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Institute of Education Sciences: Special Education Research Grants

Deadline: August 17, 2017

Through the Special Education Research Grants program, the Institute of Education Sciences seeks to expand the knowledge base and understanding of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through advancing the understanding of and practices for teaching, learning, and organizing education systems.

All research supported under the Special Education Research Grants program must focus on children with or at risk for a disability. The Institute encourages research on high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities, and English learners with disabilities, across all topic areas and goals. Applicants should include education outcomes of students that align with their theory of change.

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 and formal programs (e.g., early intervention and early childhood special education, after-school programs, distance learning programs, online programs) used by schools or state and local education agencies.

The Institute uses a topic structure to encourage focused programs of research; applications must be directed to 1 of 11 research topics: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education; Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education; Families of Children with Disabilities; Mathematics and Science Education; Professional Development for Teachers and School-Based Service Providers; Reading, Writing, and Language Development; Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning; Special Education Policy, Finance, and Systems; Technology for Special Education; or Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with Disabilities.

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 or the evaluation of interventions, or (2) assessment frameworks for 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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