The COVID-19 Related Research Grants support education research projects that will contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in this time of crisis and change.

Spencer Foundation is especially interested in supporting two primary categories of projects. First, they are interested in supporting studies that aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Second, they also recognize that in times of great disruption and change, there may be opportunities to remake and imagine anew forms of equitable education. Thus, they are also interested in research projects that are working to reimagine educational opportunities in these times.

The goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education during this global health crisis. They seek to support scholarship that develops new foundational knowledge that may have a lasting impact on educational discourse and opportunity or may have a significant impact on practice and policy in these times. They value work that fosters creative and open-minded scholarship, engages in deep inquiry, and examines robust questions related to education and inequality in times of crisis as well as those that may persist beyond the current moment as a result of COVID-19 responses. They also value work that is engaging the possibilities that may be emerging in these times.

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not required to focus on a particular research topic, discipline, design, or method. The Foundation hopes that scholars and their partners will identify the most compelling and needed areas of immediate research. For instance, scholars might focus on: K-12 Instructional challenges, responses, and innovations; racial and geographic disparities in the impacts of COVID and COVID related responses; supporting and engaging children and families; assessment challenges and opportunities; social-emotional learning and well-being; educator leadership and development; systems change and policy making.

Funding Information

Budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to three years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals to this program must be for academic research projects that aim to study education. Proposals for activities other than research are not eligible (e.g., program evaluations, professional development, curriculum development, scholarships, capital projects). Additionally, proposals for research studies focused on areas other than education are not eligible.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a COVID-19 Related Research Grant on Education 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 research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.
  • 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.

For more information, visit Spencer Foundation.

Name of the Organisation
The Spencer Foundation
Grant Amount
USD 50,000
Closing date of Proposal
Monday, 8 June, 2020
RFP Email
Jasmine Janicki
Organisation Logo