Applicant GuidanceThese resources offer recommendations for applicants seeking to apply for a research or Scholars grant aligned with the Foundation’s focus area on reducing inequality.
- Letters of Inquiry to Propose Research on Reducing Inequality: Identifying the Lever for Change
Jenny Irons, 2018
- Changing the Conversation About Inequality: the First Step, Writing the Letter of Inquiry
Vivian Louie, 2014
- Changing the Conversation About Inequality: Applying for Research Grants
Vivian Louie, 2014
Recommended ReadingThe following resources address three critical considerations in proposals for research on reducing inequality: 1) rich conceptualizations of what it means to reduce inequality, 2) robust methods for studying efforts to reduce inequality, and 3) research agendas that propose ways to reduce inequality. We encourage you to read the resources below and consider the research agendas outlined as you develop a proposal.
Conceptualizing Reducing Inequality
- Shifting the Lens: Why Conceptualization Matters in Research on Reducing Inequality
Jenny Irons, 2019This essay describes how strong conceptualizations of inequality can inform subsequent efforts to identify and study appropriate strategies for reducing inequality. Irons offers specific examples of how grantees have employed rich conceptualizations of inequality to inform their own studies, and outlines considerations for researchers to attend to as they propose their own efforts to develop, test, or inform strategies to reduce inequality.
- Inequality is the Problem: Prioritizing Research on Reducing Inequality
Adam Gamoran, 2014This essay describes the Foundation’s approach to supporting research on reducing inequality. Grounded in a discussion of educational inequality, Gamoran’s essay offers new approaches to thinking about inequality, identifies key leverage points for reducing inequality, and examines the potential for research to inform effective responses to inequality.
- Inequality and Opportunity: The Role of Exclusion, Social Capital, and Generic Social Processes in Upward Mobility
Linda Burton and Whitney Welsh, 2015This commissioned paper examines the micro-level social processes that contribute to the social exclusion of disadvantaged racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups and offers insight into the ways that context can disrupt the effects of these processes. Burton and Welsh conclude with research and policy recommendations for strengthening social capital and social mobility among the poor that take these social processes into consideration
- Inequality Matters
Prudence Carter and Sean Reardon, 2014This commissioned paper synthesizes existing research on social inequality in the socioeconomic, health, political, and sociocultural domains. Carter and Reardon also offer a detailed conceptualization of what they mean by inequality. The paper concludes with a discussion of key gaps in the literature on inequality and ways to reduce inequality.
Methods and Measurement
- Harnessing Discovery: Writing a Strong Mixed-Methods Proposal
Eli Lieber, 2016This essay offers specific guidance for researchers proposing mixed-methods studies, identifying four key elements of high-quality mixed-methods proposals.
- Identifying Responses to Inequality: The Potential of Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research
Vivian Louie, 2016This essay, designed to be useful to all applicants regardless of their methodological approach, describes the value of qualitative and mixed-method approaches for studies on reducing inequality. </li
Research Agendas for Reducing Inequality
- Disparities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Mental Health Services in the U.S.
Margarita Alegría, Jennifer Greif Green, Katie A. McLaughlin, and Stephen Loder, 2015This commissioned paper explores specific mechanisms driving disparities in mental health outcomes for minority children and adolescents, as well as protective factors and barriers to mental health care. The authors detail a research agenda for future studies to respond to mental health inequalities among youth.
- A New Agenda for Eliminating Racial Inequality in the United States: The research we Need
William Darity, Jr., 2018This essay puts forth a new frame for understanding and confronting racial inequalities. Darity discusses the structural roots of racial disadvantage and consequences of generations of anti-Black discriminatory policies. This essay also outlines a research agenda focused on specific policy responses to racial inequalities.
- The Future of Educational Inequality in the United States:What Went Wrong, and How Can We Fix It?
Adam Gamoran, 2015This essay presents an analysis of trends driving inequalities in the education system. Gamoran outlines an agenda for future research on efforts to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes.
- Understanding Inequality and the Justice System Response: Charting a New Way Forward
John Laub, 2014This commissioned paper offers an overview of existing research on crime, victimization, and the justice system response and describes the inequalities that exist prior to and emerge from justice system involvement. Building upon this discussion, Laub outlines a research agenda for future research on reducing inequality in justice outcomes for youth.
- Research to Improve Outcomes for English Learners
Vivian Louie, 2017This essay describes how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers an opportunity to improve academic outcomes for English learners. Louie examines specific research questions and data needs related to ESSA’s implementation that have the potential to improve English learners’ academic outcomes.
- The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them
James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, Kelly Becker, and Janet Rosenbaum, 2015This commissioned paper outlines key issues and new directions for research to improve the outcomes of youth who enter college but fail to complete a credential.
- Once More from the Top: Examining Macro-Social Structures of Inequality to Improve Youth Outcomes
Timothy M. Smeeding, 2018This essay discusses the need for research to identify and develop ways to address macro-social structures that form the basis of existing inequalities. Smeeding also outlines a research agenda for identifying policy solutions that can disrupt the foundations of inequality and improve outcomes for youth.
- Intersecting Inequalities: Research to Reduce Inequality for Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth
Carola Suárez-Orozco, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Vivian Tseng, 2015This commissioned paper explores six drivers of inequality for immigrant-origin children and youth and considers how school and family contexts might facilitate efforts to improve outcomes for immigrant-origin youth. The authors also outline relevant areas for future research to reduce immigration-related inequality.
- Disrupted Lives: The Forceful Displacement of Refugee Children and New Directions for Research
Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, 2017In this interview, Suárez-Orozco draws from themes from recent research on immigrant and refugee youth to outline a research agenda for ways to reduce inequalities in outcomes for immigrant and refugee youth across a range of policy domains.
- Research on Reducing Inequality: Why Programs and Practices Matter, Even in an Unequal Society
David Yeager, 2018In this essay, Yeager draws upon insights from his research on mindset interventions to reduce inequality in order to respond to critiques that studies of programs and practices to reduce inequality do not address the underlying contexts in which these inequalities exist.
What We’re Reading
Conceptualizing Dimensions of Inequality
- The Challenge of Acculturation Measures: What Are We Missing? A Commentary on Thomson and Hoffman-Goetz Margarita Alegría, 2009
- Report of the APA Task Force on Socioeconomic Status American Psychological Association, 2006
- You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Racial Discipline Disparities Prudence L. Carter, Russell Skiba, Mariella I. Arredondo, and Mica Pollock, 2017
- Best Practices in Conceptualizing and Measuring Social Class in Psychological Research Matthew A. Diemer, Rashmita S. Mistry, Martha E. Wadsworth, Irene López, and Faye Reimers, 2013
- Racial Formation in the United States, Third Edition Michael Omi and Howard Winant, 2015
- Racial Formation in Perspective: Connecting Individuals, Institutions, and Power Relations Aliya Saperstein, Andrew M. Penner, and Ryan Light, 2013
- Advancing Methods in Research on Asian American Children and Youth Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Rashmita Mistry, and Yijie Wang, 2016