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Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence

Grants to USA Nonprofits for
Research to Benefit Youth

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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William T. Grant Foundation

Deadline Date:

08/04/21 3:00 PM EST - Deadline for Officers’ Research Grants


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations for research to benefit youth throughout the country. Funding is intended for evidence-based projects that use research to improve outcomes among youth, ages 5 through 25. The Foundation seeks studies that build, identify, and test strategies to enhance the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth. Two types of grants are available: Major Grants and smaller Officers' Research Grants.

The Foundation is particularly interested in research on improving the use of research evidence by state and local decision makers, mid-level managers, and intermediaries. Some investigators will focus on the strategies, relationships, and other supports needed for policy and practice organizations to use research more routinely and constructively. Others may investigate structures and incentives within the research community to encourage deep engagement with decision makers. Still other researchers may examine activities that help findings inform policy ideas, shape practice responses, and improve systems.

Studying ways to improve the use of research evidence will require new and innovative ideas, and creative studies that have potential to advance the field are welcomed. Proposals for studies are evaluated on the basis of their fit with the Foundation's interests; the strength and feasibility of their designs, methods, and analyses; their potential to inform improvements to research use; and their contribution to theory and empirical evidence.

The Foundation does not have a preference for a particular research design or method. The application review process begins by looking at the research questions or hypotheses. Then staff evaluates whether the proposed research designs and methods will provide strong empirical evidence on those questions. The Foundation supports studies from a range of disciplines, fields, and methods, and encourages investigations into various systems, including justice, housing, child welfare, mental health, and education. The strongest proposals incorporate data from multiple sources and often involve multi-disciplinary teams.

Proposals for studies on improving the use of research evidence must pursue one of the following lines of inquiry:

  1. Build, identify, or test strategies to improve the use of existing research. 
  2. Identify or test strategies for producing more useful research evidence. 
  3. Test the assumption that using high-quality research evidence improves decision making and youth outcomes.

For additional information about these lines of inquiry see:

For information about selection criteria, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184793

Estimated Size of Grant:

Major Research Grants: Research grants on improving the use of research evidence range between $100,000 and $1,000,000. Projects involving secondary data analysis and descriptive research are at the lower end of the budget range ($300,000-$600,000), whereas projects involving new data collection and sample recruitment can be at the higher end. In addition to financial support, the Foundation invests significant time and resources in capacity-building for research grantees. The Foundation provides opportunities for connections with other scholars, policymakers, and practitioners, and organizes learning communities for grantees in each focus area. Such meetings allow grantees to discuss challenges, seek advice from peers and colleagues, and collaborate across projects. To strengthen the grantees’ capacities to conduct and implement strong qualitative and mixed methods work, the Foundation provides access to a consultation service.

Officers' Research Grants: Budgets ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Term of Contract:

Major Research Grants cover two to four years of support.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Organizations
Grants are made to organizations, not individuals. Grants are limited, without exception, to tax-exempt organizations. A copy of the Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt status determination letter is required from each applying organization.

Eligible Principal Investigators
Please consult with your institution about their eligibility criteria regarding who can act as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Principal Investigator on a grant.

The Foundation does not support or make contributions to building funds, fundraising drives, endowment funds, general operating budgets, or scholarships.

Pilot studies, feasibility studies or the planning stages of studies are rarely funded. International studies are rarely funded, as well.

Pre-Application Information:

2021 LOI Deadlines:
- January 13, 2021, 3PM EST
- May 5, 2021, 3PM EST*
- August 4, 2021, 3PM EST

The investigator will be notified of this decision within eight weeks of the LOI deadline.

*Submissions for the Officers’ research grants will be accepted for the January and August deadlines. They will NOT be accepted for the May deadline, which is reserved for major research grants.

The application process for all research grants begins with a letter of inquiry. Letters of inquiry for research grants are accepted three times per year (in the winter, spring, and summer). Letters of inquiry for Officers’ research grants are accepted two times per year (in the winter and summer).

Major Research Grants:
Applicants for major research grants should include funds for the PI to attend a biennial conference and travel to the conference (the next conferences will occur in 2022, 2024, 2026).

Resources for Applicants:


Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

William T. Grant Foundation
60 E. 42nd Street
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10165
T 212.752.0071

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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