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Behavioral Interventions Scholars

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and IHEs
for Research on Issues Impacting Low-Income Families

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

06/29/20 4:30 PM ET Hard Copy Receipt; or 11:59 PM ET Electronic Receipt


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Grants of up to $25,000 per year to USA nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, and IHEs to support behavioral science dissertation research by advanced graduate students that addresses issues affecting low-income and vulnerable families. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date. Funding is also intended to foster mentoring relationships between faculty members and high-quality doctoral students.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate how the research is grounded in behavioral economics/behavioral science and the applicability of the research to practice or policy serving low-income children, adults, and families, especially those that seek to improve the well-being.

The specific goals of the Behavioral Interventions Scholars grants are to:

  1. Facilitate the completion of high-quality research projects that will add to the growing body of knowledge on effective interventions that are grounded in behavioral economics/behavioral science and have direct relevance to issues facing low-income families and other vulnerable groups.
  2. Directly support graduate students’ engagement in behavioral science research as it relates to ACF programs and/or populations, as well as training and professional development. Students are expected to become autonomous researchers with specialized knowledge of the intersection of behavioral insights and issues affecting ACF populations.
  3. Foster mentoring relationships between faculty members or other experienced researchers and graduate students who are pursuing doctoral-level research in the field of applied behavioral science or related fields. Each student will work in partnership with a mentor to foster the skills necessary to build a graduate student's career trajectory. Within this mentoring relationship, scholars are expected to become independent researchers with the skills necessary to carry out behavioral science studies with a high level of technical quality.
  4. Encourage active communication, networking, and collaboration among the group of graduate student grantees, mentors, and other prominent researchers in the field, both during the graduate students’ training, as well as into the early stages of research careers.
  5. Disseminate information about effective behavioral interventions, including by increasing knowledge-sharing with human services practitioners.

For research topics and project requirements, please see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183420

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 4

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Award Ceiling: $25,000 Per Budget Period
-Award Floor: $20,000 Per Budget Period
-Average Projected Award Amount: $25,000 Per Budget Period

Term of Contract:

Anticipated project start date: 9/30/2020.

Applicants may choose whether to apply for a 12-month project and budget period or a 24-month project with two 12-month budget periods.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:

Under Title XI, part A, section 1110 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1310), eligibility is open to “States and public and other organizations and agencies for paying part of the cost of research or demonstration projects such as those...which will help improve the administration and effectiveness of programs carried on or assisted under the Social Security Act and programs related thereto.”

Eligible U.S. entities may apply on behalf of a Principal Investigator who will serve as a mentor for an international non-U.S. citizen who is an advanced graduate student.

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Applicants are required to submit a letter of support from the graduate student’s mentor, acting as the project’s Principal Investigator, that approves the application and provides a description of how the mentor will regularly monitor the student’s work. The description of the letter’s full requirements is available in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Additional Eligibility Documentation. Lack of the required documentation will disqualify the application from review and from award.

The Principal Investigator (mentor) must have earned a doctorate or equivalent in a relevant field, must conduct research as a primary professional responsibility, and must have published or have been accepted for publication in at least one major peer-reviewed research journal as a first or second author, as evidenced in the curriculum vitae and/or biographical sketch.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
-Post Date: 04/08/2020
-Due Date For Letter of Intent: 05/29/2020
-Due Date for Applications: 06/29/2020

Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify ACF via email of the intention to submit an application under this announcement by 5/29/2020.

Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

Grantees are required to meet a non-federal share of the project cost, in accordance with Social Security Act Section 1110(a)(1)(A). For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR 75.306.

All applicants must have a DUNS Number and an active registration with the System for Award Management. Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at View this opportunity:

Contact Information:

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

Applicants are encouraged to submit the letter of intent via email to: behav​ioral​schol​ars​@icfi​.com​.

Online grant application:

Letters of intent may also be submitted via mail to:
Behavioral Interventions Scholars Grants
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031

Program Office Contact:
Victoria Kabak
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation
330 C Street SW., 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-5871

Office of Grants Management Contact:
Tim Chappelle
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families
330 C Street SW., 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-4855

Address to Request Application Package:

Behavioral Interventions Scholars Grants c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031

P: (877) 350-5913
F: (703) 934-3740

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


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

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