Six New Research Grants and Distinguished Fellowship To Focus on Reducing Inequality and Improving the Use of Research Evidence

We are happy to announce six new research grants that will build stronger theory and empirical evidence in our focus area of reducing inequality. All the grantees will conduct research to inform responses to inequality in youth outcomes across diverse systems. One study will use an innovative technology to examine how growing up as a member of a neighborhood’s minority racial or ethnic group affects behavioral health. Three studies will conduct research related to school-based inequalities: Common Core State Standards, technology in the school system, and building grit as mechanisms to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic inequalities among children. Other projects will look at state policies in the foster care system, explore how Black-White marriage gaps affect children’s academic achievement, and behavioral health development among members of a neighborhood’s minority or majority racial or ethnic groups.

In addition, a new Distinguished Fellow will immerse herself in Boston 2030 and two partner sites where she will gain a stronger understanding of the urban planning process and how research and data are used by decision makers in their urban planning efforts.

The research teams include scholars from a range of disciplines, including psychology, public policy, and education policy.


Research Grants: Reducing Inequality

Understanding the Experience of Majority and Minority Status Through Photovoice

How can youth perspectives inform the development of community interventions that aim to improve adolescent behavioral health by promoting social inclusion and mitigating social exclusion?

Margarita Alegría and Kiara Alvarez, Dept. of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
9/1/2016–8/31/2019, $549,518


Improving the Effectiveness of Digital Educational Tools in Increasing Student Achievement and Reducing Achievement Gaps

How can public schools use digital tools to reduce economic and racial inequalities in learning opportunities and student achievement?

Carolyn Heinrich, College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, and Annalee Good, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison 8/1/2016–7/31/2019, $597,569


Building Grit

Can an intervention promote students’ sustained interest and effort in academic tasks?

Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Angela Duckworth, Dept. of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania 7/1/2016–6/30/2017, $124,435


Under Construction: The Rise, Spread, and Consequences of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in the U.S. Education Sector

How has the spread of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) changed relationships among organizations in the K–12 education sector, and what consequences are evident for teaching, learning, and achievement inequality in U.S. schools?

Brian Rowan and David K. Cohen, School of Education, University of Michigan, Susan L. Moffitt, Dept. of Political Science, Brown University, and Sean F. Reardon, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University
7/1/2016-6/30/2019, $600,000


System/Policy Determinants of Inequalities in Child Welfare: The Case of Running Away From Foster Care

Do state policies regulating the use and quality of congregate care affect racial and ethnic disparities in youth running away from foster care?

Fred Wulczyn and Amy Dworsky, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
9/1/2016–2/28/2018, $268,453


The Racial Marriage Gap and Student Achievement: A New Look at an Old Conundrum

Is the assumption behind pro-marriage policies—that marriage improves academic outcomes among Black youth—empirically supported?

Elizabeth Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina Gibson-Davis, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
7/1/2016–6/30/2018, $229,922


Distinguished Fellowship

Improving Child Health Through Data-Driven Policy and Planning in Housing and Community Development

Megan Sandel, Pediatrics and Public Health, Boston Medical Center

7/1/2016–6/30/2018, $175,000

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Note: In September 2018, we will be relocating to: One Grand Central Place, 60 East 42nd Street, 43rd Floor, New York, NY 10165