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Funding Opportunities: Education and Economic and Community Development


1. New NSF program: Research on Education and Learning (REAL)

Synopsis: The Research on Education and Learning (REAL) program represents the substantive foci of three previous EHR programs: Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE), Research in Disabilities Education (RDE), and Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE). What is distinctive about the new REAL program is the emphasis placed on the accumulation of robust evidence to inform efforts to (a) understand, (b) build theory to explain, and (c) suggest interventions (and innovations) to address persistent challenges in STEM interest, education, learning, and participation. The program supports advances in research on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning and education by fostering efforts to explore all aspects of education research from foundational knowledge to improvements in STEM learning and learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce, resulting in increased public understanding of science and engineering. The REAL program will fund research on, human learning in STEM; learning in STEM learning environments, and broadening participation research.

Deadline: The Letter of Intent deadline is October 25, 2013. Note: Letters of Intent are optional and will be used only to help NSF plan for the review process. The full proposal deadline date is January 10, 2014.

More Info: The REAL program page is at:

2. Discovery Research K-12 competition

Synopsis: The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. Teachers and students who participate in DRK-12 studies are expected to enhance their understanding and use of STEM content, practices and skills. DRK-12 invites proposals that address immediate challenges that are facing preK-12 STEM education as well as those that anticipate radically different structures and functions of pre-K 12 teaching and learning.

The DRK-12 program has four major research and development strands: (1) Assessment; (2) Learning; (3) Teaching; and (4) Implementation Research. The program recognizes that there is some overlap among the strands. Proposals may address more than one strand. For example, projects in the Learning Strand may also include assessments of student learning, and/or support for teachers and plans for larger dissemination and use. Likewise, the Teaching Strand has a specific focus on RMTs for teacher education and professional development, but these are often based on a particular curriculum or set of instructional materials or tools. The Implementation Research strand might potentially address any or a combination of the other three strands.

The program supports three types of projects: (1) Exploratory, (2) Full Design and Development, and (3) Conferences, Workshops, and Syntheses. All three types of projects apply to each of the four DRK-12 strands.

Deadline: The full proposal Deadline Date is December 6, 2013.

More Info: The Discovery K-12 program page is at
If you are considering a proposal, you are encouraged to review abstracts of awards by using the link at the bottom of the program page for: "What has been funded (Recent Awards Made Through this Program, with Abstracts)." The link directly to the RFP is:

3. WT Grant Foundation Accepting Letters of Inquiry for Studies on Use of Research Evidence in Policy, Practice Affecting Youth

Synopsis: The WT Grant Foundation, which funds research that improves the lives of youth between the ages of 8 and 25 in the Unites States, has announced the next deadline for submission of letters of inquiry to its Understanding the Acquisition, Interpretation, and Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice program. This program supports the foundation’s longstanding interest in supporting research that can inform policy and practice, and this program seeks to address the gaps between research and policy, and research and practice. Specifically, research funded under this program should examine the factors that affect policy makers and practitioners acquisition, interpretation, and use of research evidence.

Awards: Awards are expected to range from $100,000 to $600,000 for two to three year projects.

Deadline: The next deadline for letters of inquiry is January 8, 2014 at 3 PM EST. Full proposals will be accepted by invitation after review of all letters of inquiry.

More Info: More information is available at the WT Grant website: http://www.wtgrantfoundation.org/funding_opportunities/research_grants/use-of-research-evidence

4. NSF: Catalyzing New International Collaborations

Synopsis: The National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of International and Integrative Activities is seeking proposals that support the participation of US-based researchers and students in activities intended to catalyze new international research collaborations. The program is open to researchers in any field of science and engineering research and education supported by NSF, and intends to promote professional development and advance the research of U.S. researchers via international engagement. The program targets activities that catalyze new international collaborations which facilitate new scientific directions for the proposing investigator.

Awards: Approximately $2 million is available to support 30 to 40 awards. Foreign collaborators are expected to obtain their own funding in support of the project; if this is not possible, proposers must discuss options for support with a Program Officer at NSF.

Deadlines: There are four target dates for submission of proposals: January 22, April 22, July 22, and October 22 each year.

More Info: The solicitation is available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13605/nsf13605.htm.

Economic and Community Development

1. HUD Research Partnerships Program

Synopsis: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Research Partnerships Program allows HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) to enter into cooperative agreements with institutions proposing research that addresses any of PD&R’s four research priorities:

  • Utilizing data from a previous, current, or future HUD demonstration project to address critical issues in housing;
  • Understanding how HUD assistance may serve as a platform to improve quality of life via improved educational and health outcomes, increased economic security, and improved housing stability and public safety;
  • Using data from the American Housing Survey to address questions about housing market dynamics; and
  • Exploring successful improvements to housing technology in the realm of energy efficiency or sustainable housing rehabilitation or construction in HUD-funded housing.

The Research Partnerships Program is entering its second year.

Deadline: Proposals may be submitted any time to the e-mail address below. No specific format is required for proposals. Applications should demonstrate that the research aligns with one of the research priorities and provide evidence of a required 50% match. Currently, a typical award lasts up to three years, but there is no set award amount.

More Info: Additional information is available via the PD&R Research Partnerships website at http://www.huduser.org/portal/research/pdrrespartnerships_about.html, and by contacting Program Officer Kinnard Wright at ResearchPartnerships@hud.gov or 202/708-3061.

For an extensive list of grant deadlines and program descriptions, visit to the Grants Resource Center (GRC). GRC publishes an upcoming "Deadlines" list each month. Various Fellowships are included. To access GRC, you must be linked to an NIU server.  A proxy login is available; contact your Research Development Specialist for off-campus login information.

Please note that NIU faculty and staff may not be eligible to apply for all the programs listed at the GRC site; some may have geographic limitations or be targeted to medical schools, minority institutions, etc.  Check individual agency sites for detailed guidelines of a particular listing, or contact your Research Development Specialist for assistance in determining eligibility for a funding opportunity.