William T. Grant Foundation Opens Applications for Two Research Grants Programs: Improving the Use of Research Evidence and Reducing Inequality
The Foundation’s mission is to support research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. The William T. Grant Foundation has opened the application process for two funding opportunities; Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence and Research Grants on Reducing Inequality.
Over the past decade, a growing body of research has illuminated the conditions that facilitate the use of research evidence in policy and practice. For example, studies find that when research is relevant to decision makers, deliberated over thoughtfully, and embedded in policymaking processes, routines, and tools, the findings are more likely to be used. Still, there remain many unanswered questions that are critical to understanding how to improve the production and use of research evidence. What’s more, there is a scarcity of evidence supporting the notion that research use in policy and practice will necessarily improve youth outcomes. Serious scientific inquiry is needed. We need to know the conditions under which using research evidence improves decision making, policy implementation, service delivery, and, ultimately, youth outcomes. In short, we need research on the use of research.
Toward this end, we seek studies that identify, build, and test strategies to enhance the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth. We are particularly interested in research on improving the use of research evidence by state and local decision makers, mid-level managers, and intermediaries. Some investigators will focus on the strategies, relationships, and other supports needed for policy and practice organizations to use research more routinely and constructively. Others may investigate structures and incentives within the research community to encourage deep engagement with decision makers. Still other researchers may examine activities that help findings inform policy ideas, shape practice responses, and improve systems.
Our focus on reducing inequality grew out of our view that research can do more than help us understand the problem of inequality—it can generate effective responses. We believe that it is time to build stronger bodies of knowledge on how to reduce inequality in the United States and to move beyond the mounting research evidence about the scope, causes, and consequences of inequality.
Toward this end, we seek studies that aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people. We prioritize studies about reducing inequality on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins.
Proposals for studies are evaluated based on their fit with our interests in reducing inequality; the strength and feasibility of their designs, methods, and analyses; their potential to inform change; and their contribution to theory and empirical evidence.
The online application for both funding opportunities opened on November 14, 2019. The next deadline for letters of inquiry is January 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST.