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Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program - Expansion-Phase Grants

Grants to USA SEAs, LEAs, and Nonprofits to Implement
and Evaluate Programs to Improve Student Achievement

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U.S. Department of Education (DOE) - Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)

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Grants to USA SEAs, LEAs, Bureau of Indian Education, nonprofit organizations, and consortia to implement and evaluate programs to improve student achievement. Funding is intended to support and improve programs that address problems in education that are preventing students, particularly high-need students, from succeeding.

The EIR program, established under section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA), provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations. The EIR program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent education challenges and to support the expansion of those solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.

The central design element of the EIR program is its multi-tier structure that links the amount of funding an applicant may receive to the quality of the evidence supporting the efficacy of the proposed project, with the expectation that projects that build this evidence will advance through EIR’s grant tiers: “Early-phase,” “Mid-phase,” and “Expansion.”

The Department awards three types of grants under this program: “Early-phase” grants, “Mid-phase” grants, and “Expansion” grants. These grants differ in terms of the level of prior evidence of effectiveness required for consideration for funding, the expectations regarding the kind of evidence and information funded projects should produce, the level of scale funded projects should reach, and, consequently, the amount of funding available to support each type of project.

Expansion grants are supported by strong evidence (as defined in this notice) for at least one population and setting, and grantees are encouraged to implement at the national level (as defined in this notice). The Department expects that Expansion grants will provide funding for implementation and a rigorous evaluation of a program that has been found to produce sizable, significant impacts under a Mid-phase grant or other effort meeting similar criteria, for the purposes of: (a) determining whether such impacts can be successfully reproduced and sustained over time; and (b) identifying the conditions in which the program is most effective. 

This notice invites applications for Expansion grants only. The FY 2021 Expansion grant competition includes two absolute priorities and two invitational priorities. All Expansion applicants must address both absolute priorities. Applicants have the option of addressing one or more of the invitational priorities.

  • Absolute Priority 1--Strong Evidence establishes the evidence requirement for this tier of grants. All Expansion applicants must submit prior evidence of effectiveness that meets the strong evidence standard.
  • Absolute Priority 2--Field-Initiated Innovations--General allows applicants to propose projects that align with the intent of the EIR program statute: To create and take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment.

The two invitational priorities highlight the Administration's acknowledgment of the timely and urgent needs in Pre-K-12 education related to addressing the impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and promoting equity.

  • Invitational Priority 1--Innovative Approaches to Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Underserved Students and Educators     
  • Invitational Priority 2--Promoting Equity and Adequacy in Student Access to Educational Resources and Opportunities 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196870

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $15,000,000

Term of Contract:

Project period: 60 months


  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • 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
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
(a) An LEA;
(b) An SEA;
(c) The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE);
(d) A consortium of SEAs or LEAs;
(e) A nonprofit organization; and
(f) An LEA, an SEA, the BIE, or a consortium described in clause (d), in partnership with--
(1) A nonprofit organization;
(2) A business;
(3) An educational service agency; or
(4) An IHE.

To qualify as a rural applicant under the EIR program, an applicant must meet both of the following requirements:
(a) The applicant is--
(1) An LEA with an urban-centric district locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the Secretary;
(2) A consortium of such LEAs;
(3) An educational service agency or a nonprofit organization in partnership with such an LEA; or
(4) A grantee described in clause (1) or (2) in partnership with an SEA; and
(b) A majority of the schools to be served by the program are designated with a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43, or a combination of such codes, as determined by the Secretary.

Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale codes from the National Center for Education Statistics School District search tool (, where districts can be looked up individually to retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (, where individual schools can be looked up to retrieve locale codes. More information on rural applicant eligibility is in the application package. Note: If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing: (1) proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, (2) a statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual, (3) a certified copy of the applicant’s certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant, or (4) any item described above if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate. In addition, any IHE is eligible to be a partner in an application where an LEA, SEA, BIE, consortium of SEAs or LEAs, or a nonprofit organization is the lead applicant that submits the application. A private IHE that is a non-profit organization can apply for an EIR grant. A nonprofit organization, such as a development foundation, that is affiliated with a public IHE can apply for a grant. A public IHE that has 501(c)(3) status would also qualify as a nonprofit organization and could be a lead applicant for an EIR grant. A public IHE without 501(c)(3) status (even if that entity is tax exempt under Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code or any other State or Federal provision), or that could not provide any other documentation described in 34 CFR 75.51(b), however, would not qualify as a nonprofit organization, and therefore could not apply for and receive an EIR grant.

Pre-Application Information:

- Applications Available: June 7, 2021.
- Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 28, 2021.
- Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 7, 2021.
- Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 7, 2021.
- Pre-Application Information: The Department will post additional competition information for prospective applicants on the EIR program website:

Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if it knows the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, each potential applicant is strongly encouraged to notify the Department of their intent to submit an application. Applicants may access this form using the link available on the Notice of Intent to Apply section of the competition website: Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided.

Cost Sharing or Matching: Under section 4611(d) of the ESEA, each grant recipient must provide, from Federal, State, local, or private sources, an amount equal to 10 percent of funds provided under the grant, which may be provided in cash or through in-kind contributions, to carry out activities supported by the grant. For more information, see

Federal Register Notice published on June 7, 2021:

Program information on

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Contact Information:

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

For further information, contact Yvonne Crockett, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 3E344, Washington, DC 20202-5900. Telephone: (202) 453-7122. Email:

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1–800–877–8339.

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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