U.S. Department of Education: Education Innovation and Research Program – Expansion 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 education challenges and to support the expansion of those solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.
All EIR projects are expected to generate information regarding their effectiveness in order to inform EIR grantees’ efforts to learn about and improve upon their efforts, and to help similar, non-EIR efforts across the country benefit from EIR grantees’ knowledge. By requiring that all grantees conduct independent evaluations of their EIR projects, EIR ensures that its funded projects make a significant contribution to improving the quality and quantity of information available to practitioners and policymakers about which practices improve student achievement and attainment, for which types of students, and in what contexts.
Expansion grants will provide funding for implementation and rigorous evaluation of a program that has been found to produce sizable, significant impacts under a Mid-phase grant or other effort meeting similar criteria, for the purposes of: (a) Determining whether such impacts can be successfully reproduced and sustained over time; and (b) identifying the conditions in which the program is most effective. Expansion grants are supported by evidence that demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study for at least one population and setting, and grantees are encouraged to implement at the national level.
The Expansion competition includes three absolute priorities. All Expansion applicants must address Absolute Priority 1. Expansion applicants are also required to address one of the other two absolute priorities:
- Absolute Priority 1—Strong Evidence, establishes the evidence requirement for this tier of grants. All Expansion applicants must submit prior evidence of effectiveness that meets the strong evidence standard.
- Absolute Priority 2—Field-Initiated Innovations—General, allows applicants to propose projects that align with the intent of the EIR program statute: To create and take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment.
- Absolute Priority 3—Field-Initiated Innovations—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), is intended to highlight the Administration’s efforts to ensure the Nation’s economic competitiveness by improving and expanding STEM learning and engagement, including computer science.
Amount: Approximately $125,000,000 is available for all three types of grants under the EIR program (Early-phase, Mid-phase, and Expansion grants). A total of 1-4 Expansion grants will be made that range up to $15,000,000 for a project period of 60 months.
Note: At least 25% of funds awarded are designated to applicants serving rural areas, contingent on receipt of a sufficient number of rural applications.
Eligibility: Local educational agency (LEA); state educational agency (SEA); 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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