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Institute of Education Sciences: Education Research Grants

Deadline: August 17, 2017

Through the Education Research Grants program, the Institute of Education Sciences seeks to improve the quality of education for all students — prekindergarten through postsecondary and adult education — by advancing the understanding of and practices for teaching, learning, and organizing education systems. By identifying what works, what doesn’t, and why, the goal of this research grant program is to improve education outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure.

The Institute is most interested in two types of education outcomes: (1) student academic outcomes and (2) student social and behavioral competencies that support success in school and afterwards. Student education outcomes should align with the theory of change guiding the proposed research and applicants should describe this alignment when discussing student outcomes and their measures.

Proposed research must be relevant to education in the United States and must address factors under the control of the U.S. education system (be it at the national, state, local, or school level). To help ensure such relevance, the Institute requires researchers to work within or with data from authentic education settings. Authentic education settings include both in-school settings (including PreK centers) and formal programs that take place after school or out of school (e.g., after-school programs, distance learning programs, online programs) under the control of schools or state and local education agencies.

The Institute uses a topic structure to encourage focused programs of research. The Institute’s current topic structure includes 11 standing topics and three special topics. The standing topics are defined by specific populations of learners (Early Learning Programs and Policies, English Learners, Postsecondary and Adult Education), salient student education outcomes (Reading and Writing; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education; Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning), or potential mechanisms of intervention (Cognition and Student Learning, Education Leadership, Education Technology, Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching, Improving Education Systems). In FY 2018, the Institute will consider applications under three special topics: Arts in Education, Career and Technical Education, and Systemic Approaches to Educating Highly Mobile Students.

Each application must be directed to one of five research goals: Exploration; Development and Innovation; Efficacy and Replication; Effectiveness; or Measurement. The research goal identifies the purpose of the work applicants will be doing within the topic-defined field.

  • The Exploration goal supports the identification of malleable factors associated with student education outcomes and/or the factors and conditions that mediate or moderate that relationship. By doing so, Exploration projects are intended to build and inform theoretical foundations for (1) the development of interventions or the evaluation of interventions, or (2) the development and validation of assessments.
  • The Development and Innovation goal (Development/Innovation) supports the development of new interventions and the further development or modification of existing interventions that are intended to produce beneficial impacts on student education outcomes when implemented in authentic education settings.
  • The Efficacy and Replication goal (Efficacy/Replication) supports the evaluation of fully developed education interventions with evidence of promise for improving student education outcomes, as well as education interventions that are widely used but not yet rigorously tested, to determine whether they produce a beneficial impact on student education outcomes relative to a counterfactual when they are implemented under ideal or routine conditions by the end user in authentic education settings.
  • The Effectiveness goal supports the independent evaluation of fully developed education interventions with prior evidence of efficacy to determine whether they produce a beneficial impact on student education outcomes relative to a counterfactual when they are implemented by the end user under routine conditions in authentic education settings.
  • The Measurement goal supports (1) the development of new assessments or refinement of existing assessments (Development/Refinement Projects) or (2) the validation of existing assessments for specific purposes, contexts, and populations (Validation Projects).

To ensure that findings from the Education Research Grants program are shared with all interested audiences, the Institute also requires all applicants to present a plan to disseminate project findings.

Amount: Varies based on type of research goal:

  • Exploration: Up to $600,000 for a two-year study using secondary data; up to $1,400,000 for a four-year study using primary data
  • Development and Innovation: Up to $1,400,000 for a four-year period
  • Efficacy and Replication: Up to $700,000 for a three-year period for retrospective studies; up to $1,100,000 for a three-year period for follow-up studies; up to $3,300,000 for a five-year period for replication studies; and up to $3,300,000 for a five-year period for efficacy studies
  • Effectiveness: Up to $1,400,000 for a three-year period for follow-up studies; and up to $3,800,000 for a five-year period for effectiveness studies
  • Measurement: Up to $1,400,000 for a four-year period

Eligibility: Applicants that have the ability and capacity to conduct scientific research are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, non-profit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities.

Link: https://ies.ed.gov/funding/

Note: Letters of Intent are encouraged and due by June 22, 2017.

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