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Grant Writing Workshop for Minority Serving Institutions. Katina Stapleton, Ph.D. National Center for Education Research Rob Ochsendorf, Ed.D . National Center for Special Education Research. Purpose of this Presentation.

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Grant Writing Workshop for Minority Serving Institutions

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Grant writing workshop for minority serving institutions

Grant Writing Workshop forMinority Serving Institutions

Katina Stapleton, Ph.D.

National Center for Education Research

Rob Ochsendorf, Ed.D.

National Center for Special Education Research

Purpose of this presentation

Purpose of this Presentation

Increase awareness of researchers at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) of research grant funding at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Provide tips to MSI researchers on the grant application process

Quick overview of ies

Quick Overview of IES

Grant writing workshop for minority serving institutions

Organizational Structure of IES

Office of the Director

National Board for Education Sciences

Standards & Review Office

National Center for Education Evaluation

National Center for Education Research

National Center for Education Statistics

National Center for Special Education Research

A very quick introduction to developing grant proposals

A Very Quick Introduction to Developing Grant Proposals

“Great ideas do not appear in thirty-minute windows of time. When designing a research project, expect to spend lots of time on it. You will.”

Writing Successful Science Proposals

Grant application cycle

Grant Application Cycle

Critical first step is to determine that your research fits within IES priorities and specific Request for Application.

Missions of the research centers

Missions of the Research Centers

  • NCER

    • supports rigorous research that addresses the nation’s most pressing education needs, from early childhood to adult education


    • sponsors a rigorous and comprehensive program of special education research designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of infants, toddlers, and students with or at risk for disabilities from birth through high school

Ies grant programs research objectives

IES Grant Programs: Research Objectives

  • Develop or identify education interventions (practices, programs, policies, and approaches)

    • that enhance academic achievement

    • that can be widely deployed

  • Identify what does not work and thereby encourage innovation and further research

  • Understand the processes that underlie the effectiveness of education interventions and the variation in their effectiveness

Ncer investments by competition 2002 2013

NCER Investments by Competition (2002-2013)

Ncser investments by competition 2006 2013

NCSER Investments by Competition (2006-2013)

Funding opportunities for minority serving institutions msis

Funding Opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)

A quick overview of msis

A Quick Overview of MSIs

Alaska Native-Serving Institutions

American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities

Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

High Hispanic Enrollment and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions

Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions

Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs)

Ies funding opportunities for msis

IES Funding Opportunities for MSIs

There are no targeted funding opportunities for MSIs.

We encourage MSIs to apply for Education Researchand Special Education Research grants and training grants.

We encourage MSIs to take advantage of the technical assistance IES provides.

How can researchers at msis get s tarted

How can researchers at MSIs get started?

Recognize that completing a successful grant application is a process that begins before the initial application submission

Also know that preparing a grant application is part of building your program of research

Increase msi awareness of available funding opportunities

Increase MSI Awareness of Available Funding Opportunities

At the Institutional Level . . .

  • Scan The Federal Register (, where funding opportunities are announced

  • Become knowledgeable about IES funding priorities and competitive grant competitions (

  • Identify researchers on campus who do work in education research (i.e., potential applicants)

    • They may come from outside your education department/school

Increase msi awareness of available funding opportunities1

Increase MSI Awareness of Available Funding Opportunities

At the Institutional Level . . .

  • Make sure potential applicants are aware of available funding opportunities and IES program officers in their areas of interest

  • Coordinate phone or in-person meetings with IES staff to discuss your institution’s research capacity and interests

Strengthen research partnerships

Strengthen Research Partnerships

At the Institutional Level . . .

Make sure researchers on your campus are fully aware that these partnerships exist.

  • Research consortiaand research networks

    • Available at the national, regional, and local levels

  • Partnerships with LEAs, SEAs, and regional laboratories

  • Partnerships with other research universities and firms

Increase msi based researchers awareness of available funding opportunities

Increase MSI-based Researchers’ Awareness of Available Funding Opportunities

At the Researcher Level . . .

  • Sign up for the IES Newsflash ( to be notified about new competitions

  • Become knowledgeable about IES funding priorities and competitive grant competitions (

Our assumptions of you and what you want

Our Assumptionsof You and What You Want

  • We assume that you want…

    • to help improve education

    • to carve out your own research agenda

    • to get funding to conduct your research

  • We assume that you have…

    • expertise in a wide range of topic areas and research methods/analyses

    • varying levels of familiarity with grant writing

Identifying the appropriate funding opportunity

Identifying the Appropriate Funding Opportunity

  • Identify your own research interests and strengths and see if they overlap with current funding priorities

  • Read the separate Requests for Applications (RFAs), which describe the application requirements

  • Contact the relevant IES Program Officer to discuss your ideas (e-mail first)

First step identify appropriate research program topic and goal

First Step? Identify Appropriate Research Program, Topic, and Goal

  • Review the RFAs (

  • Identify a program (305A, 324B, etc.)

