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Spencer Foundation 2022 Small Research Grants Program for Researchers Worldwide

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location. Our 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.

We recognize that learning occurs across the life course as well as across settings—from the classroom to the workplace, to family and community contexts and even onto the playing field—any of which may, in the right circumstance, provide the basis for rewarding study that makes significant contributions to the field. We value work that fosters creative and open-minded scholarship, engages in deep inquiry, and examines robust questions related to education. To this end, this program supports proposals from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives, both domestically and internationally, from scholars at various stages in their career. We anticipate that proposals will span a wide range of topics and disciplines that innovatively investigate questions central to education, including for example education, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, economics, history, or neuroscience, amongst others.

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About Spencer Foundation

The Spencer Foundation was established in 1962 by Lyle M. Spencer. The foundation makes grants to support research for areas of education, widely construed.Lyle M. Spencer was the founder of The Spencer Foundation. Spencer grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin and attended college in the Pacific Northwest. He received both an undergraduate degree and master's degree in sociology from the University of Washington in Seattle. Lyle Spencer’s father served as president at said university from 1927-1933. Spencer continued graduate work in sociology at the&... read more


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Spencer Foundation Small Research Grants Program


Aim and Benefits of Spencer Foundation Small Research Grants Program

The Small Research Grants Program supports education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. We accept applications three times per year.


Requirements for Spencer Foundation Small Research Grants Program Qualification

  • Proposals to the Research Grants on Education 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 Small 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 or public/governmental institution 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 or public colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS (or equivalent non-profit status if the organization is outside of the United States).
  • 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.

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Application Deadline

December 1, 2021


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Spencer Foundation on spencer.smartsimple.us to apply

For more details,visit Spencer Foundation website



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