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Funding Opportunities: Education and Economic and Community Development

Department of Education/ Institute for Education Sciences Announces Education Research Topics

The Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences competition for FY14 has been announced.  In the past, they have typically allowed researchers two opportunities to submit applications, but for this year, applications will only be accepted for one deadline of September 4, 2013. 

Special Education Research

IES has the following note regarding the Special Education Research competition: "The Institute's National Center for Special Education Research will not hold research or research training competitions for FY 2014. Depending on availability of funds in FY 2014, the Director intends to use the FY 2013 grant slates (i.e., the list of grants judged to be outstanding or excellent by peer reviewers) for the Special Education Research Grant competitions to make new awards. The Director takes this action because significant numbers of high quality applications remain on the FY 2013 grant slates."

Education Research Topics

For the Education Research Topics, informational webinars will be held in May (no specific dates for webinars are available yet).  The full RFA is available on the IES site, http://ies.ed.gov/funding/.  An application must be submitted with one topic only and one goal only.  IES recommends that researchers begin assessing competitiveness for future IES competitions by reviewing projects that have been funded over the last decade. A database http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/index.asp of awards made between FY 02 and FY 12 is available.  

The FY14 Education Research topics are below.  At the IES site, select a particular topic and download the Request for Applications at the link at the left, http://ies.ed.gov/funding/ncer_progs.asp 

  • Cognition and Student Learning
  • Early Learning Programs and Policies
  • Education Technology
  • Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching
  • English Learners
  • Improving Education Systems: Policies, Organization, Management, and Leadership
  • Mathematics and Science Education
  • Postsecondary and Adult Education
  • Reading and Writing
  • Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning 

IES has maintained the 5 five research goals: Exploration, Development and Innovation, Efficacy and Replication, Effectiveness, or Measurement.

IES is the primary research arm of the U. S. Department of Education.  Its mission is to provide rigorous and relevant evidence on which to ground education practice and policy, and share this information broadly. The Institute of Education Sciences' overarching priority is research that contributes to school readiness and improved academic achievement for all students, and particularly for those whose education prospects are hindered by inadequate education services and conditions associated with poverty, race/ethnicity, limited English proficiency, disability, and family circumstance.

NSF Eliminates TUES; Creates New Program, CAUSE

At the NSF Education and Human Resources (HER) directorate Advisory Committee meeting on May 6, 2013, it was officially announced that the popular TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM) will be eliminated.  TUES replaced the longstanding Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement Program.

A new EHR program, CAUSE (Catalyzing Advances in Undergraduate Science Education), has been created that should provide many of the same education and training opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as the former TUES. 

A new soliciation with deadline dates is pending.   For preliminary information on CAUSE, please go to  http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2014/pdf/40_fy2014.pdf

National Science Foundation: EHR Core Research (ECR)

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program establishes a mechanism in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources to provide funding in foundational research areas that are broad, essential and enduring. EHR seeks proposals that will help synthesize, build and/or expand research foundations in the following core areas: STEM learning, STEM learning environments, workforce development, and broadening participation in STEM.

The intention is to identify a broad range of vital investments for STEM education and learning research. Much existing research addresses issues that span more than one area, and NSF encourages integration, as well as collaboration among researchers in related disciplines, including the social and behavioral sciences. Learners appropriate for study range from pre-K children to older adults and from non-scientists to STEM doctoral students to members of the STEM workforce. Relevant learning environments range from formal to informal settings, virtual settings, and outdoor/field to institutional R&D settings. EHR seeks theory-driven, theory-generating, theory-testing, and predictive studies of all aspects of STEM learning.

Two types of proposals are invited: Core Research Proposals (maximum 5 years, $1.5 million) that propose to study a foundational research question/issue designed to inform the transformation of STEM learning and education and Capacity Building Proposals (maximum 3 years, $300,000) intended to support groundwork necessary for advancing research within the four core areas.

The full proposal deadline date is July 12, 2013 (after July, the next deadline is February 04, 2014).

The EHR Core Research program page is at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504924&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund 

American College Personnel Association: Grants Program

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) grants program supports proposals from ACPA members to enhance the student affairs profession and to generate and disseminate knowledge of students in higher education. Of primary interest are proposals related to student learning and professional development. Up to $10,000 is awarded each year. Research grants usually range from $1,000 to $2,500 for one-year projects.
The next deadline is July 1, 2013. See http://www.acpafoundation.org/content/grants for details.

Spencer Foundation: The New Civics Program

The “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. Ultimately, civic education will be seen not simply as a grounding in historical and procedural knowledge of systems of government, but, more broadly, as education, whether in schools or elsewhere, that develops skills, knowledge, and dispositions that lead to informed and reasoned civic action.

The next deadline for Small Grants (under $50,000) is July 23, 2013.  Preliminary proposals for large awards accepted any time, full proposals by invitation. See http://www.spencer.org/content.cfm/the_new_civics for guidelines, a list of awardees of New Civics grants, an annotated bibliography of readings by grantees, and background papers related to New Civics.  

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.