The William T. Grant Foundation has announced the inaugural Rapid Response Research grants, which are designed to leverage research that addresses major challenges facing young people in the United States.
Developed in 2017 to foster research that responds to the needs of young people in an uncertain and turbulent social climate, the grants will support reviews of existing research aimed at reducing inequality in youth outcomes, particularly among youth who are marginalized on account of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status.
Grant recipients include the Urban Institute, which will work with Addiction Policy Forum to identify and assess promising interventions designed to reduce economic inequality in opioid use disorder among adolescents through prevention, screening/referral, and treatment; the Migration Policy Institute, which will work with the American Public Human Services Association to conduct an extensive literature review and update a 2013 report on the needs of children with detained and deported parents; and MDRC, which is working with the Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud (Youth Development Institute) to identify promising evidence-based practices and leverage the opportunities offered by reconstruction efforts in Puerto Rico to create pathways that help youth, including young parents, enter the U.S. workforce.
The foundation also awarded grants to Duke University and the Durham Public School District to devise with World Relief Durham research-informed programs and procedures that help Muslim refugee children and their families transition successfully to life in the United States; the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network to examine crucial questions related to LBGTQ youth with Equality Texas and develop model policies and best practices for schools, as well as to develop a toolkit that helps students, parents, and education professionals combine key research findings with their personal stories of school experiences and needs; and New York University, which will work with the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Immigration Law Center on a story that aims to provide research-based responses to policy changes that threaten the ability of youth with undocumented parents to access health and human services.
"Ordinarily research studies take months if not years to complete. But practitioners and policy makers responding to our most pressing problems cannot wait," said foundation president Adam Gamoran. "The unique aspect of these awards is that the research-policy teams are focused in areas where the research is available and just needs to be synthesized and applied to a specific context. Further, as the policy partners are poised to act, these grants will allow them to do so on the basis of the best research we have available today."
(Photo credit: Texas Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network)