William T. Grant and Spencer Foundations Award Rapid Response Research Grants to Combat Youth Inequality Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic
The William T. Grant Foundation and the Spencer Foundation today announced two new Rapid Response Research grants, which will support collaborations between researchers and policymakers, with the central goal of reducing inequality in youth outcomes in the United States.
With resource shortfalls and shifting priorities expected to compound existing inequalities in a range of policy areas, the Foundations have committed up to $900,000 in grants to leverage research for smart public policy that can positively impact the lives of young people. The first of the two grants awarded today will support the Boston Mayor’s office to work with Professor Alicia Modestino of Northeastern University to use evidence to design their summer youth employment programs. The second grant will bring together a team of researchers in Drexel University’ Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to inform alternatives to confinement for young people caught in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The Foundation will award additional grants on a rolling basis in the coming months.
“The William T. Grant Foundation developed the Rapid Response Research awards to foster agile uses of research to respond to the needs of young people growing up in an uncertain and turbulent social climate,” said Adam Gamoran, president of the Foundation. “This year, we’ve devoted nearly the entire budget of this grant program toward work that is specifically designed to reduce inequality and improve the youth outcomes amid the changing social contexts in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful that the Spencer Foundation has joined this effort, in addition to their own COVID-19 related special grants.”
The cornerstone of the Rapid Response Research grants program is collaboration between researchers and policymakers. The researchers commit to synthesizing the relevant literature within an abbreviated timeframe of six to eight weeks, and both the policy and research partners develop an engagement plan to ensure that the research yields action. The swift, systematic review of existing research is jointly designed by both partners to ensure that the questions guiding the synthesis are responsive to real information needs of decision makers...