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Grants to USA Researchers for Projects Related to Early Childhood Education and Care

Young Scholars Program (YSP)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
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);

Important Dates
LOI Date: 06/13/23
Deadline: 10/19/23 8:00 PM EDT/7:00 PM CDT/6:00 PM MDT/5:00 PM PDT Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories early-stage researchers affiliated with qualifying nonprofit institutions, research firms, and IHEs for projects related to early childhood education and care. Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent prior to applying. Funding is intended to support implementation research that examines the competency and professional learning of the early care and education workforce. Funds may be used for the principal investigator's salary and direct research expenses.

The Foundation for Child Development is currently accepting proposals for its 2024 Young Scholars Program (YSP). YSP supports scholarship for early-career researchers. 

The Foundation for Child Development believes that high-quality early learning experiences are crucial for the healthy lifelong development and learning of young children across the birth to age eight continuum. The Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports implementation research that is policy- and practice-relevant and that examines the preparation, competency, compensation, well-being, and ongoing professional learning of the early care and education (ECE) workforce. The Foundation believes that a deeper understanding of the role of ECE professionals in enhancing young children's early learning experiences can ultimately improve the chances for all children to reach their full potential.

Three specific goals frame the Foundation's current programmatic priority to strengthen the ECE workforce:

  1. Professionalize the early childhood field and build greater awareness of the status of the early childhood workforce.
  2. Enhance the quality of professional practice.
  3. Improve teacher preparation and ongoing professional learning, with special attention to the Influence and role of institutions of higher education. 

All proposed research must have primary questions that are relevant to at least one of the Foundation's three ECE workforce goals.  For information on research focus, see

Applications that represent a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches are encouraged. 

The Foundation is specifically interested in research that can strenthen the ECE professionals who serve the YSP priority populations of young children who experience the harmful effects of poverty, racism, xenophobia, prejudice, and discrimination across the birth to age eight continuum. For more information on priority populations, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria

1. Principal Investigators must have received their doctoral degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., J.D.) between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2022. Physician applicants must have received their M.D. degrees between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2022. A minimum of one year must have elapsed since receiving their degrees before Principal Investigators may apply to the program.

2. For the duration of the fellowship, Principal Investigators must be full-time, paid employees of the affiliated 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (located within the United States and its territories).

3. The affiliated 501 (c)(3) nonprofit institution/organization (such as research firms, colleges, or universities) must have a minimum annual operating budget of $2.5 million, have a minimum three-year track record in leading and conducting at least three multi-year research projects, describe research in recent annual reports, and have produced and publicly disseminated a minimum of five publications (over the last five years) reporting the results of their research.

4. The applicant is the sole Principal Investigator and will lead the proposed research (no Co-Investigators).

5. More than one applicant may apply from a single institution.

6. Returning applicants are welcome and strongly encouraged to re-apply.

To increase the diversity of research perspectives, the Foundation encourages applications from scholars who are from underrepresented groups that have historically experienced poverty, racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Such groups include, but are not limited to, researchers of color, first-generation college graduates, and those from low-income communities and/or immigrant families.

Pre-Application Information
- April 18, 2023: Call for Proposals for 2024 YSP opens
- June 13, 2023: LOI Deadline: Online LOI closes at 8 PM EDT | 7 PM CDT | 6 PM MDT | 5 PM PDT
- August 2023: Latest notification of LOI status and invitations to submit a Full Application
- October 19, 2023: Full Application Deadline: Online Full Application closes at 8 PM EDT | 7 PM CDT | 6 PM MDT | 5 PM PDT
- Early April 2024: Latest notification of Full Application status

Award notification for each cycle typically occurs in April.

If the Foundation approves your LOI, you will be invited to submit a Full Application and will be given access to the online application form. For those invited to submit a Full Application, the host institution will be required to submit a letter of support. For “Research Universities or Other Higher Education Institutions,” the letter is usually written from the Dean/Chair of the department where the PI holds their position.

It is not expected that your IRB application should be completed and approved before you submit your YSP proposal at the LOI or Full Application stage. However, it is required that you begin the process before you submit your Full Application. You will be required to upload a confirmation email or document from your IRB committee stating that they have received your application for IRB review.

The recipient is required to complete research that results in a manuscript (report, book, article) suitable for publication for which the PI is the first author.

Each award will be paid directly to, and administered by, the affiliated nonprofit organization at which the recipient holds his/her full-time position.

Principal investigators may only submit one proposal during an award cycle.

Call for Proposals:


Past webinar recordings:

View the new 2024 Young Scholars Program LOI Webinar:

Number of Grants
Up to three grants will be awarded each year.

Estimated Size of Grant
Research projects involving primary data collection or a combination of primary data collection and secondary data analysis are eligible for a grant award, including indirect costs, up to $225,000 to be used over a two- to three-year period.

The maximum grant award for research projects solely focused on secondary data analysis is $180,000, including indirect costs, to be used over a two- to three-year period.

Term of Contract
Grants are to be used over a two- to three-year period. Research projects must be initiated with three months of award notification.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

For questions and technical assistance, please email

Foundation for Child Development
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 248
New York, NY 10115

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