  • Identify a topic (Reading & Writing, Postsec, etc.)

  • Identify a goal (Exploration, Development, etc.)

  • Review abstracts of other projects within that topic or goal:



  • Talk to IES Program Officers

Fy 2015 research grant programs

FY 2015 Research Grant Programs

  • Education Research Programs (84.305A)

  • Special Education Research Programs (84.324A)

  • Education Research & Development Centers (84.305C)

    • Knowledge Utilization

    • Standards in Schools

    • Virtual Learning

  • Statistical & Research Methodology in Education (84.305D)

    • Statistical & Research Methodology Grants

    • Early Career Statistical & Research Methodology Grants

  • Partnerships & Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice & Policy (84.305H)

    • Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research

    • Continuous Improvement Research in Education

    • Evaluation of State & Local Education Programs & Policies

Fy 2015 research training grant programs

FY 2015 Research Training Grant Programs

  • Research Training Grant Programs in the Education Sciences(84.305B)

    • Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training

    • Postdoctoral Research Training Program

    • Methods Training for Education Researchers

  • Research Training Program in Special Education: Early Career Development and Mentoring (84.324B)

A closer look

A Closer Look . . .

Education Research Grants (84.305A)

Does ies fund the kind of research that i we do

“Does IES fund the kind of research that I (we) do?”

What education problemdo you want to solve? What questiondo you want to answer?

Does the underlying issue of this research question/problem fit within one of the IES grant topics?

What content will you address? What samplewill you study?

Does your research method fit the requirements of one of the IES goals?

Ncer ultimate outcomes of interest student outcomes

NCER Ultimate Outcomes of Interest: Student Outcomes


Ncer ultimate outcomes of interest student outcomes1

NCER Ultimate Outcomes of Interest: Student Outcomes


Ncser ultimate outcomes of interest student outcomes

NCSER Ultimate Outcomes of Interest: Student Outcomes


Identify appropriate topic and goal

Identify Appropriate Topic and Goal

Your research question(s) and research method(s) determine the topic and goal.

Education research topics 84 305a

Education Research Topics (84.305A)

  • Cognition and Student Learning

  • Early Learning Programs and Policies

  • Education Technology

  • Effective Teachers & Effective Teaching

  • English Learners

  • Improving Education Systems: Policies, Organization, Management, and Leadership

  • Mathematics and Science Education

  • Postsecondary and Adult Education

  • Reading and Writing

  • Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning

Special education research topics 84 324a

Special Education Research Topics (84.324A)

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education

Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education

Families of Children with Disabilities

Mathematics and Science Education

Professional Development for Teachers and Related Service Providers

Reading, Writing, and Language Development

Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning

Special Education Policy, Finance, and Systems

Technology for Special Education

Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with Disabilities

Fy2015 research goals

FY2015 Research Goals


Development & Innovation

Efficacy & Replication



Exploration goal

Exploration Goal

  • Explore associations between education outcomes and malleable factors

  • Identify factors and conditions that may mediate or moderate relations between malleable factors and student outcomes

  • Possible methodological approaches include:

    • Analyze secondary data

    • Collect primary data

    • Complete a meta-analysis

    • Combination of above

Development innovation goal

Development & Innovation Goal

Development process must be iterative!

  • ANDcollect data on its feasibility, usability, and fidelity of implementation in actual education settings

  • ANDcollect pilot data on student outcomes.

Develop an innovative intervention (e.g., curriculum, instructional approach, program, or policy)

ORimprove existing education interventions

Efficacy replication goal

Efficacy & Replication Goal

Evaluate whether or not a fully developed intervention is efficacious under limited or ideal conditions


Replicate an efficacious intervention varying the original conditions


Gather follow-up data examining the longer term effects of an intervention with demonstrated efficacy


Analyze retrospective (historical) secondary data to test an intervention implemented in the past

Efficacy replication goal1

Efficacy & Replication Goal

Intervention must be fully developed

Implemented under ideal or routine conditions

Implemented by end user in authentic education settings

Remember to a ddress requirements

Remember to Address Requirements

Cost analysis

Data Management Plan (in appendix E)

Effectiveness goal

Effectiveness Goal

Evaluate whether a fully developed intervention that has evidence of efficacy is effective when implemented under typical conditions through an independent evaluation

Effectiveness goal1

Effectiveness Goal

Must have two prior efficacy studies of the intervention with beneficial and practical impacts on student outcomes

Implemented by end user under routine conditions

Project team must be independent of intervention

Remember to a ddress requirements1

Remember to Address Requirements

Cost analysis

Data Management Plan (in appendix E)

