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Extramural Funding in the Social Sciences and Education

Extramural Funding in the Social Sciences and Education

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Extramural Funding in the Social Sciences and Education

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  1. Extramural Funding in the Social Sciences and Education Wisconsin Center for Education Research, UW-Madison

  2. Finding funding for your work • I will talk about two federal agencies (National Science Foundation and the U.S. Dept of Ed), private foundations, & other options for grad funding of research

  3. Federal Funding Sources • UW-Madison is a national leader • Over $500 million in federal research support in 2006-07 (5th most in the nation) • Over $400 million in non-federal research support (most in the nation)

  4. National Science Foundation • Supports basic research on fundamental discipline-based and interdisciplinary problems • Key program areas for social scientists • Social and Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) • Education and Human Resources (EHR)

  5. National Science Foundation • Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences • Discipline-based programs • E.g., anthropology, political science, sociology • Interdisciplinary programs • Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation • Human and Social Dynamics • Science of Learning Centers • …and many others • See

  6. National Science Foundation • Most NSF programs have small and large awards • Smaller awards for pilots, conferences, syntheses, applications, dissemination • Large awards for full projects • Most NSF awards are for basic research, but some span basic and applied research

  7. National Science Foundation • Disciplinary programs generally have two deadlines each year, e.g. January and August • Interdisciplinary programs have ad hoc deadlines, usually once per year • Disciplinary programs are relatively permanent, interdisciplinary programs seem to come and go as funding and interests wax and wane

  8. National Science Foundation • Whether in SBE or EHR, NSF reviewers are looking for • Clear, concise statements of purpose • Relevant literature and theoretical framework • Valid and reliable measurement • Effective dissemination • Two key elements of NSF proposals • Intellectual merit: Contribute to knowledge • Broader impact: Enhance diversity and benefit society

  9. National Science Foundation • Education and Human Resources Divisions • Undergraduate Education • Graduate Education • Human Resource Development • Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings • NSF-supported education research at UW-Madison mostly falls within this program • Note: NSF’s interest in education is limited to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education

  10. National Science Foundation • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) • Social Sciences is one of the program areas • For beginning or first-year graduate students • Must be US citizen or permanent resident • Applied fields are excluded, specifically including social work and education (except science education)

  11. Institute of Education Sciences • The U.S. Department of Education’s research division is the Institute of Education Sciences • Four centers: research, statistics, evaluation, and special education research • Research is supported by the research and special education research centers

  12. Institute of Education Sciences • IES supports research in a variety of programs, such as: • Math and science education/teacher quality • Reading and writing education/teacher quality • Education policy, finance, and systems • Cognition and student learning • …and many more • See

  13. Institute of Education Sciences • IES supports research that tests the impact of educational interventions on student outcomes, generally test scores • IES privileges randomized controlled trials, because that is the best methodology for testing causal effects • Other methodologies are suited to other questions, but IES is interested in impact assessments

  14. Institute of Education Sciences • All IES program areas support research that addresses one of five goals • Goal 1: Analyze large-scale data sets to develop hypotheses that could later be tested in randomized trials • Goal 2: Develop interventions that could later be tested in randomized trials • Goal 3: Small-scale efficacy trials • Goal 4: Large-scale randomized trials • Goal 5: Develop instruments/assessments

  15. Institute of Education Sciences • IES proposals require less emphasis on theory and more emphasis on application • IES proposals tend to be tightly scripted • Specific elements depend on the goal • Application is preceded by (optional) letter of intent • Full proposals always include the following sections: significance, methods, personnel, resources

  16. Institute of Education Sciences • IES also has a graduate fellowship program, but it is provided to universities rather than to students directly • UW-Madison has an interdisciplinary training program in education sciences • Enables social science doctoral students to apply rigorous methods that permit causal inference to pressing problems of education policy and practice • Students in economics, political science, psycology, sociology, and social welfare are eligible •

  17. Private Foundations • Private foundations are nongovernmental, nonprofit organizations that operate from a principle fund or endowment and are governed by their own trustees and board of directors. • Often able to focus on more long term research initiatives, specific local concerns, or more esoteric issues

  18. Foundation 101 • Often fund small studies, • requiring less extensive review, • Shorter timeframes • allows bundling of research funding

  19. Independent Foundations • Established by families • Spencer Foundation • Annenberg Foundation • Rockefeller Brothers • Carnegie • Gates Foundation

  20. Company Sponsored Foundations • Aka corperate foundations funded by businesses • Best Buy Foundation • Sprint Foundation • Verizon Foundation

  21. Operating Foundations • Combined focus on research, social welfare, other charitable programs • Johnson Foundation - Wingspread

  22. Community Foundations • Supported by & operated for benefit of specific community/region • Helen Bader Foundation • Greater Milwaukee Foundation

  23. Spencer Foundation • The relation between education & social opportunity • Organizational learning in schools, school systems & higher education institutions • Teaching, learning & instructional resources • Purposes & values in education

  24. Funding opportunities • Dissertation year fellowship • Exemplary dissertation award • The National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowships • “Small grants” - <$50,000 • “Large grants” - >$50,000

  25. AERA Dissertation Grants • To stimulate research on U.S. education policy- and practice-related issues using NCES and NSF data sets; • To improve the educational research community's firsthand knowledge of the range of data available at the two agencies and how to use them; and • To increase the number of educational researchers using the data sets • Evaluation criteria: • Importance of the proposed policy issue, the strength of the methodological model and proposed statistical analysis of the study, and relevant experience and research record of the applicant. • Reviews: January, February & August

  26. Local funding opportunities • Department fellowships/scholarships • University fellowships • superior academic achievement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and an effective statement of purpose/reasons for graduate study • Annual Fellowships, Prize Fellowships, Two-year Recruitment Fellowships, and Dissertator Fellowships

  27. Other sources for information • •