Grant Writing Workshop for Historically Black Colleges and Universities Allen Ruby, Ph.D. Katina R. Stapleton, Ph.D. Policy and Systems Division National Center for Education Research
Who We Are: IES’ Legislative Mission • Describe the condition and progress of education in the United States • Identify education practices that improve academic achievement and access to education opportunities • Evaluate the effectiveness of Federal and other education programs
Who We Are: Organizational Structure Office of the Director National Board for Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics National Center for Education Evaluation National Center for Education Research National Center for Special Ed Research
What We Do: Provide Funding Opportunities for Education & Special Education Research
Overall Research Objectives of Grant Programs Develop or identify education interventions (practices, programs, policies and approaches) that enhance academic achievement and that can be widely deployed Identify what does not work and thereby encourage innovation and further research Understand the processes that underlie variations in the effectiveness of education interventions
Final Outcomes of Interest are for Students Preschool School readiness Developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities Kindergarten through Grade 12 Academic outcomes in reading, writing, math and science Behaviors, interactions, and social skills that support learning in school and successful transitions to post-school opportunities High school graduation Functional skills for independent living of students with disabilities Postsecondary: enrollment, persistence, and completion Adult Education: basic reading, writing, and math
HBCUs and IES Funding Opportunities • No HBCUs have received an IES grant to date. • We encourage HBCUs to apply for Education Research and Special Education Research grants. • We encourage HBCUs to take advantage of technical assistance IES provides.
How Can HBCU Researchers Get Started? Recognize that competing a successful grant application is a process that begins before the initial application submission. And that preparing a grant application is part of building your program of research.
Increase HBCU Awareness of Available Funding Opportunities At the Institutional Level . . . • Become knowledgeable about IES funding priorities and competitive grant competitions (http://ies.ed.gov/funding). • Identify researchers on campus who do work in that area (i.e. potential applicants). • They may come from outside your education department/school. • Make sure the potential applicants are aware of available funding opportunities and IES program officers in their areas of interest. • Coordinate phone or in-person meetings with IES staff to discuss your institution’s research capacity & interests.
Increase HBCU Awareness of Available Funding Opportunities At the Researcher Level . . . • Become knowledgeable about IES funding priorities and competitive grant competitions (http://ies.ed.gov/funding). • Sign up for the IES Newsflash (http://ies.ed.gov/newsflash/) to be notified about new competitions. • Identify your own research interests and strengths and see if they overlap current funding priorities. • Contact the relevant IES program officer to discuss your ideas.
Locating the Requests for Applications (RFAs) FY 2011 Requests for Applications are available on: http://ies.ed.gov/funding Sign up for the IES Newsflash: http://ies.ed.gov/newsflash/
“Does IES fund the kind of research that I (we) do?” • What question do you want to answer? Or what problem do you want to solve? • Does the underlying issueof this research question/problem fit within one of the grant competitions? • Does the research method to be used fit within the methodological requirements?
Steps of the Application Process • Read the Request for Applications carefully • Build a good team • Talk to your Program Officer • Write a good application
Identify Appropriate Research Program • Review RFAs • Review Project Abstracts • Talk to IES Program Officers
Research and Research Training Grant Programs Education Research Grant Programs Special Education Research Grant Programs Statistical and Research Methodology in Education Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies Postdoctoral Research Training Grant Programs National Research and Development Centers
Focus of this Webinar • Education Research Grant Program (84.305A) • Special Education Research Grant Program (84.324A)
Education Research Grants Programs (84.305A) Reading and Writing Mathematics and Science Education Cognition and Student Learning Teacher Quality (Reading & Writing; Math & Science) Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning Education Leadership Education Policy, Finance, and Systems Postsecondary Education English Learners Early Learning Programs and Policies Education Technology Adult Education Organization and Management of Schools and Districts Analysis of Longitudinal Data to Support State & Local Education Reform
Special Education Research Programs (84.324A) Reading, Writing, and Language Development Mathematics and Science Education Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education Professional Development for Teachers and Related Service Providers Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning Special Education Policy, Finance, and Systems Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education Transition Outcomes for Special Education Secondary Students Autism Spectrum Disorders
Identify Appropriate Goal(84.305A and 84.324A) Your Research Question(s) and Research Method(s) determine the goal.
