Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/10/2024

Institutional Challenge Grant

The Institutional Challenge Grant supports university-based research institutes, schools, and centers in building sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

The grant requires that research institutions shift their policies and practices to value collaborative research. Institutions will also need to build the capacity of researchers to produce relevant work and the capacity of agency and nonprofit partners to use research.

We welcome applications from partnerships in youth-serving areas such as education, justice, prevention of child abuse and neglect, foster care, mental health, immigration, and workforce development. We especially encourage proposals from teams with African American, Latinx, Native American, and Asian American members in leadership roles. The partnership leadership team includes the principal investigator from the research institution and the lead from the public agency or nonprofit organization.

Deadline: Sep. 12, 2024

Areas of Interest

The Institutional Challenge Grant asks grantees to pursue four goals:

  1. Grow an existing institutional partnership with a public agency or nonprofit organization.

    The research-practice partnership will have defined objectives, roles, and agreements, and will be built for the long term. In this way, the partnership will be mutually beneficial, enabling the partners to develop and pursue a joint research agenda that is relevant to the public agency or nonprofit organization’s work over an extended period of time.

  2. Pursue a joint research agenda to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

    The partnership’s research will aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. Specifically, the research agenda will seek to inform responses to inequality on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins.

  3. Create institutional change to value research-practice partnerships within research institutions.

    The research institution will design a feasible strategy for institutional change that addresses observed structural, motivational, and financial barriers that inhibit research-practice partnerships at the institution. By establishing structural supports and incentives that encourage skilled, mid-career researchers to conduct joint work with policymakers and practitioners, the institution will develop an environment for partnerships to thrive.

  4. Enhance the capacity of both partners to collaborate on producing and using research evidence.

    Through new experiences that foster deeper understandings of a given policy or practice context and deepen relationships with partners, grantees on the research side will enhance their capacity for participating in effective partnerships. At the same time, the public agency or nonprofit partner will enhance their own capacity to partner with researchers , as well as understand, conduct, and use research through activities such as technical assistance, infrastructure improvements, or staff training.

Eligibility Requirements
  • The Foundation makes grants only to tax-exempt organizations. We do not make grants to individuals.
  • Eligible organizations include university-based research institutes, schools, or centers. Institutions that sit outside of the academy, such as research organizations and think tanks, are not eligible.
  • We encourage proposals from organizations that are under-represented among grantee institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Alaska Native-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).
Amount Description

The award will provide $650,000 over three years. This includes:

  • The award will provide $650,000 over three years. This includes:
    Up to $60,000 for up to 9 months of joint planning activities (e.g., refining protocols for partnering, selecting fellows, finalizing partnership and data sharing agreements, etc.).
  • Funding for two years of a full-time equivalent fellowship. In addition, universities are required to fund one additional year of a full-time equivalent fellowship.
    • Fellowships may be allocated in different ways, for example, by appointing one individual fellow for three years, or three different fellows each for one year, or six half-time fellows for one year each, etc. The minimum appointment level for a fellow is half-time for half of one year.
  • Up to three years of support for the partnership to conduct and use research to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.
  • Resources to advance the proposed institutional shifts and capacities of both partners.
  • Indirect cost allowance of up to 15 percent of total direct costs