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

The Spencer Foundation

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Next predicted deadline: May 4, 2021 10:00am PDT

Later predicted deadlines: May 18, 2021 10:00am PDT, Jun 8, 2021 10:00am PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $50,000

Fields of work: Educational Access & Equity

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Degree requirements: Applicants must have a completed PhD

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About this funder:



NOTE: We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to three years. We will review applications received by May 4th, again on May 18th, and again on June 8th.

The COVID-19 Related Research Grants support education research projects that will contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in this time of crisis and change.

We are especially interested in supporting two primary categories of projects.

  • First, we are interested in supporting studies that aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Second, we also recognize that in times of great disruption and change, there may be opportunities to remake and imagine anew forms of equitable education. Thus, we are also interested in research projects that are working to reimagine educational opportunities in these times.

As with other Spencer grant programs, this program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location.

Our goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education in these times.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Proposals to this program must be for academic research projects that aim to study education. 
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for this grant 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. 
    • 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.


  • 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.
  • The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.
  • Projects proposed may not be longer than 3 years in duration.
  • PIs and Co-PIs may not submit more than one application to this program.


This page was last reviewed September 10, 2020 and last updated September 10, 2020