The Spencer Foundation is accepting applications for the conference grant program for providing support to scholars to organize small research conferences, focused symposia, or other forms of convenings around important issues in education.

This program is intended to bring together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other important collaborators whose expertise, substantive knowledge and practice, theoretical insight, or methodological expertise can be engaged in ways that help to build upon and advance education research.

The Foundation encourages applicants to think expansively about how convenings can expand the substantive work and impact of educational research.

Thematic Areas

Your proposal must engage deeply with one of the following themes:

  • Developing High-Quality Educators and Leaders;
  • Exploring Human Learning and Thriving ;
  • Innovative Research Methods.

Funding Information

This grant program supports proposals with budgets of $50,000 or less.

Conference Proposals

The proposed conference should address one approach or may include aspects from multiple structures, with the overarching goal of influencing the public discourse, practice or policy of education.

  • Engage in mutualistic and interdisciplinary knowledge development in order to push the boundaries of a given topic.
  • Synthesize existing knowledge within a topical area so as to collectively reflect on what the field already understands and about where they may go;
  • Collaborate with non-researchers in a format that centers the engagement of practitioners, journalists, communities, and/or policymakers (among others) as a way to create avenues for communication of and take up of education research within one of these topical areas.
  • Engages substantively beyond deficit assumptions and explanations of educational inequality.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals to the Conference Grant program must be for small research conferences, focused symposia, or convenings that will build upon and advance education research and its impact of education in one of the areas of focus specified in the Program Statement.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Conference grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the proposal, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI.
  • The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals. Examples include non-profit colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.
  • Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.


Proposals to support annual ongoing conferences or meetings are not eligible for this program. Relatedly, requests to fund travel to existing annual conferences or meetings are also not eligible.

For more information, visit Spencer Foundation.

Name of the Organisation
The Spencer Foundation
Grant Amount
USD 50,000
Closing date of Proposal
Monday, 31 August, 2020
RFP Email
Organisation Logo