Small Research Grants

Organisation:  Spencer Foundation

Apply By:  01 Aug . 2017

Small Research Grants

The Small Research Grants program is intended to support education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. 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


  • 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 are limited to $50,000
  • 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.

Review Process

The review process for the Small Research Grants program takes approximately 4 months following the deadline date. PIs will be notified via email of the final decision regarding their proposal. We receive over 500 proposal submissions per year and are able to fund 5-10% of those received. Information on the criteria used to review proposals can be found in the Program Statement.


Small Research Grant proposals are accepted 4 times per year. The next deadline is at 4:00pm CDT, August 1, 2017

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