Request for Proposals

April 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions


The goal of this grant opportunity is to provide new insights into the contexts, components, outcomes, and potential of student-centered learning approaches in education. That is, we are looking to understand the effectiveness of specific student-centered learning approaches, including the results for different populations of students, the supports that may be needed to ensure realization of positive outcomes, and the contextual conditions needed to sustain implementation. In the long run, our intention is for this research base to influence educational practice, policy, and public awareness. Researchers from grant-eligible research institutions are encouraged to apply for funding of two-year projects investigating student-centered practices, while also measuring the effects of these practices on students, particularly those who are members of historically underserved subgroups.
Download the full RFP

Areas of Focus

  • How learning can be personalized: the techniques employed to customize and differentiate instructional activities and curricula to match each individual student’s needs, interests, background, and skills.
  • How learning can be competency-based: the methods educators use to encourage and effect student achievement that can be assessed by valid and authentic measures of mastery, proficiency, and growth over time, de-coupled from a pre-set pacing calendar.
  • How learning can occur anytime, anywhere: the ways educators construct equitable opportunities to learn that extend beyond the school day and the school building and take advantage of community and technological resources.
  • How students can be supported to take “ownership” of their learning: the set of practices that allow or promote students to be agents of their learning and/or that enhance students’ sense of belonging, motivation, academic efficacy, self-regulation, or other related outcomes.


Letter of Intent

To ensure that we have sufficient reviewers on hand to evaluate submitted proposals, we are requiring all applicants to submit by July 11, 2016, a simplified letter of intent (LOI). On that form you will be asked to submit the following:

  • Names of Principal Investigator(s) (PIs) and co-PIs plus institutional affiliations
  • Name of lead organization
  • Topic of study (the phrasing of which can change between the LOI and the final submission date)
  • Expected sample/partners/sites (e.g., region(s), districts, charter management organizations, subpopulations of interest, etc.)

Access the Online Letter of Intent

Instructions for Submission

Applicants are asked to respond to each of the RFP section IV questions in a narrative of 15 pages or less, using single-spaced 11-point (or larger) type with standard formatting. Submissions that adhere to the section-by-section structure below are preferred, but seamless narratives will also be accepted. Please read RFP Section V (proposal requirements) carefully before submitting a proposal as it contains important information.

The narrative and all attachments must be submitted via email ( by 12:00 noon ET on August 5, 2016.

Documents to be submitted are as follows:

  1. Narrative
  2. Budget
  3. IRS Tax Status letter
  4. Supporting documents
    1. Budget narrative
    2. Workplan
    3. Information on lead staff (limit of 3 pages per individual)
    4. Letters of Support from all identified partners

All documents should be combined into a single .pdf file in the above order.

Download the full RFP
Download Budget Template
Submit Materials (email link)

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read RFP Section IX (proposal requirements) carefully before submitting a proposal as it contains important information. Questions from prospective grantees will be answered on our RFP FAQ and updated regularly over the course of the submittal period. Additional questions can be submitted to

Access RFP FAQs

Our Framework

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