The Spencer Foundation ‘Small Research Grants Program on Education’ (Up to $50,000)

Grant / Award in Education and Languages , in Social Science
  • Apply Before : November 3, 2020

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 68189
  • Degree Non Degree Program/Certificate
  • Language Requirement Not Required
  • Fields of study Education
  • Opportunity Type : Fully Funded
  • Duration 1 to 5 Years
  • Language of Instruction English

Opportunity Description


Spencer Foundation is calling for proposals for the Small Research Grants Program that supports those education research projects which contribute to the improvement of education, broadly perceived, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. Similarly, with the launch of this program, the Foundation aims to support rigorous, intellectually aspiring, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and unique opportunities in education.

Moreover, Spencer Foundation welcomes methodological diversity in answering important questions; thus, the call is open to projects from organizations that apply a wide range of research methods.


Submission deadline: 3 November 2020 (12:00 pm CT)

Awarding organization: Spencer Foundation

Duration of the projects: 1-5 years max.

Focus area: Education

Grant amount: 50,000 dollars

Eligibility criteria

The necessary requirements for organizations submitting a proposal for the program are as follow:

  • Proposals to the program must address academic research projects that aim to study education. Proposals for activities other than research are not eligible (e.g., program evaluations, professional development, curriculum development, scholarships, capital projects).
  • Research proposals for studies focused on areas other than education do not qualify.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for the grant must have an obtained doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.
  • While graduate scholars may be part of the research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.
  • The PI must be affiliated with a not-for-profit organization that is eager to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded as The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.
  • Examples include non-profit colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c) (3) determination from the IRS.
  • Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and all other countries; however, all proposals must be submitted in English, and budgets must be projected in U.S. Dollars.


The program uses a peer review process for all qualifying submissions.  Each proposal will be assessed by both external panel reviewers and internal staff. The review process takes approximately 5-6 months from the deadline date and consists of scholars in the field of education research with expertise in multi-disciplinary disciplines and methodological areas.

The criteria for assessment include:

Significance of the Project:  the value of education in the research, the significance of the topic to its area, and the quality of the research question(s) and direction of inquiry.

Relevance to Research and Theory:  the sufficiency of the explanation of how other academics have worked on the same topic and how well the proposal corresponds to previous work and theory.

Research Design:  the general quality, complexity, and suitability of the research design as well as its compliance with the research question(s) and/or conceptual framing.

Budget and Timeline: Judges will evaluate the adequacy of the budget and timeline.

Project Team: the potential of the investigator(s) to complete the study as described and share the results or other findings.

How to Apply?

The application process starts with a full proposal; there is no requirement to submit a letter of intent or intent to apply form.

You (“the applicant”) may consider the following steps in their application.

Step 1 – Registration

This application is arranged for the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project to register and submit the form. Therefore, if an applicant has no access to the Foundation’s website before, h/she must register or log into the pre-created account.

Step 2 – My Profile

After logging in, follow the directions to fill the information requested on the ‘My Profile’ page and upload your current CV (10-page limit).

Step 3 – Start a Proposal:

To complete the application, go to your Workbench and click the Apply button for the Small Research Grants on Education and follow the next steps.

Proposal elements

Inside the online application, there are comprehensive guidelines for each section. Below is an overview of the elements you’ll need to complete.

  • Proposal Summary
  • Budget and Budget justification
  • Proposal Narrative
  • Project Timeline
  • Project Team


Once you’ve completed all of the components listed above, submit it, and it will be routed to your Signatory for signature and final submission.

Apply now


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