Established in 1962, the Spencer Foundation is dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to the improvement of education. To that end, the foundation supports high-quality investigations of education through its research programs and the strengthening and renewing of the educational research community through its fellowship and training programs and related activities.
Through its Small Research Grants Program, the foundation is accepting research proposals for education research projects. In keeping with the foundation's mission, the program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. Examples of previously funded projects include 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; and a mixed-methods study focused on the different types of knowledge novice and experienced teachers draw on in teaching reading comprehension
The program awards grants of up to $50,000.
To be eligible, principal investigators and co-PIs must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. In addition, the PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, nonprofit research facility, or nonprofit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if a grant is awarded.
See the Spencer Foundation website for complete program guidelines, an FAQ, and application instructions.