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Funding Announcements: Education and Economic and Community Development

1. NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

The ITEST program through research and model-building activities seeks to build understandings of best practice factors, contexts and processes contributing to K-12 students' motivation and participation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) core domains along with other STEM cognate domains (e.g., information and communications technology (ICT), computing, computer sciences, data analytics, among others) that inform education programs and workforce domains. The ITEST program funds foundational and applied research projects addressing the development, implementation, and dissemination of innovative strategies, tools, and models for engaging students to be aware of STEM and cognate careers, and to pursue formal school-based and informal out-of-school educational experiences to prepare for such careers.

ITEST supports projects that: (1) increase students' awareness of STEM and cognate careers; (2) motivate students to pursue the appropriate education pathways for STEM and cognate careers; and/or (3) provide students with technology-rich experiences that develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, and non-cognitive skills (e.g., critical thinking and communication skills) needed for entering STEM workforce sectors. ITEST projects may adopt an interdisciplinary focus on one or more STEM domains or focus on sub discipline(s) within a domain.

ITEST projects must involve students, and may also include teachers. ITEST is especially interested in broadening participation of student groups from traditionally underrepresented in STEM and cognate intensive education and workforce domains. Strongly encouraged are projects that actively engage business and industry to better ensure K-12 experiences are likely to foster the skill-sets of emerging STEM and cognate careers.

ITEST supports two project types:

  • Strategies projects address the creation and implementation of innovative technology-related interventions that support ITEST's objectives.

  • SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) projects support the wider and broader dissemination and examination of innovative interventions to generate evidence and understanding regarding contextual factors that operate to enhance, moderate, or constrain the desired results.

All ITEST projects include activities designed to inform judgments regarding the feasibility of implementing strategies in typical delivery settings such as classrooms and out-of-school settings.

The deadline is November 6, 2014.

2. U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences’ Unsolicited Grant Opportunities

The IES Unsolicited Grant program supports unsolicited proposals for research, evaluation, statistics, and dissemination projects to provide reliable information about the condition of education, education practices that improve academic achievement, and the effectiveness of education programs. Any project that addresses these issues and is not covered under any other IES grant competition is eligible. 

In FY 14, IES will also consider time-sensitive research projects.

Awards typically range from $25,000 to $200,000 per year for one to three years.

The deadline is March 4, 2014.

3. U.S. Department of Education Personnel Development to Improve Services/Results for Children with Disabilities

The purposes of this Personnel Preparation program are to:

  1. help address state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel—in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education—to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and

  2. ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

There are several priority areas in FY 14.

The upcoming deadline is April 8, 2014.

4. Spencer Foundation: The New Civics Program

The Spencer Foundation’s New Civics Program refers to an expanded understanding of civic education and supports research that deepens our understanding of influences on civic action that attends to social inequalities in civic education and civic action and that has the potential to shape future research and practice in these fields. Also aims to strengthen the research community and its connections to educational policy and practice.

Preliminary proposals for large awards ($50,000 to $500,000) are due April 29, 2014; full proposals are by invitation only.

Deadlines for small awards (under $50,000) in 2014 are March 27th, June 24th and August 28th.