Call for U.S. Research Proposals for the Youth Financial Education Research Symposium

Deadline: 31 May 2019

The American Institutes for Research is issuing a Request for Research Proposals to advance research on youth financial education in order to improve practices and support policymakers and practitioners in the field of financial education.

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The goal of this Call for Papers is to advance research on youth financial education in order to improve practices and support policymakers and practitioners in the field of financial education. The topics should focus on a better understanding of financial education for youth.

Many young people reach adulthood without the basic financial knowledge and skills that are critical for establishing healthy financial futures. Given the increasing complexity of the financial services landscape, young people have a greater need to improve their financial capability.

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The CFPB has focused on evidence-based financial education initiatives. The Bureau’s youth financial education research strategy serves a number of Dodd-Frank Act statutory mandates and is consistent with the goals of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s (FLEC) National Strategy for Financial Literacy. It also supports the research agenda of the Federal Inter agency Working Group on Youth Policies’ (IWGYP) Positive Youth Development.


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The Bureau has three goals in mind for the Research Priorities:

  • Provide a research roadmap: First, the Bureau seeks to provide a roadmap for future research in youth financial education by identifying and documenting key research questions of interest to the field.
  • Encourage ongoing research activity and interest: Second, the Bureau seeks to encourage research that addresses the key questions outlined in this report. The Bureau can generate research, and, more important, interest in undertaking some of the proposed research inquiries among the wider field of researchers.
  • Translate research into action: The Bureau hopes to encourage the spreading and sharing of empirically-driven learning in order to support the continuous improvement and maturing of the field of youth financial education. The Bureau is committed to using evidence as the basis for an ongoing conversation across the field to identify implications for policy and practice.


There are three primary setting themes through which financial education can be administered for youth:

  • Schools: Schools offer an efficient way to reach young people at scale, especially those who may not have as much access to financial educational opportunities through other means. A number of states have recognized the value of including financial education into school curricula.
  • Households: It is common for financial behaviours to be learned at home by children observing caregivers and family members. Significant learning takes place in the household, shaping financial knowledge, habits, and attitudes that persist into adulthood. A longitudinal study found that parents exert the most influence over their children when it comes to developing positive financial attitudes and behaviours.
  • Communities: An important lesson in financial education is the value and efficacy of meeting people where they are, including in their communities. Community organizations, youth activity groups, libraries, faith-based groups,financial institutions and their trade associations, and others are creating opportunities to provide financial education to youth. By offering tailored programs, materials, and other avenues of learning, these groups help youth who may otherwise not be exposed to financial education.

Funding Information

Three researchers will receive a contract of up to $25,000. This amount includes travel expenses to the Bureau’s Research Symposium, where selected researchers will present their work. Researcher may use no more than $2,000 as travel expenses.


Selected papers are required to:

  • Focus on youth financial education;
  • Demonstrate substantive contribution to the field of financial education;
  • Constitute new, original work, to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal;
  • Use existing data sets; and
  • Be presented by author participating at the CFPB’s Youth Financial Education Research Symposium in Spring 2020 (Date TBD) in Washington, DC.

Eligibility Criteria

  • All applicant award recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Applicant type (academic, graduate student/early career academic, financial education practitioner, policy maker, applied researcher).
  • Target Journal: Include the name of the first journal to which the paper will be submitted.
  • Publication Record: Include each authors’ past five (5) years’ publications in peer reviewed journals as either lead author or co-author, showing no more than the 10 most recent publications.

Note: Subcontract award funds cannot be used to collect new data.

How to Apply

All proposals should include the following information:

  • Resumes or Curricula Vitae of authors that include academic degrees, current and past institutional affiliation(s), list of publications, and current and past grant/contracts awarded.
  • Structured Abstract: A 500 word (maximum) abstract that provides an overview of the proposed research, the research questions it is intended to answer, the methods that will be used to answer the research questions, and the value findings may have for research, policy, and/or practice.
  • Narrative Description: A 1,500 word (maximum) description detailing the proposed research that must include:
    • research question(s);
    • contribution to the field of financial education;
    • data sources and study population, including whether or not the data are publicly available, the representativeness of the population, and any limitations of the data;
    • research design, including limitations of the design, and analytic methods to be used, including the appropriateness of these methods; and
    • the anticipated ability of the final product (with all limitations taken into consideration) to inform financial education practices or policy.
  • All manuscript proposals must be submitted via electronic mail given on the website.

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