U.S. Department of Education: Education Innovation and Research Program—Mid-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 Mid-phase grants will fund implementation and a rigorous evaluation of a program that has been successfully implemented under an Early-phase grant or other effort meeting similar criteria, for the purpose of measuring the program’s impact and cost-effectiveness, if possible using existing administrative data. Mid-phase grants are supported by moderate evidence, for at least one population or setting and grantees are encouraged to implement at the regional level or at the national level.
Mid-phase projects are expected to refine and expand the use of practices with prior evidence of effectiveness in order to improve outcomes for high-need students. They are also expected to generate important information about an intervention’s effectiveness, including for whom and in which contexts a practice is most effective, as well as cost-effective. The aim is to accelerate the building of a knowledge base of effective practices for addressing challenges and increase the likelihood that grantees can learn from one another while still exploring different approaches.
The Mid-phase competition includes three absolute priorities and two invitational priorities. Mid-phase applicants must address absolute priority one. Mid-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. Priorities are detailed below:
- Absolute Priority 1—Moderate Evidence: An applicant must identify up to two study citations to be reviewed against the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Handbook for the purposes of meeting moderate evidence. The studies may have been conducted by the applicant or by a third party.
- Absolute Priority 2—Field-Initiated Innovations—General: Funding will be awarded 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 3—Field-Initiated Innovations—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, with a particular focus on Computer Science: Funding will be awarded 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: increasing access to STEM coursework, including computer science, and hands-on learning opportunities, such as through expanded course offerings, dual-enrollment, high-quality online coursework, or other innovative delivery mechanisms.
- 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 at different times. 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 targeting gaps in, student learning.
- 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 4-10 Mid-phase grants are expected to be made that range up to $8,000,000 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 (SEA); the Bureau of Indian Education; a consortium of SEAs or LEAs; a nonprofit organization; and an SEA, an LEA, a consortium, 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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