The William T. Grant Foundation in New York City has announced the launch of a challenge grants program designed to encourage research institutions to build research-practice partnerships with public agencies and nonprofit organizations focused on reducing disparities in youth outcomes.
Through its new Institutional Challenge Grants program, the foundation will award a single three-year grant of $650,000 annually to a research institution interested in partnering with a state or local agency or nonprofit organization to build the capacity of researchers to produce relevant work in the field of youth outcomes. Successful partnerships may be eligible for an additional two-year award.
The program, which builds on the foundation's longstanding commitment to strengthening links between research, policy, and practice, replaces the Distinguished Fellows program, which for more than ten years awarded fellowships to researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. By shifting the focus to the institutional level, the foundation hopes the new program will advance and increase the use and usefulness of research evidence in efforts aimed at reducing disparities in youth outcomes.
"Institutional change is an ambitious goal, but we believe that this is what is needed to build sustained partnerships that produce and use research evidence to reduce inequality in youth outcomes," said Grant Foundation president Adam Gamoran. "Research-practice partnerships are often difficult to establish and sustain, in part because research produced by partnerships has, unfortunately, not always been valued by institutions. One goal of this program is to challenge these institutions to prioritize research that can be useful and used in the policy and practice arenas."