Applications Invited for Conference Grant Program to Explore Critical Issues in Education

Applications Invited for Conference Grant Program to Explore Critical Issues in Education

Organization: Spencer Foundation

Apply By: 04 Dec 2019

Grant Amount: 50000 USD

About the Organization:

Spencer Foundation has been a leading funder of education research and is the only national foundation focused exclusively on supporting education research. They believe education research is integral to improving education, making education systems more equitable, and increasing opportunities to learn across the lifespan.

About the Program:

The Conference Grant program provides support to scholars in developing small research conferences and focused symposia to explore critical issues in education research with budgets up to $50,000. We intend for applicants to bring together researchers, practitioners, and other important collaborators whose substantive knowledge, theoretical insight, and methodological expertise can be assembled in ways that build upon and advance education research. These convenings can serve as starting points for building new research agendas or as touchstones for research communities to connect and advance their shared scholarly interests about education research. The Foundation rotates the area of focus for this program annually to generate fresh ideas and perspectives on pressing educational challenges. For this funding cycle Spencer will support conferences related to three topics that emerged from our year-long field engagement with the education research community.

  • Developing High-Quality Educators and Leaders
  • Exploring Human Learning and Thriving
  • Innovative Research Methods
  • Making the case


  • Proposals to the Conference Grant program must be for small research conferences and focused symposia that will build upon and advance best practices in education research in one of the areas of focus specified in the Program Statement.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Conference grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the proposal, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI.
  • The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. 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 internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.


  • Proposals to support annual on-going conferences or meetings are not eligible for this program. Relatedly, requests to fund travel to existing annual conferences or meetings are also not eligible.
  • Proposed budgets for this program are limited to $50,000 total and may not include indirect cost charges per Spencer’s policy.
  • PIs and Co-PIs may not submit more than one application for a given deadline in this program

Application Deadlines:

Full Proposal Deadline: December 04, 2019 at 12:00pm CT

Program contact: Judy Klippenstein; conferences@spencer.org

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