The Education Dept. launches the first round of the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant competition for 2017, the successor of the Obama administration’s $1.4 billion Investing in Innovation grant program (i3).
Deadline: April 13.
EIR is a new grant program established in the Every Student Succeeds Act; final funding levels are contingent on congressional appropriations. President Obama sought $180 million for the grants in his FY 2017 budget request.
Like its predecessor, EIR supports state and local efforts to develop, implement and take to scale innovative and evidence-based projects. About 25 percent of EIR grant funds will support rural areas. EIR was sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
EIR differs from i3 in a few ways: states, in addition to districts, will now be eligible to receive grants, and states and districts may also collaborate with a wider range of organizations on their EIR projects, DoEd said.
Interestingly, the competition assumes the CFDA numbers of the defunct i3 program. The three parts of the EIR competition are: CFDA Number: 84.411A (Expansion grants); 84.411B (Mid-phase grants); 84.411C (Early-phase grants)
EIR will award grants for new and ongoing projects:
- Early-phase grants are focused on launching, iterating and refining innovative new practices that have the potential for future scaling; and,
- Mid- and Expansion-phase grants require increasingly rigorous levels of evidence in order to justify further replication and scaling of the practice.
While all EIR grantees are expected to focus on underserved students, the grant competition encourages a wide variety of projects that address persistent educational challenges, such as supporting principal training efforts, improving school climate, and preparing students for college and careers.
In addition to the new competition, the department also announced today that all 2016 i3 highest rated applicants have secured the required matching funding for their projects and will receive their federal grants. All applications will be peer reviewed and the department will announce winners next fall.