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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:

12/01/17 4:00 PM CST


Request a Grant Writer

Grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International scholars for focused symposia and small research conferences. Proposals should address the issues of creating and sustaining equitable educational spaces. Funding is intended to lead to robust research agendas that support the advancement of learners who face structural and systemic barriers in their pursuit of educational opportunities.

In developing a focused request for proposals about exploring the various dimensions of educational equity, the Foundation intends to encourage the research community to propose meetings that move beyond the mere identification of the problem and increase collaboration within and across researcher communities to advance actionable research. The hope is that these conferences will spur the creation of new knowledge or critically re-frame existing sets of knowledge aimed at addressing equity issues. Additionally, scholars are encouraged to imagine, through these conferences, ways in which research can help disrupt inequitable systems and practices in education, to support more learners in developing their full potential.

Educational space denotes any space or context where teaching and learning formally or informally occurs. An educational space may be as distinct as a 3rd-grade mathematics classroom or as general as a summer enrichment program. Conference planners are encouraged to consider the complex interactions occurring between and among groups and their educational spaces. Moreover, conference planners are encouraged to consider the broader contexts in which these spaces are embedded (political discourse, neighborhoods, media).

The request for proposals is premised on the notion that everyone is entitled to a high-quality education. At its most basic level, a high-quality education includes, but is not limited to, a safe and healthy learning environment, a rigorous curriculum, and compassionate and capable professionals in an array of educational settings (schools, universities, out-of-school time programs, enrichment spaces, and community-based spaces).

The Foundation welcomes submissions that will facilitate discussions and lead to research-based solutions to the pervasive issues pertaining to educational equity.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177673

Number of Grants:

The Foundation is planning to award up to 7 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

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

Term of Contract:

Duration can be anywhere from one to three years.

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.

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.

For more information on eligibility and process:

Pre-Application Information:

The review process for the Conference Grants program takes approximately 4 to 5 months following the deadline date. PIs will be notified via email of the final decision regarding their proposal. Final funding decisions will be made in April 2018.



Program statement:

Webinar recording:

Contact Information:

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

Register here:

Pat Cecil

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.