Spencer Foundation: Racial Equity Research Grants in Education

The Racial Equity Research Grants program supports education research projects that will contribute to understanding and ameliorating racial inequality in education. The foundation is interested in funding studies that aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of inequality in education, and which seek to (re)imagine and make new forms of equitable education. Thus, they are interested in research projects that seek to envision educational opportunities in a multiplicity of education systems, levels, settings, and developmental ranges and that reach beyond documenting conditions and paradigms that contribute to persistent racial inequalities.

The goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in relation to racial equity in education. In this cycle of funding, the foundation will continue to fund scholarship focused on a range of communities and issues with respect to equity. They encourage proposals from across the methodological spectrum, including qualitative methods, mixed-methods, and quantitative methods. They want to especially encourage Racial Equity proposals that focus on the following areas: (1) innovative forms of measurement and assessment, (2) artificial intelligence (AI), and (3) current political challenges in k-12 and higher education around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As with other Spencer grant programs, this program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not required to be developed around a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or geographic location. The foundation will be accepting applications for projects ranging from one to five years with budgets up to $75,000.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Racial Equity Research Grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.