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Research-Practice Partnerships (RPP): Collaborative Research for Educational Change

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Investigators
for Joint Research Projects on Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Spencer Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/20 12:00 PM CT


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International investigators at nonprofit institutions and organizations for joint research projects on education. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Principal investigators will partner with educational institutions to provide insight into the processes, practices, and policies that improve education for students, educators, schools, universities, families, and communities.

Rigorous partnership work is intentionally organized to engage diverse forms of expertise and perspectives, across practitioners as well as scholars and disciplines, in knowledge generation around pressing problems of practice. Further, RPPs can facilitate the long-term accumulation of knowledge in new ways as researchers and practitioners work together to ask practitioner-relevant questions on key topics in specific settings over time. Many key problems of practice are historically saturated and require multiple perspectives and long-term engagement if sustainable and systemic change is to occur.

This grant program is open to partnerships between researchers and a broad array of practitioners. The Foundation defines practitioners as school districts, county offices of education, state educational organizations, universities, community-based organizations, out-of-school-time providers, informal educators, and other social sectors that significantly impact students’ lives. As such, the Foundation is open to applications from design-based research teams, networked improvement communities, placed-based research alliances, and other partnership arrangements.

While this grant program is open to all partnership configurations across a range of learning contexts, in addition to pre k-12 school systems, the Foundation especially encourages applications from partnerships that include scholars and institutions of higher education, rural geographic locations, and partnerships that deeply engage community-based organizations and families. 

Activities eligible for funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Research activities
  • Research infrastructure
  • Outreach, communications, and relationship building
  • Capacity development

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171183

Estimated Size of Grant:

Research-Practice Partnership budget totals are limited to $400,000 including up to 15% indirect cost charges.

Term of Contract:

The proposed duration may not be longer than 3 years. The foundation recommends proposing a start date that is at least 9 months after the deadline for the Intent to Apply form.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are open to USA, Canada, and International researchers. Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Research-Practice Partnership Grant are expected to have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or demonstrated professional experience appropriate for this program. Note: If the PI or Co-PI from the practice side of the partnership does not have an earned doctorate, they are expected to have appropriate professional experience to serve in this role in the partnership. While graduate students may be part of the 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. The PI associated with the administering organization for this grant could be either the practitioner or researcher of the partnership. At least one Co-PI should be from the other member organization(s).

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.

PIs and Co-PIs may only hold one active research grant from the Spencer Foundation at a time. (This restriction does not apply to the administering organization; organizations may submit as many proposals as they like as long as they are for different projects and have different research teams.) PIs and Co-PIs may not submit more than one application for a given deadline to this program.

Proposals for this grant program for partnerships outside of the U.S. or between U.S. and international agencies are eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

Intent to Apply due: January 8, 2020 at 12:00pm CT
Full Proposal Deadline: January 31, 2020 at 12:00pm CT

The application is configured for the Principal Investigator on the project to register and submit the form.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applicants must register in order to submit an LOI and application. To register, click here:

Program contact:
Maricelle Garcia

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.