The Spencer Foundation was established in 1962 to investigate ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world. From the first, the foundation has been dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to improvement in education. To that end, the foundation is committed to supporting high-quality investigation of education through its research programs and to strengthening and renewing the educational research community through its fellowship and training programs and related activities.
As part of this mission, the foundation is accepting applications for its Small Research Grants Program, which supports education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less.
In keeping with the foundation's mission, the program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. Historically, grants have supported research projects on a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and that employ a wide range of research methods. Examples of recently 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 for reading comprehension.
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, PIs 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 the grant is awarded.
See the Spencer Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.