Up to $75,000 available under Vision Grants Program to support Equitable Educational Systems
The Spencer Foundation is offering Vision Grants to support the field in producing research that disrupts long-standing inequities toward more just and equitable systems.
The foundation believes that visionary and cross-disciplinary/multi-method scholarship, conducted in generative collaboration with stakeholders in the field, including policy-makers, practitioners, and communities, can contribute to reimagining and transforming educational systems toward equity.
The Vision Grants allow teams to join together and generate ideas for collaborative scholarship that develops a new vision of what equitable educational systems can look like, consider which disciplines have taken up these issues previously (and why they have fallen short or encountered limitations), and foreground important ideas that will allow new and ambitious research to emerge. For example, Vision Grants might lead to research projects that:
- Develop a new policy, pedagogical approach, practice, or intervention, e.g., at the K-12 or post-secondary level, that has the potential to have a transformative and systemic impact and explore the feasibility of implementing it at the state or local level, or within a system.
- Build upon approaches or policies that have worked well in one setting, with the goal of studying them in a range of settings to better understand how, where, and with whom they work and why.
- Work in partnership with youth at the city, state or federal level to reimagine the choices young people have to learn beyond school.
- Work with communities to co-design approaches that improve educational equity by working across sectors (e.g., education and health, housing, criminal justice).
- Connect scholars with legal teams to impact litigation strategies in local, state, or federal contexts of educational inequity.
- Rethink effective approaches to teacher and educational leader preparation, learning, and development, and partner with systems of teacher and leader preparation and/or accreditation to enact changes that would increase the diversity and robustness of the educator and leader pathways.
- Vision Grants are $75,000 total and two cycles of this grant program will be held annually.
- The Vision Grant may not be longer than 12 months in duration.
- Vision Grants will provide planning funds for teams to develop proposals for research projects that:
- Are focused on key challenges and opportunities that have the potential for increasing equity in education;
- Engage across disciplines and/or research methods;
- Collaborate with practitioners, policymakers, communities and other stakeholders;
- Have clear sightlines to transformational change through research at a systemic level.
- Proposals to the Vision Grant program must be for developing research projects that study education and/or learning, broadly conceived, though they can include other sectors in addition to education. Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Vision Grant must have appropriate experience or an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or terminal degree in a professional field. While graduate students 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 non-profit organization or public/governmental institution that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.
- PIs and Co-PIs may apply for a Vision Grant if they have another active research grant from the Spencer Foundation or if they have another Spencer grant proposal in review.
- Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally. All proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.
- Note: All awarded Vision Grantees will have the option to apply for a Transformative Research Grant, with awards to carry out the planned research project (budgets up to $3.5M). In addition to considering the development of a proposal for the Transformative Research Grant program, Vision Grant Awardees are also eligible to submit a proposal to other Spencer Foundation grant programs or may choose to submit a proposal to another funding agency.
- Proposed budgets for this program are limited to $75,000 total and may not include indirect cost charges per Spencer’s policy.
For more information, visit Spencer Foundation.
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