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Midcareer Grant Program

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Mid-Career
Scholars for Research Addressing Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Spencer Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/14/17 4:00 PM CDT


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International mid-career scholars affiliated with IHEs, nonprofit research organizations, nonprofit cultural institutions, or school districts to address compelling problems within the field of education. Applications are invited from scholars seven to twenty years postdoctorate who are seeking to advance their understanding of education through the acquisition of new skills, theoretical perspectives, methodological tools, or substantive knowledge.

This program is not intended to encourage researchers to abandon their existing area of expertise, but rather to build on, enrich, and extend that training with the acquisition of new methodological tools and/or perspectives about a subject to which they have been deeply committed throughout their academic career. In developing this program of additive scholarly learning, the Foundation intends to heighten the potential for midcareer productivity and contribution by operationalizing through its grant making an understanding about scholarship that we believe has merit: that reaching beyond familiar ways of thinking about education puzzles and problems has the potential to bring innovative ideas to the work and, by extension, to lines of inquiry in the field.

Applicants will be asked to center their request around the clear articulation and exploration of an important problem, or set of problems, of education that is well-aligned with their core interests and past scholarship. Applicants will also be asked to map the outer edges of what they have come to know through their earlier research and then articulate how they will move into what they do not yet know but hope to learn through a targeted midcareer program of study. In addition, applicants will be asked to fully describe how the acquisition of new tools or perspectives enriches their understanding of that problem and to present a well-thought out plan for acquiring them.

Grant awards will not be confined to proposals to learn a new discipline, although in a number of cases that would fit. A psychologist studying techniques for promoting positive character development in children might spend a year studying philosophical work bearing on character development and the proper role of families and schools in shaping children’s character. A historian of American education might spend a year studying some aspect of the history of education in Brazil or France. A scholar who works on the teaching of writing in colleges might have reason to acquire a deeper understanding of early literacy.

The support provided by these awards is expected to release the applicant from their normal teaching, committee service, and governance responsibilities at their home institution for a significant portion of the year so they might pursue their program of study.

Primary criteria for evaluating proposals will include the overall significance of the education problem being pursued; the case for the importance of bringing new knowledge to bear on the problem; the likely ability of the candidate to benefit from the proposed program, based on past scholarship and letter of recommendation; and the feasibility of the proposed plan.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157577

Number of Grants:

In this award cycle of the grant program, the Foundation will fund up to five Midcareer awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Midcareer Grant budgets are limited to $150,000 total over a one-year period.

Term of Contract:

Grants are for one year (2018-2019 academic year). Awards are available for a start date between June 1, 2018 and October 1, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


-Applicants for the 2017 application deadline must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2010.

-The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, nonprofit research facility, or non-profit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.

-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.


-Midcareer Grant budgets may not be used to cover tuition or related charges from the receiving institution(s).

-Midcareer Grant budgets may not include indirect cost charges.

-Midcareer Grants are not eligible for no-cost extensions.

-Previous recipients of the Spencer Midcareer Grant are prohibited from applying to the program again.

-Resubmissions: If your Midcareer proposal is declined, 1) you must wait a year before submitting a revised proposal, and 2) you are limited to one additional application to the program.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Foundation will be hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday, July 25th at 11:00 AM CDT.

Pre-Application Information:

Application materials must be submitted in English and project budgets must be in U.S. dollars.

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the Spencer Foundation online system

The next deadline for proposal submissions to this program is 4:00 PM CDT, September 14, 2017. Applicants can expect a decision on their proposal in March 2018.

Program Statement:

Eligibility and Process:

Application Guidelines:

Review Panel:


Contact Information:

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

Register for the July 25 webinar here:

Register to apply online:

Maricelle Garcia

The Spencer Foundation
625 North Michigan Ave, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60611


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

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.