The Spencer Foundation: Inviting Applications to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived.

Donor Name: The Spencer Foundation
Funding name:  The Small Research Grants program

Funding brief: In keeping with the Spencer Foundation’s mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived.

Historically, the work we have funded through these grants has spanned, a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and they employ a wide range of research methods. The following examples of recently funded small grants illustrate the diversity of what we support:
● An experimental study of how college students use visual representations in solving math problems
● A study exploring the process of racial and rural identity formation among African American high-school students who attend de facto segregated schools in the rural South
● A mixed-methods study focusing on the different types of knowledge novice and experienced teachers draw on in teaching for reading comprehension

The majority of small grant proposals that are funded by the Foundation are “field-initiated” in the sense that they are not submitted in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP). In the past, they have requested that proposals within the Small Grants program be submitted within one of the areas of inquiry listed below. The Foundation does not use this information in the review process, but captures it in the application to better understand the variety of research that is proposed. The areas are broadly organized as follows:
● Field-Initiated
● The Relation between Education and Social Opportunity
Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources
● The New Civics
● Organizational Learning in Schools, School Systems, and Higher Education Systems
● Purposes and Values of Education

Deadline: Small Research Grant proposals are accepted 4 times per year. The next deadline is at 4:00pm CDT, August 1, 2017. The following deadlines will fall on November 1, 2017, February 1, 2018 and May 1, 2018.

Funding details link:

Funding limit: The Small Research Grants program aims to support smaller scale or pilot research projects that have budgets of $50,000 or less.

Project start date: Not Found
Project duration: Not Found
Eligible organization: As below

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a research grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.
● The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, non-profit research facility, or non-profit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.
● Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.
● Small Research Grant budgets may not include indirect cost charges.
PIs and Co-PIs may only hold one active research grant from the Spencer Foundation at a time. Simultaneous submissions to the Foundation from PIs and Co-PIs are discouraged due to this policy.

Submission mail: N/A

Other important link:
● Guideline:
● FAQ:
● Sample:
● Apply:

 How to apply:
Interested applicant may apply through the website (
● The online system is configured for the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project to register and submit the application. If someone other than the PI will be completing the application (e.g., an administrative assistant), the PI should register as described in Step 1 below, and then provide their username and password to the individual who will assist them with the application.
● If you (the PI) have never accessed the Spencer Foundation online system, you must register and create a profile by going to and clicking the “Register Here” button.

Visit all Funding opportunities:

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