The William T. Grant Foundation invests in high-quality research focused on reducing inequality in youth outcomes and improving the use of research evidence in decisions that affect young people in the United States.
Featured Funding Opportunities
The online application is now closed. The next deadline for applications is May 3, 2023.
Opening the Black Box: Overcoming Obstacles to Studying Causal Mechanisms in Research on Reducing Inequality
Although many of today’s disparities have their roots in policies or actions initiated generations ago, there is much we can do today. And new research on causal mechanisms can point the way forward, illuminate how and why larger efforts succeed or fail, and identify more effective means of bringing about improved outcomes for our nation’s youth.
Contending with Complexity: How Two Grantees are Approaching Studies of Mechanisms
Our conversation not only shows how researchers are confronting the challenges of studying mechanisms on the ground, it also reflects the Foundation’s openness to a variety of methodological approaches to understanding mechanisms.
Research on Research Use: Building Theory, Empirical Evidence, and a Global Field
Research can play a vital role in pointing policymakers, civil society, and communities toward a stronger, more sustainable, and just world. But getting there means building on what we know about what it takes for research to be useful, used, and impactful.
Strengthening Methods and Improving Collaboration: The Use of Research Evidence Methods Repository
Introducing an open, centralized resource to help strengthen methods and enable greater collaboration among researchers studying the use of research evidence in policy and practice.
This year’s proposals include partnerships that will examine programs, policies, or practices that seek to reduce racial and economic disparities in K-12 educational outcomes; improve college enrollment, attendance, and completion among youth of color and youth from low-income families; divert youth from the juvenile justice system; and advance economic mobility for youth from low-income families and youth who are disconnected from education and employment.
We are proud to announce four new research grants, including three to support studies on reducing inequality in youth outcomes and one to support a study on improving the use of research evidence. Approved at our fall Board meeting, these awards will help build theory and empirical evidence in our focus areas.
In a new post, grantee Rebecca Lowenhaupt describes how partnering with educators and district leaders during the pandemic yielded new insights about the day-to-day realities of decision-making in rapidly changing environments: “In adapting our work to the new challenges facing our district partners, we learned as much about engaging in productive research-practice partnerships through disruption as we did about the research questions we initially set out to explore.”
This extraordinary group of early career researchers are committed to stretching their expertise in new directions to tackle a broad array of issues that will certainly make an impact on the lives of many young people.
The 21st Century Agenda for Research on Child Welfare and our Interest in Studies on Reducing Inequality
The result of close collaboration with Casey Family Programs and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as well as numerous national organizations, researchers, and individuals with lived experience in child welfare, the 21st century research agenda for child welfare captures the diversity of individuals involved in the child welfare system to highlight the most urgent needs.
Denisa Gándara and Victoria Kim share insights from their ongoing study, which sheds light on barriers that impede faculty of color at research universities from from engaging with policymakers and practitioners around research. Having interviewed 20 faculty members of color who are either on the tenure track or tenured, Gándara and Kim detail the structural hurdles to external engagement and outline respondents’ recommendations for support from their universities.
Since 2015, the William T. Grant Foundation has funded exciting and important research that examines programs, polices, and practices to reduce inequality among youth ages 5-25 in the United States. If you are considering applying for a major grant or Officers’ research award in our reducing inequality focus area, we encourage you to closely evaluate whether your proposed study is a fit with our funding interests.
Proposing Research on Reducing Inequality: Studying Mechanisms and Investigating the “How and Why” Behind Intervention Outcomes
In this new post, Program Officer Melissa Wooten offers guidance for proposing research on reducing inequality, writing: “Understanding why an intervention produces statistically significant outcomes requires moving away from studies that treat participation as the main variable of interest and toward those that analyze the materials and activities within an intervention as malleable factors that influence youth outcomes.”