Spencer Foundation Research Grants on Civic Learning and Civic Action

Deadline: small grants – 3 December 2010; major grants – no deadlines
Open to: proposals from the U.S. and internationally; all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.
Grants: small – up to $40,000; major – from $40,000 to $350,000

The Spencer Foundation announces a grants program to support research about how and why individuals and groups become committed to civic action. We call this program of work the Initiative on Civic Learning and Civic Action to highlight our keen interest in learning and action and in the relationships between them. We begin with the assumption that civic action matters for citizenship and for strong institutions and nations. It yields benefits for individuals and groups, who by their actions have their interests and those of their communities represented. But it also yields benefits for society, which stands to gain from the voices, commitments, insights, and participation of diverse communities of individuals.

What compels civic action? We know much more about how to teach civic knowledge and skills than we do about the connections between actions and learning. Teaching civic knowledge and skills may well be crucial for developing good civic actors, but learning about them is not the central concern of this program. In this initiative we focus on action, and on the capacities, circumstances, and contexts that trigger action.

The Foundation is prepared to invest in research and other activities in this initiative for a significant period of time, if interim assessments of progress are promising. We anticipate typical research grants will range from less than $40,000 to $350,000, extending over periods of one to four years or more. We know that the challenges to moving forward in this area will require the commitment of researchers from many disciplines, and will involve a range of methods and techniques. Thus, we expect to build a portfolio of studies that includes researchers from multiple disciplines, sometimes working together, and methods that range from historical and case studies, to quasi-experimental designs, experiments, secondary analyses of existing datasets, and the like. We also see this as a fertile arena for comparative and international work. Complementary activities, including conferences, grantee meetings, working groups, and other methods to learn from one another and to push the agenda forward also are encouraged.

Small grants – Budgets less than $40,000

Eligibility and Restrictions:
* Principal Investigators (PIs) applying for a Research Grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.
* PIs must be affiliated with a college, university, research facility, school district, or cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. Research Grant proposals from individuals are not eligible.
* 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 may only hold one active research grant at a time. Simultaneous submissions from PIs are discouraged due to this policy.

Deadlines
Proposals should be received in hard copy by the deadline date. Deadlines for 2009-2010 are December 4th, 2009, February 12th, 2010, April 30th, 2010, July 9th, 2010, October 1st, 2010, and December 3rd, 2010.

Submission Instructions
Interested applicants should send four copies of the complete  proposal application (including all attachments) to the mailing address below.

Spencer Foundation
Attn: Initiative on Civic Learning and Civic Action
625 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60611

More info here.

Major grants – Budgets Over $40,000

Investigators of projects with budgets over $40,000 are asked to submit a preliminary proposal following the guidelines below. Preliminary proposals are accepted at any time; there are no deadlines. After review of the preliminary proposal, the Principal Investigator may be invited to submit a full proposal. Typically, applicants will be informed about the status of the preliminary proposal within four to six weeks of receipt.

Eligibility and Restrictions:
* Principal Investigators (PIs) applying for a Research Grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.
* PIs must be affiliated with a college, university, research facility, school district, or cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. Research Grant proposals from individuals are not eligible.
* 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 may only hold one active research grant at a time. Simultaneous submissions from PIs are discouraged due to this policy.

More info here.

Submission Instructions

Interested applicants should send three copies of your proposal and attachments to the mailing address below.
Spencer Foundation
Attn: Initiative on Civic Learning and Civic Action
625 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60611

Questions

Please direct any questions regarding the proposal submission process to Annie Brinkman, Program Administrator, at [email protected] or 312-274-6511

The official page.

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