FY2011 Research Goals • Exploration • Development & Innovation • Efficacy and Replication • Scale-Up Evaluation • Measurement
Exploration Goal Explore the association of education outcomes with malleable factors Examine factors or conditions that mediate or moderate the relationship between malleable factors and education outcomes Small primary data studies, secondary analyses, and meta-analyses
Exploration Goal Secondary data analysis or meta-analysis: $100,000 to $350,000 per year total cost (direct + indirect) Up to 2 years Primary data collection analysis (with or without secondary analysis): $100,000 to $400,000 per year total cost (direct + indirect) Up to 4 years
Development and Innovation • Develop new interventions (e.g., instructional practices, curricula, teacher professional development) • Demonstrate the feasibility of the intervention for implementation in an authentic education delivery setting • Collect pilot data on promise of intervention to achieve intended outcomes
Development and Innovation • $150,000 to $500,000 per year (total cost) • 1 to 3 years
Efficacy and Replication • Test whether or not fully developed interventions are effective under specified conditions and with specific types of students. • Take place under supportive conditions , e.g. homogenous sample, high assistance • Studies using random assignment to intervention and comparison conditions are preferred where feasible. • New this year: Efficacy follow-up studies
Efficacy and Replication • $250,000 to $750,000 per year (total cost) • Up to 4 years • For Efficacy Follow-Up studies: • $150,000 to $400,000 per year (total cost) • Up to 3 years
Scale-up Evaluation • Test whether interventions are effective when implemented under typical conditions. • As implemented by practitioners and with sufficiently diverse samples to support generalizability. • Studies using randomized assignment to treatment and comparison conditions are preferred whenever they are feasible. • New this year: Scale-up follow-up studies
Scale-up Evaluation • $500,000 to $1,200,000 per year (total cost) • Up to 5 years • For Scale-Up follow-up studies: • $250,000 to $600,000 per year (total cost) • Up to 3 years
Measurement Develop and validate assessments or other measurement tools Typically used by practitioners: screening, progress monitoring, and outcome assessment Some cases for use by researchers Validation of non-student measures involves student outcomes (e.g. Teacher Quality) Program specific, e.g., cost-accounting under Education Policy, Finance, and Systems Not for evaluating an assessment used as an intervention The measure is the primary product
Measurement $150,000 to $400,000 per year (total cost) Up to 4 years
The Goals Build on One Another Exploration should lead to: Develop or modification of an intervention Efficacy evaluation of an intervention Development and Innovation should lead to an Efficacy evaluation if found feasible and pilot data is supportive Efficacy and Replication should lead to a Scale-up evaluation if impact found Measurement should feed into the other goals
Which Goal and Topic are Right for You? Choose topic and goal that fit your research agenda and require your expertise and skills Start to think about which goal is appropriate for the question(s) you want to answer Look at the abstracts of projects funded under a research topic http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/index.asp
What if My Program is “Between” Goals or Topics? PICK ONE! • Read the Request for Applications • Break the project down into smaller pieces • Don’t just go for the largest amount of money • Aim for a well-crafted project that will deliver what it promises • Discuss with a program officer
The Application’s Research Narrative Key part of your application 4 Sections Significance Research Plan Personnel Resources Requirements vary by program & goal 25 pages, single spaced
Significance Describes the overall project Your research question to be answered; intervention to be developed or evaluated, or measure to be developed and/or validated Provides a compelling rationale for the project Theoretical justification Logic Models, Change Models Empirical justification Practical justification Justifies the overall importance of the work
Research Plan Describe the work you intend to do How you will answer your research question; develop your intervention; evaluate the intervention, or develop and/or validate your assessment Make certain Research Plan is aligned to Significance section All analyses should have justification in Significance – answer the research questions. Step-by-step process Timeline to show when everything will be done
Convince reviewers that your team has the skills and experience to implement the proposed work • Show team contains all expertise required for project • If all the expertise required for your project is not available on your campus, consider partnering with another institution • Demonstrate your productivity • Make sure the team includes a senior researcher with a strong grant record • Ensure all team members commit sufficient time to implement the proposed research
Personnel Section Link each person and their expertise to their role in the project Qualifications Roles Responsibilities Percent of time devoted to the project Show every aspect of project has person with expertise and time to do it
Personnel Strategies for PI Senior Researcher Show adequate time to be PI Make credentials clear: not all reviewers may know Junior Researcher as PI Show you have adequate expertise not only to do work but to manage project Continuation of graduate research Management skills as graduate student Reviewers more comfortable if you have senior person(s) on project to turn to for advise Co-PI, Co-I, contractors, advisory board Have them on for enough time to be taken seriously
Resources Show the institutions involved have the capacity to support the work Don’t use university boilerplate If your institution lacks a strong research or grant management record Consider partnering with one that does for first grants Show that all organizations involved understand and agree to their roles The responsibilities of each institution, including schools, to the project Show strong commitment of schools and districts -have alternatives in case of attrition
Resources (continued) Data issues Document permission to use and access to confidential data Show familiarity with data – show that it can be used to do the proposed work If merging datasets, show that it can be done Appendix A is for providing evidence Detailed Letters of Support from research institutions, States, districts, schools
Next Steps • Read the Request for Applications closely one more time and confirm that your idea fits the requirements for a specific Topic (e.g., Read/Write) and Goal • Then talk to your Program Officer
Talk to the Program Officer • Call or email IES program officers early in the process • IES program staff can provide feedback on: • research idea • topic • goal • abstracts and draft proposals