New Research Grantees will Focus on Reducing Inequality and the Use of Research Evidence

We are proud to announce six new research grants that will build stronger theory and empirical evidence in our focus areas of reducing inequality and the use of research evidence.

Four grantees will conduct research to inform responses to inequality in youth outcomes and opportunities across diverse systems. These studies will examine whether and how policies to extend foster care may reduce inequality in outcomes on the basis of race and income; whether and how peer networks can reduce inequalities in academic outcomes between immigrant and non-immigrant students; the neighborhood conditions that contribute to young people’s civic engagement; and whether interventions designed to change the ways students perceive themselves can reduce racial and socioeconomic inequalities in math achievement.

Two grants will support research that examines the use of research evidence. Specifically, these studies will identify and illuminate the conditions that shape research use in school districts and state government. Grantees will focus on how trusting relationships shape the use of research evidence in state legislatures, and how school district interactions with external partners influence their use of research evidence to implement the Common Core State Standards.

And the final grant of our retired initiative on youth social settings will focus on how communication between teachers and students in the classroom influences students’ literacy skills, and will provide unique insights into supportive language contexts for immigrant students.

Grantees include both established and early-career researchers, and the research teams include scholars from a variety of disciplines, including human development, social service administration, sociology, psychology, communication arts, and economics.

Letters of Inquiry for William T. Grant research grants are accepted three times per year. The next deadline is January 12, 2016.

Research Grants: Reducing Inequality

Understanding the Relationship Between Extended Foster Care and Transitions to Adulthood From Care

Does extending benefits and care beyond age 18 help youth in foster care achieve better economic and educational outcomes?

Mark Courtney and Harold Pollack, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
July 2015–June 2018, $282,462

Understanding the Determinants and Consequences of Social Networks Among Immigrant Children and Adolescents

Do peer networks help reduce inequality in educational and socioeconomic outcomes for immigrant and non-immigrant students?

Jason Fletcher, La Folette School of Public Affairs, and Jenna Nobles, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin; Stephen Ross, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut
July 2015–June 2017, $312,715

Reducing Inequality in Between-Neighborhood Disparity Through Youth Civic Empowerment and Participation

Does civic participation and collective efficacy reduce disparities in educational, economic, and social outcomes for youth?

Peter Levine and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
July 2015–December 2016, $125,000

Understanding For Whom and Under What Conditions Growth Mindset Interventions Reduce Educational Inequalities: A Nationally-Representative Experiment

Do interventions that promote the idea that intelligence is developed, not fixed, reduce inequalities in math achievement?

David Yeager, Department of Psychology, Developmental Area, and Chandra Muller and Robert Crosnoe, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin
July 2015–June 2017, $290,239

Research Grants: Use of Research Evidence

Trust in Relationships: How State Legislators Acquire and Use Research in Deliberation

How do state legislators’ relationships shape their use of research evidence?

Karen Bogenschneider, Human Development and Family Studies, and Robert Asen, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison
June 2015–May 2017, $435,231

Fostering Research Use in School Districts Through External Partnerships: The Role of District Capacity

What organizational conditions facilitate the use of new research knowledge by school districts?

Cynthia Coburn and James Spillane, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University; Anna-Ruth Allen, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Megan Hopkins, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University
July 2015–December 2017, $543,284

Research Grants: Social Settings

The Middle School Classroom Language Environment: Interactions Among Teachers and Youth and Effects on Literacy

What features of classroom language environments influence middle-school students’ language and reading skills?< Perla Gamez, Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, and Nonie Lesaux, Harvard Graduate School of Education August 2015–August 2017, $239,172

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