William T. Grant Foundation 2019 Institutional Challenge Grant Finalists

The William T. Grant Foundation is very pleased to announce the finalists for its Institutional Challenge Grant program. Launched in March of 2017, the Institutional Challenge Grant encourages research institutions to build long-term 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. The program aims to bring research, policy, and practice communities together in ways that advance the use of research evidence and reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

“After a rigorous review, the Institutional Challenge Grant selection committee we have invited four finalists from a pool of 20 applications,” said Senior Program Officer Kim DuMont who oversees the program. Similar to last year, the high quality of the proposed partnerships, research, and institutional shifts made it difficult for the selection committee to narrow the pool.

The winning partnership will be announced at the end of March 2019. This announcement will include details about the partnership’s research agenda to reduce inequality, as well as the research institution’s proposed changes in policies and practices to ensure a robust and sustained partnership. The selected institution will receive $650,000 over three years, with the opportunity to apply for a two-year continuation grant to solidify the partnership and institutional changes. The Institutional Challenge Grant is aligned with the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to connect research, policy, and practice.

The 2019 Institutional Challenge Grant finalists are:

Gustavo Bobonis, University of Toronto and Maria Christian Herrero, Puerto Rico Department of Education
Raising Academic Achievement in Under-Performing Schools through Improved Management: A Research-Practice Partnership
The Puerto Rico Department of Education and the University of Toronto will advance a research-practice partnership to reduce inequality in student academic achievement. The partnership will develop a systematic approach to produce and use research evidence from Puerto Rico and elsewhere to inform leadership training and practices in underperforming schools.

Mimi Engel, University of Colorado, Boulder and Sarah Almy and Tina Scheppe, Denver Public Schools
Mind the Gap: Partnering to Narrow Denver’s Achievement Gaps by Retaining Top Teachers
Denver Public Schools’ and the University of Colorado Boulder have formed an early-stage research-practice partnership, the Teacher Workforce Collaborative. Its aim is closing Denver’s large and persistent achievement gaps by strengthening the District’s teacher workforce.

Valerie Kinloch, University of Pittsburgh, and Walter Lewis, Homewood Children’s Village
Reducing Inequality in Youth Academic Outcomes: The Pitt-Homewood Feeder Pattern Coalition Research-Practice Partnership
Homewood Children’s Village and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Education and Social Work, and Pitt’s Community Engagement Center in Homewood propose a partnership that builds upon an existing 10-year relationship between individual faculty from the School of Social Work and Homewood Children’s Village. They aim to reduce inequality in youths’ academic outcomes through a two-generation strategy that will be implemented by trained Scholar Advocates.

Maria Vidal de Haymes, Loyola University Chicago, and Kathy Donahue, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago
Partnering for Impact: An Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Evidence Informed Practice and Professional Training

Loyola University of Chicago and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago will partner to reduce inequality in mental health and legal outcomes for young people who are vulnerable immigrants and refugees living in the Chicago metropolitan area.

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