Bridging research, policy, and practice is a longstanding priority of the William T. Grant Foundation.
Since 2004, one of our primary strategies to achieve this aim has been our Distinguished Fellows Program. Grantees have reported high levels of satisfaction with the program and that it has had a meaningful influence on their work. At the same time, lessons we have learned from grantees in our Use of Research Evidence portfolio have pointed to the importance of institutional change in order to connect research and decision-making. From this scholarship, we have learned about the importance of creating relationships between organizations that produce and use evidence through structures such as research-practice partnerships, about the challenges of incentivizing researchers to address questions that are relevant to policy and practice, and about strategies to create a culture of evidence use in youth-serving organizations.
In March 2017, we used these insights to design a new program that challenges research institutions to strengthen their relationships with organizations that make policy decisions or serve youth. The goal of this program, the Institutional Challenge Grant, is to advance the use of research evidence in ways that reduce inequality in youth outcomes. The award is intended to develop enduring relationships between research institutions and public or private nonprofit organizations.
In the meantime, we are no longer accepting new applications under the Distinguished Fellows program.