The Institutional Challenge Grant encourages university-based research institutes, schools, and centers to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

To do so, research institutions will need to shift their policies and practices to value collaborative research. They will also need to build the capacity of researchers to produce relevant work and the capacity of agency and nonprofit partners to use research.

Applications are welcome from partnerships in youth-serving areas such as education, justice, child welfare, mental health, immigration, and workforce development. We especially encourage proposals from teams with African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American members in leadership roles. The partnership leadership team should include the principal investigator from the research institution and the lead from the public agency or nonprofit organization.


The online application is now open. All applications must be received by September 7, 2018, 3:00 PM EST.

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Goals

The award supports research institutions to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes. Research institutions will need to address four important goals:

  • Build a sustained institutional partnership with a public agency or nonprofit organization that serves young people in the United States.
  • Pursue a joint research agenda to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.
  • Create institutional change to value the partnership and its work.
  • Develop the capacity of the partners to collaborate and use research evidence.

The Award

The award will provide $650,000 over three years, in support of:

  • Up to $50,000 for 6-9 months of joint planning activities (e.g., refining protocols for partnering, selecting fellows, finalizing partnership agreements, etc.).
  • Fellowship support for the equivalent of one full-time or two half-time fellows per year, for two years. In addition, the research institution must contribute the equivalent of one full-time or two half-time fellows for the equivalent of a one-year, full-time term.
  • Up to three years of support for the partnership to conduct research to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.
  • Resources to develop the capacities of both partners.
  • Indirect cost allowance of up to 15 percent of total direct costs.

Recipients of the award will have the opportunity to apply for a two-year continuation grant in order to solidify the partnership and institutional changes. At the end of a five-year grant, we expect the following results:

  • The research institution has established a set of strategies that facilitate sustained research collaborations with public agencies or private nonprofit organizations.
  • The public agency or private nonprofit organization has increased its capacity to use research evidence.
  • Participating researchers have improved partnership skills.
  • The research generated has been used in decision making and is likely to lead to improved outcomes for youth.

We anticipate running the competition for five years (2017- 2022), with one award made each year. Applicants not funded in a prior year are welcome to reapply. We plan to gather grantees and fellows to learn from one another, and we also hope that lessons from these grants radiate beyond the funded institutions and fellows.

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