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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Researchers for Research Projects Related to Improving Education

Research Grants on Education: Small


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
The Spencer Foundation
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
International, Israel and Canada.

Important Dates
Deadline: 08/09/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International researchers who are affiliated with nonprofit organizations, such as IHEs, school districts, and research facilities, for research projects in the field of education. Funding is intended to support field-initiated academic research studies spanning a range of disciplines and topics that explore improvements in education. Funded projects may pertain to any stage or level from early childhood to adult learning, and may focus on contexts outside of school.

The Small Research Grants Program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location.The goal for 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. The Foundation seeks to support scholarship that develops new foundational knowledge that may have a lasting impact on educational discourse.

The Foundation values work that fosters creative and open-minded scholarship, engages in deep inquiry, and examines robust questions related to education. To this end, the program supports proposals from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives, both domestically and internationally, from scholars at various stages in their career. Funded projects will span a wide range of topics and disciplines that innovatively investigate questions central to education, including for example education, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, economics, history, or neuroscience, amongst others.

Projects may utilize a wide array of research methods including quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods, ethnographies, design-based research, participatory methods, and historical research, to name a few. Projects may incorporate data from multiple and varied sources, span a sufficient length of time as to achieve a depth of understanding, or work closely with practitioners or community members over the life of the project.

Eligible investigators may request additional supplemental funds for a course release.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Small Research Grant on Education must have earned a 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 S (or equivalent nonprofit status if the organization is outside of the United States).

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.

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.

Budgets may not include indirect cost charges.

Pre-Application Information
Applications Open: June 1, 2023

Full Proposal Deadline: August 9, 2023

Applications are accepted three times per year.

The review process for this program takes approximately 6-7 months from the deadline date.

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.)

Estimated Size of Grant
Budgets are up to $50,000.

Term of Contract
Projects range from one to five years.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Program Contact:
Cynthia Soto

The Spencer Foundation
625 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60611

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