U.S. Department of Education: Education Innovation and Research Program-Early Phase Grants
The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations. The EIR program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of those solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.
EIR-Early Phase Grants provide funding to support the development, implementation, and feasibility testing of a program, which prior research suggests has promise, for the purpose of determining whether the program can successfully improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students. Early-phase grants must demonstrate a rationale. Early-phase grants are not intended simply to implement established practices in additional locations or address needs that are unique to one particular context. The goal is to determine whether and in what ways relatively newer practices can improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.
The Early-phase competition includes three absolute priorities and two invitational priorities. All Early-phase applicants must address absolute priority one. Early-phase applicants are also required to address one of the other two absolute priorities. Applicants have the option of addressing one or more of the invitational priorities. These priorities are detailed below:
- Absolute Priority One—Demonstrates a Rationale: Projects must demonstrate a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes.
- Absolute Priority Two—Field-Initiated Innovations—General: Funding will be provided to projects that are designed to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.
- Absolute Priority Three-Field-Initiated Innovations—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, with a Particular Focus on Computer Science: Funding will be provided to projects that are designed to: (1) create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students, and; (2) improve student achievement or other educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science. These projects must address the following priority area: creating or expanding partnerships between schools, local educational agencies, state educational agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, or institutions of higher education to give students access to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based learning experiences in STEM fields, including computer science.
- Invitational Priority One-Personalized Learning: Projects that support educators in personalizing learning for all students so that learning opportunities may be tailored to fit the needs of individual students. In personalized learning environments, the pace, location, and delivery method of education may vary based on individual student interests and needs. Personalized learning approaches recognize that there are multiple pathways through which students can develop and demonstrate academic competencies and social-emotional skills aligned to college- and career-ready standards and that students may attain these competencies and skills in different amounts of time. Examples of personalized learning instructional approaches include dynamic student groupings, student-driven projects, and the use of adaptive technologies, such as digital curricula to both accelerate, and to target gaps in, student learning. Personalized learning approaches use data to provide ongoing feedback about student progress to educators, students, and their families and to adjust learning strategies in real-time.
- Invitational Priority Two—Early Learning and Cognitive Development: Projects that improve early learning and cognitive development outcomes through neuroscience-based and scientifically validated interventions.
Amount: A total of $115,000,000 is available for all three types of EIR programs (Early-phase, Mid-phase, and Expansion grants). A total of 8-16 Early Phase grants are expected to be made that range up to $4,000,000 for a project period of 60 months. At least 25 percent of EIR funds will be awarded to applicants serving rural areas, contingent on receipt of a sufficient number of applications of sufficient quality. Grant recipients must provide, from federal, state, local, or private sources, an amount equal to 10 percent of funds provided under the grant, which may be provided in cash or through in-kind contributions, to carry out activities supported by the grant.
Eligibility: Local educational agency (LEA); state educational agency; the Bureau of Indian Education; a consortium of SEAs or LEAs; a nonprofit organization; and an SEA, an LEA, a consortium described, or the Bureau of Indian Education, in partnership with a nonprofit organization, a business, an educational service agency, or an institution of higher education.
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