The Spencer Foundation is seeking applications for its Small Research Grants Program

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The Small Research Grants program aims to support smaller scale or pilot research projects that have budgets of $50,000 or less. Proposals are encouraged from scholars across a variety of disciplines in an effort to fund field-initiated education research. Read more…


Small Research Grant proposals are accepted 4 times per year. The next deadline is at 4:00pm CST, November 1, 2017. The following deadlines will fall on February 1, 2018, May 1, 2018 and August 1, 2018.

For further information on this program, please see the links available in the right-hand sidebar menu. We will also be hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 11:00am CDT. To attend this webinar, please click here and fill out the registration form. You will be emailed instructions to attend the webinar in mid-September.

Past Awards

Below are the most recent grants awarded in this program. For more information about these projects, and to view other grants made in this program, please go to the Grant Library here and choose Small Grant from the “Grant Type” menu.

Karen Benjamin
Saint Xavier University
City Planners and the Use of School Sites to Impose Racial Zoning on Southern Cities before WWII

Lucas P. Butler
University of Maryland at College Park
Children’s Developing Understanding that Claims About the World Need to be Verified

Sharon L. Christ
Purdue University
The impacts of emotional neglect during adolescence on academic functioning and long-term educational attainment: How do schools facilitate protection?

Adem Ekmekci and Danya Marie Corkin
Rice University
The Nexus of Teacher Quality and Students’ Social Cognitive Career Outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Susan Goldin-Meadow
The University of Chicago
Home Language Influences on High School Readiness

Mary Katherine Good
Wake Forest University
Learning ‘Entrepreneurship’ but Preserving ‘Tradition:’ Tongan Youth Moving into Employment

Lisa Michele Harrison and ThedaMarie D. Gibbs Grey
Ohio University
Black Girls Matter: Exploring the School Experiences of Middle School Black Girls Who Have Experienced School Suspensions

Margret A. Hjalmarson, Marvin Powell, and Jill Nelson
George Mason University
Developing a Measure of Student Three-Dimensional Engagement from the Situational Perspective in Undergraduate Mathematics: A Qualitative Phase

Jamie J. Jirout
University of Virginia
Motivating students: Promotion of curiosity, growth mindset, and mastery goal orientation in teacher language

Eva Oberle
University of British Columbia
Teacher-burnout and children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes

David Michael Ramey
The Pennsylvania State University
Exploring How State Education Policies in the Use of School Punishment and Special Education Affect Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities: A Multilevel and Longitudinal Study

Lindsey Richland and Catherine Randall Kelso
The University of Chicago
Mathematics Learning When Under Pressure

Heather L. Rouse, Ji Young Choi, and Daniel Russell
Iowa State University
Early Care, Early Risk, and School Readiness of Native American Children: A Nationally Representative Longitudinal Study

Matt Sakakeeny
Tulane University
The Impact of Community-Based Organizations in Providing Arts Instruction to Disadvantaged Students

Chen Schechter and Haim Shaked
Bar-Ilan University
School Middle-Leaders’ Sense-Making of a Generally Outlined Education Reform

Stephanie Simmons Zuilkowski and Margaret J. Henning
Florida State University Research Foundation, Inc.
Educational attainment for young mothers in Zambia: Disconnects between policy and practice


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