Research Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Research
Studies for Improving the Lives of Youth

GrantWatch ID#: 179286
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

William T. Grant Foundation

08/02/17 4:00 PM EST

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Grants to USA researchers at nonprofit institutions for investigations into practices and policies that inform the lives of American children and youth ages 5 - 25. Awards are intended to fund research that generates change by contributing to a body of theoretical and empirical knowledge that can improve the lives of young people.

Funding is awarded for two categories of research:
- Research that increases understanding of programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes. Applicants should also include a compelling case for how the study is relevant to reducing inequality, not just to furthering an understanding of inequality as a problem.
- Research that identifies, builds, and tests strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth. This initiative aims to build theory and empirical evidence on strategies for using research evidence for the benefit of decision making and youth outcomes.

Officers’ Research grants are a separate funding mechanism for smaller projects. Some are stand-alone projects that fit the research focus areas; others build off of larger projects. Junior scholars of color are encouraged to apply for these grants as a way to build their research programs.

The Foundation also invests significant time and resources in capacity-building for grantees. This includes opportunities for connections with other scholars, policymakers, and practitioners; targeted learning communities, such as the annual meeting for grantees working on the use of research evidence; and a consultation service through the University of California, Los Angeles’s Semel Institute, Center for Culture and Health, Fieldwork and Qualitative Data Research Laboratory to meet the needs of grantees.

Research grants on reducing inequality typically range from $100,000 to $600,000. Improving the use of research evidence grants will range from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Officers’ Research grants for both initiatives cover budgets up to $25,000.

Research grants on reducing inequality - two to three years of support.
Improving the use of research evidence grants - two to four years of support.

Eligibility Requirements:
- Grants are made to organizations, not individuals.
- Grants are limited, without exception, to tax-exempt organizations.
- Research project advances the Foundation’s interests in understanding programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality or improving the use of research evidence.
- Research project has compelling relevance for programs, policies, and practices affecting youth ages 5-25 in the U.S.
- Funds primarily support research activities, not intervention or service costs.
- Applicant is employed at a tax-exempt organization.

What the Foundation does and does not fund:

The Foundation rarely or never funds:
- Research institutes or programs. The large majority of our funding supports investigator-initiated research that is consistent with our focus areas.
- Books or other writing activities outside the focus areas.
- International studies. The Foundation's mission focuses on supporting research to improve the lives of young people in the United States.
- Pilot or feasibility studies. When they are funded, they are generally initiated by the Foundation.
- Scholarships, building funds, annual campaigns, fundraising drives, or endowments.
- Working meetings. When they are funded, they are usually commissioned to build capacity in Foundation focus areas.
- Proposals on social settings.

The Foundation may support:
- Studies in which some participants fall outside the age range of 5 to 25, so long as the primary research questions must focus on children or youth within the target age range.
- Applications that incorporate both research focus areas, e.g., both the use of research evidence and reducing inequality. However, experience has shown that few applicants are able to do this well. The most successful applications address a few research questions within a single area.

Deadlines for submitting letters of inquiry in 2017:
- January 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm EST
- May 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm EST
- August 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm EST

Application Process:
The application process for all research grants begins with a letter of inquiry (LOI). The LOI functions as a mini-proposal and should meet the funding criteria. The principal investigator should submit the letter of inquiry. If invited to submit a full proposal, the principal investigator must submit the application through an institutional office.

Letters of inquiry are reviewed internally by staff with social science expertise. On occasion, internal reviewers will request more information from applicants or solicit expert opinions in order to more adequately assess a project. The Foundation will decide whether or not to invite a full proposal for further consideration; the investigator will be notified of this decision within eight weeks of the LOI deadline.

Typically, applicants are offered two deadlines for full proposals, ranging from approximately six weeks to six months from the time of the invitation. The review process for full proposals is about six months. Approved awards are made available shortly after Board meetings, which occur in late March, June, and October.

The review process for a successful application, beginning with the submission of a letter of inquiry and ending with approval by the Foundation Board of Trustees, is 10 to 15 months.

Applications for Officers’ Research grants are accepted three times per year and share the same deadlines as the larger research grants program. These grants are awarded on the merit of the letter of inquiry alone and the review process is usually eight weeks from the corresponding deadline.

Resources for Applicants:

- Webinar - Applying for Research Grants on Reducing Inequality:
- Research Grants FAQ:
- Improving the Use of Research Evidence:
- Reducing Inequality:
- Writing the Letter of Inquiry:
- Applying for Research Grants:

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

Letter of Inquiry application begins with registration here:

For questions about application instructions and procedures, contact:
Cristina Fernandez, Research Assistant

General Contact Info:
William T. Grant Foundation
570 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10022-6837
Tel: 212.752.0071
Fax: 212.752.1398

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