Measurement goal

Measurement Goal

Development of new assessments or refinement of existing assessments, and the validation of these assessments


Validation of existing assessments for specific purposes, contexts and populations

Measurement goal1

Measurement Goal

  • Must include a rationale for a new assessment or refinement

  • Will result in well-specified assessment framework:

    • Operation definition(s) of construct(s)

    • Theoretical model showing relation of construct(s)

    • Description of how assessments provides evidence of construct(s)

    • Description of the intended use(s) and population(s)

For all goals

For All Goals

Dissemination plan

Check RFA for materials for each Appendix

The goals build on one another

The Goals Build on One Another

  • Exploration could lead to…

    • Development or modification of an intervention

    • Efficacy evaluation of an intervention

  • Development & Innovation could lead to an Efficacy evaluation, if the intervention is found feasible and pilot data is supportive

  • Efficacy & Replication could lead to an Effectiveness study, if impact is found across multiple efficacy/replication studies

  • Measurement could feed into the other goals

What if my project is between goals or topics

What if My Project is “Between” Goals or Topics?


  • Read all of the goals in the RFA so that you understand where your work falls along the continuum of goals. What should come before your project? What should come after it?

  • Break the project down into smaller pieces

  • Don’t just go for the largest amount of money

  • Aim for a well-crafted project that will deliver what it promises

  • Discuss your ideas with a Program Officer

Grant writing workshop for minority serving institutions

Maximum Award Amounts

(84.305A & 84.324A)

The application s research narrative

The Application’s Research Narrative

Key part of your application

4 Sections:


Research Plan



Requirements vary by topic and goal

25 pages, single-spaced

Read the rfa very carefully

Read the RFA Very Carefully

See pages 6-7 for highlights of changes in the FY 2015 84.305A RFA.

See pages 5-6 for highlights of changes in the FY 2015 84.324A RFA.

Pay attention to all topic and goal requirements to avoid making errors that will keep your application from being reviewed.




  • Describes the overall project

    • Your research question(s) to be answered, or

    • Intervention to be developed or evaluated, or

    • Measure to be developed and/or validated

  • Provides a compelling rationale for the project

    • Theoretical justification

      • Logic models, change models

    • Empirical justification

    • Practical justification

  • Justifies the overall importance of the work


Research plan

Research Plan

  • Describe the work you intend to do

    • How you will answer your research question, or

    • Develop your intervention, or

    • Evaluate the intervention, or

    • Develop and/or validate your assessment

  • Make certain Research Plan is aligned to Significance section

    • All analyses should have justification in Significance (i.e., answer the research questions)

  • Step-by-step process

    • Timeline to show when everything will be done


Dissemination plan now required

Dissemination Plan Now Required

  • Part of the Research Plan

  • Should identify…

    • the audience

    • how you intend to reach this audience

    • the products you will develop


Build a good team

Build a Good Team



Convince reviewers that your team has the skills and experience to implement the proposed work.

If all the expertise required for your project is not available on your campus, consider partnering with another institution.

Demonstrate your productivity.

Make sure the team includes a senior researcher with a strong grant record.



  • Link each person and their expertise to their role in the project:

    • Qualifications

    • Roles

    • Responsibilities

    • Percent of time devoted to the project

  • Show every aspect of project has person with expertise and time to do it.

Personnel strategies for principal investigator pi

Personnel Strategies for Principal Investigator (PI)

  • Senior Researcher as PI

    • Show adequate time to be PI

    • Make credentials clear; not all reviewers may know

  • Junior Researcher as PI

    • Show you have adequate expertise not only to do work but to manage project

      • Continuation of graduate research

      • Management skills as graduate student

    • Reviewers more comfortable if you have senior person(s) on project to turn to for advice

      • Co-PI, Co-I, contractors, advisory board

      • Have them on for enough time to be taken seriously



  • Show the institutions involved have the capacity to support the work

    • Don’t use university boilerplate

  • If your institution lacks a strong research or grant management record…

    • Consider partnering with an experienced institution for initial research grant submissions

  • Show that all organizations involved understand and agree to their roles

    • Describe the responsibilities of each institution, including schools, to the project

    • Show strong commitment of schools and districts—have alternatives in case of attrition



  • Data issues

    • Document permission to use and access confidential data

    • Show familiarity with data and show that it can be used to do the proposed work

    • If merging datasets, show that it can be done

  • Proof of access to data and schools is required

Now that you ve decided to apply what s next

Now that you’ve decided to apply, what’s next?

