Launch of Spencer Foundation Racial Equity Special Research Grants

The Spencer Foundation’s Racial Equity Special Research Grants support education research projects that will contribute to understanding and disrupting racial inequality in education and work to reimagine generative possibilities to advance educational equity. The goal is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious and technically sound research. This new initiative has been set up in honour of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary.

Studies should aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality in education. The Foundation is also interested in research projects that are working to reimagine educational opportunities in a multiplicity of education systems, levels, settings and developmental ranges, and that reach beyond documenting conditions and paradigms that contribute to persistent racial inequalities.

This scheme is ‘field-initiated’ ie proposal submissions are not required to be developed around a particular research topic, discipline, design, method or geographic location. It is hoped that scholars will identify the most compelling and needed areas of research. Examples include:

Instructional challenges and innovations.

Racial and geographic disparities and promising directions for engaging and supporting children, families and communities.

Informal learning environments and informal educators.

Assessment challenges and opportunities.

Social-emotional learning and wellbeing.

Educator and leader development, identity and wellbeing.

Digital learning environments.

Systems change and policy making.

Intersections between housing, health and education.

Proposals can be at all levels and in all settings of learning, including early childhood, higher education, and in schools, families and communities. The Foundation is interested in studies that seek to understand the situated experiences of minoritised groups, including Black, Latinx, AAPI, Indigenous and other minoritised communities. Studies may focus on learners that are marginalised on multiple levels, including intersections with English language learners, immigrants, students with disabilities, highly mobile/institutionalised youth, LGTBQ youth and those in rural communities.

If COVID-19 social distancing policies pose challenges to some modes of enquiry, the Foundation encourages creative new approaches to the collection and analysis of data.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. PIs must be affiliated with a non-profit organisation that is willing to serve as the administering organisation if the grant is awarded, such as a college, university, school district, research facility or other non-profit organisation. Proposals are accepted from the US and internationally.

Up to $75,000 is available for projects ranging from one to five years.

Application is via a two-stage process: an Intent to Apply form followed by a full proposal. The Intent to Apply deadline is 15 December 2020 (12:00 CT) and the full proposal deadline is 12 January 2021 (12:00 CT).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.