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Conference Grant Program

Grants to USA, Canada, and International
Scholars to Hold Small Research Meetings

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Spencer Foundation

Deadline Date:

12/04/19 12:00 PM Central Time


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Grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International scholars for focused symposia and small research conferences. The symposia and research conferences should advance and build upon best practices in education research in the fields of exploring human learning and thriving, developing high-quality educators and leaders, and innovative research methods.

This program is intended to bring together researchers whose substantive knowledge, theoretical insight, and methodological expertise can be assembled in ways that build upon and advance best practices in education research. These convenings can serve as starting points for building new research agendas or as touchstones for research communities to connect and advance their shared scholarly interests about education research. The Foundation rotates the area of focus for this program annually to generate fresh ideas and perspectives on pressing educational challenges. For the next two funding cycles the Foundation will support conferences related to three topics that emerged from a year-long field engagement with the education research community.

The Foundation invites scholars to share ideas for engaging in dialogue about education research to catalyze innovation, advance the field, and enhance the ability to understand key issues. The meetings the Foundation aims to support can include a broad set of perspectives on topics or education problems connected to one of the three areas of focus listed below:
- Developing High-Quality Educators and Leaders
- Exploring Human Learning and Thriving
- Innovative Research Methods

The Foundation is interested in proposals with thoughtfully designed meetings to address any one of the three topics listed above. One of the strengths of educational research is the way in which scholars engage numerous disciplinary traditions to answer critical questions facing the field. Successful proposals will bring together researchers from the field of education and beyond to approach the proposed topic from multiple perspectives. The Foundation also encourages applicants proposing conferences to consider ways of bridging the substantive, theoretical, and methodological expertise of participants. While not a requirement, successful proposals in previous rounds have also included other attendees outside of the academy such as teachers, policymakers, artists, or journalists if the convening called for such expertise.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177673

Estimated Size of Grant:

This grant program supports conference proposals with budgets of $50,000 or less.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a conference grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.

The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, non-profit 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.

The Foundation's conference grant program on research is meant to support scholars for new one-time meetings. Spencer Conference Grants may not be used to support ongoing conferences or meetings that are already in existence.

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 and Co-PIs may not submit more than one application for a given deadline in this program.

Budgets may not include indirect cost charges.

Pre-Application Information:

The application process begins with a full proposal; there is no requirement to submit a letter of intent or intent to apply form. Full proposals are due by 12:00 pm central time, December 4, 2019.

Conference Grant proposals must be submitted through an online application form following the guidelines outlined on the URL for Full Text.

The review process for the Conference Grants program takes approximately 4-5 months.

Contact Information:

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

Online Application:

If you have reviewed the program statement and application guidelines and still have questions about where your idea for a conference falls within the focus of the call, feel free to email at for guidance.

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

Contact form:

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.