Then contact a program officer

Contact Relevant Program Officers

Then, Contact a Program Officer

Program Officers can offer guidance and technical assistance

Program Officers are associated with competitions and/or topics

Contact information is included at the end of each RFA

Contact information is also available on each of the program pages on the IES website

Documents for submission

Documents for Submission

  • RFA

    • No separate submission guide

  • FY 2015 Application Packages will be available on June 5, 2014 at

Grant writing workshop for minority serving institutions

Important Dates and Deadlines

Submit a letter of intent

Submit a Letter of Intent

  • Letters of Intent are strongly encouraged

    • Program Officer will contact you to offer assistance

    • Used to identify expertise needed for peer-review panels and to secure a sufficient number of reviewers

    • Non-binding and not used in review

  • LOIs are submitted electronically


  • If you miss the deadline, please contact the relevant Program Officer to let him/her know of your intent to submit

Application due dates

Application Due Dates

Applications are accepted once a year

For FY 2015, applications are due August 7, 2014 at 4:30:00 PM Washington DC time (Eastern)

We do NOT accept late applications

The authorized representative at your institution (not the PI) actually submits the grant to IES

The review process

The Review Process

Path to Success

Not Reviewed (late, missing components, does not meet requirements, etc.)


(Initial Scores are not strong enough to move forward to full panel)

Not Recommended (Final panel scores are not strong enough to receive funding)

Problems after panel review (No access to data sets or schools, etc.)

Paths to Rejection



  • All applicants will receive e-mail notification that the following information is available via the Applicant Notification System (ANS):

    • Status of award

    • Peer reviewer summary statement

  • If you are not granted an award the first time, consider resubmitting and talking with your program officer

Help us help you

Help Us Help You

  • Read the Request for Applications carefully

  • Call or e-mail IES Program Officers early in the process

  • As time permits, IES program staff can review draft proposals and provide feedback

    Don’t be afraid to contact us!

For more information

For More Information

Katina Stapleton

Robert Ochsendorf

Additional information summaries of fy 2015 r05b r05h and r324b competitions

Additional InformationSummaries of FY 2015 R05B- R05H and R324B Competitions

Research training programs in the education sciences 84 305b

Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences (84.305B)

Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program

Postdoctoral Research Training Program

Researcher & Policymaker Training Program in the Education Sciences

Predoctoral interdisciplinary training program

Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Training Program

For institutions to create cohesive graduate training programs

Should involve a number of different disciplines

Postdoctoral research training program

Postdoctoral Research Training Program

For institutions to establish postdoctoral training programs to train researchers in the skills necessary to conduct the type of research that the Institute funds

Research training program in special education 84 324b

Research Training Program in Special Education (84.324B)

  • Early Career Development and Mentoring

    • Intended for those within 3 years of their doctorate or postdoctoral work

    • Provides support to further develop methodological, content, and grant writing expertise

    • Involves working with a mentor

    • Requires a research plan AND career development plan

Education research and development centers 84 305c

Education Research and Development Centers (84.305C)

Knowledge Utilization

Standards in Schools

Virtual Learning

Knowledge utilization

Knowledge Utilization

Explore how and when practitioners use research evidence to make decisions

Explore how existing education research can be made more relevant and useful to practitioners

Standards in schools

Standards in Schools

  • States across the U.S. are adopting and implementing new standards for college- and career-readiness

    • E.g. Common Core State Standards

  • Explore how K-12 schools and teachers are responding to new standards and what they might mean for students

Virtual learning

Virtual Learning

Support research on and evaluation of instructional practices, content, and learning tools within widely-used online instructional delivery platforms

Explore how the large amounts of data generated by platforms can be used to address practical needs and questions of practitioners and researchers

Statistical and research methodology in education 84 305d

Statistical and Research Methodology in Education (84.305D)

Research projects intended to expand and improve the methodological and statistical tools available for education researchers

These tools will be used to improve the design of research studies, analysis of research data, and interpretation of research findings

Special topic for early career projects

Partnerships and collaborations focused on problems of practice and policy 84 305h

Partnerships and Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice and Policy (84.305H)

Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research

Continuous Improvement Research in Education

Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies

Researcher practitioner partnerships

Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships

  • Supports partnerships composed of research institutions and state or local education agencies

    • Identified education problem of high priority for the education agency that has important implications for student outcomes

  • Supports partnership’s development of a research plan

  • New or existing partnerships

Continuous improvement research in education

Continuous Improvement Research in Education

  • Supports partnerships between research institutions and state or local education agencies

    • To address specific education problem of high priority for the education agency that has important implications for student outcomes

  • Existing, well-established partnerships

  • Implement, adapt, and revise an approach to addressing the issue or problem

Evaluation of state and local education programs and policies

Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies

Support for rigorous evaluations of education programs or policies that are paid for and implemented by State or local education agencies

Evaluations are to determine both the overall impact of the programs/policies and the impact across a variety of conditions

Award parameters 84 305b h 84 324b

Award Parameters (84.305B-H & 84.324B)

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