Research Grants on Education: COVID-19 Related Special Grant Cycle

The COVID-19 Related Research Grants supports education research projects that will understand the rapid shifts and contribute to the improvement of education during this time of crisis with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from 1 to 3 years.

Two primary categories of projects Foundation aims to support:

1) Rapid response grants that aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

2) Research projects that are working to reimagine educational opportunities in times of great disruption and change. 


Proposals to this program must be for academic research projects that aim to study education. Proposals for activities other than research are not eligible (e.g., program evaluations, professional development, curriculum development, scholarships, capital projects). Additionally, proposals for research studies focused on areas other than education are not eligible.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a COVID-19 Related Research Grant on Education must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.

The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals. Examples include non-profit colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.

Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however, all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.


Proposed budgets for this program are limited to $50,000 total and may not include indirect cost charges per Spencer’s policy.

Projects proposed may not be longer than 3 years in duration.

PIs and Co-PIs may hold both a COVID-19 research grant and an additional research grant from the Spencer Foundation.

PIs and Co-PIs may not submit more than one application to this program.

How to Apply 

Proposals must be submitted through an online application via agency portal. More information can be found on the website.  

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, starting from April 23, 2020. Cut-off dates for the review of the submitted full proposals are May 4, May 18, June 8, 2020. This is a limited-time call that will end after June 8, 2020.

*SFU Signature Sheet and full application are due to no later than 3 business days prior to the submission. Applicant (not ORS) submits the application to the agency. 

Reminder: Based on the revision of Postdoctoral fellow (PDF) policy (R50.03), please continue to include 14% of PDF benefit in all your proposal budgets.




Upcoming Deadlines

TBDTBD Verified Date
16:00:00 16:00:00 America/Vancouver Application Deadline: Research Grants on Education: COVID-19 Related Special Grant Cycle Spencer Foundation is issuing a call for proposals for a COVID-19 Related Special Grant Cycle to support education research projects that will contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in this time of crisis and change. As with other Spencer grant programs, this program is “field-initiated.” Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to three years. .