Student Achievement, Education Achievement Projects Can Win Support

Funders: Spencer Foundation/University of Illinois Chicago; Opportunity: Education grants; Funding Focus: K-12 education, minorities and student achievement; Geographic Focus: National; Eligibility: Researchers (must partner with a college or K-12 school); Funding: Multiple awards (the foundation distributed about $21 million in grants last year); Deadline: Varies by program.

Summary: Funding goes for research on how classroom instruction is conducted and ways to close the achievement gap. The Lyle Spencer Research Awards support intellectually ambitious, large-scale education research projects with budgets between $100,000 and $1,000,000.

The Midcareer Grant program was launched in 2014 to enrich the work of academic midcareer scholars. This targeted program provides support for those who are interested in advancing their understanding of a compelling problem of education, including the K-12 classroom. That program ( has a Sept. 13 deadline.

The foundation has supported a range of programs in the past. The foundation grants offer up to $40,000 to study issues that directly relate to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, but also policies that influence children’s growth and development in the family. Those grants have a rolling deadline.

The foundation awarded $39,500 to the Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC, for a Hispanic education program and $150,000 to the U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, for a study on how to encourage more high school students to prepare for college.

Info: or 312/337-7000; for questions about the competition or deadlines.

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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