: Reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the description of how other researchers have treated the same topic and how well the proposal responds to prior work and theory.
- Research Design: Reviewers will evaluate the overall quality, sophistication, and appropriateness of the research design as well as its alignment with the research question(s) and/or conceptual framing.
- Budget and Timeline: Reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the budget and timeline.
- Project Team: Reviewers will comment on the potential of the investigator(s) to complete the study as described and share the results or other findings.
For more information, visit https://www.spencer.org/grant_types/small-research-grant