Deadline Info: anytime

Agency/Sponsor: The Spencer Foundation


Initiative on Philosophy in Educational Policy and Practice RFP

This initiative will make several awards of up to $40,000 for research projects in Philosophy as it relates to educational policy and practice. We encourage applicants to understand educational policy and practice in broad terms, including issues that directly relate to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, but also concerning policies that influence children’s growth and development in the family and in other areas of social life including children’s upbringings, educational issues in family life and in the workplace, the educational effects of welfare policy. We also encourage diverse kinds of philosophical research ranging from the highly abstract to the highly applied. Proposals might concern any of the following topics:

  • the proper content of moral education and of the rights of parents to constrain it
  • the place of religion in schools
  • justice and efficiency in the allocation of public funds across schools and school districts
  • the content of the curriculum
  • assessment of competing conceptions of equality in educational resources and outcomes
  • the commercialization of schools and childhoods generally
  • the obligations to students with special educational needs
  • the proper content of sex education in particular and “education for living” more generally (concerning,
  • eg, parenting, financial self-management, etc) and the extent to which it is right for schools to defer to
  • parental preferences regarding these matters
  • the moral rights of school students to privacy, to freedom of expression, to freedom of association, etc
  • the rights and obligations of teachers with respect to abusive or violent children
  • the distribution and content of higher education

We emphasize that this list is illustrative, and not exhaustive. Proposals are accepted at any time; there are no deadlines. The proposal will be reviewed and a funding decision will be made within four to five months from the date of submission. Please follow the guidelines below when submitting a proposal with a budget of $40,000 or less.

Eligibility and Restrictions:

  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a research grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession.
  • The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, non-profit research facility, or non-profit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.
  • 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.
  • PIs and Co-PIs may only hold one active research grant from the Spencer Foundation at a time. Simultaneous submissions to the Foundation from PIs and Co-PIs are discouraged due to this policy.


Proposals are accepted at any time; there are no deadlines.

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