Eligibility Criteria Questions

Who is eligible to apply for a Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant?

Grants are open to researchers affiliated with a public or nonprofit U.S. college or university. The affiliated institution must administer the grant. 

Is it acceptable for the same researcher to be a Co-PI on multiple projects? Would this affect either team’s eligibility?

Each proposal is considered on its own merits, so involvement as a Co-PI would not affect either team’s eligibility or the assessment of the proposed research.

I am affiliated with a university outside of the United States. Am I eligible to apply?

Scholars at non-U.S. colleges and universities can be part of a research team and can receive support via funded research. However, the PI must be affiliated with a U.S. college or university, and the grant must be administered by the U.S. institution.

I have multiple affiliations, including at a U.S. university. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, as long as the college or university you are affiliated with administers the grant.

I hold a Juris Doctor degree from a law school, but not a doctoral degree. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, researchers with a JD are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grants.

Will Public Agenda accept more than one Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant proposal from the same institution?

Yes, we will accept proposals from multiple teams at the same U.S. college or university. Each proposal will be considered on its own merits.

Research Questions

I’m not sure if my research is a good fit. How can I get feedback?

Please review our RFP for a description of our funding priorities. If you still have questions or would like feedback about whether your research project aligns with Public Agenda’s priorities, please email Emily Sandusky, Director of Research Accelerators.

What kinds of actionable evidence does Public Agenda expect grant-funded research to produce?

Public Agenda’s goal is to synthesize, translate, and communicate evidence from grant-funded research to education practitioners as soon as possible. Our view of evidence is broad and includes research findings that can inform principals and superintendents, teachers, teacher educators, student advocates, policymakers and funders in practical decision making related to curriculum design, policy reforms, resource allocation, public communication, and other relevant issues.

Partnerships Questions

Is partnership with a practitioner organization necessary for applying for a  Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant?

No, partnerships are not required. However, we do encourage research partnerships between scholars and practitioners in cases when the partnership can contribute to both research and organizational goals. 

Funding Questions

What are some examples of costs that the Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant covers?

Grants can fund a wide range of activities, including researcher salary and benefits, compensating project partners, research assistance, data purchase, and costs associated with conducting experiments. Our grants cannot cover indirect overhead.

Does the $15,000 salary support maximum for the PI or Co-PIs include fringe benefits?

No, applicants may include fringe benefits in addition to the $15,000 salary support in the project budget. Please note the fringe rate in the budget section of the application. 

Does the maximum $15,000 per academic year for salary support apply to the team of Co-PIs, or is it for each Co-PI? 

The $15,000 for salary support per academic year applies to the PI or each Co-PI in the research team, subject to the maximum grant amount of $30,000.

Is it appropriate to apply for a Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant to support ongoing research? 

Yes, we encourage proposals to support ongoing research or fund a portion of a larger project. Please include a very brief description of all other secured or anticipated funding sources for the complete project, and make sure that the timeline indicates which portion of an ongoing project will be completed within the grant period.

Can Public Agenda distribute an individual Pennsylvania Education Equity Project grant across multiple institutions, for example, to each Co-PI’s university?

No, we will distribute each grant, in full, to a designated lead university that will be responsible for any sub-grants (e.g., to a Co-PI at a different university).

Application Submission Questions

Is it possible to submit proposals for more than one research project?

Yes, applicants may submit more than one proposal. We are unlikely to fund more than one full proposal from the same scholar/team, but each proposed research project will be considered on its own merits.

Should proposals be submitted by the PI or the university grant office?

We will accept proposals submitted by either party. However, if a proposal is successful, we will work with the university grant office/office of sponsored projects to complete the contract and administer the grant. 

Are letters of support required for the grant application? Who should provide them?  

Letters of support from partner organization(s), if applicable, may be submitted as part of the application to help us understand the relationship between researchers and practitioner organizations, but they are not required.

Do proposed research projects need to be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to submitting a grant application?

No, proof of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is not required at the time of proposal submission. If IRB approval is required for the research project, the PI or Co-PIs must provide documentation of IRB approval or exemption in accordance with institutional policies and applicable law before grant funds are transferred. 

Proposal Evaluation Questions

When do you expect to make final decisions about which projects you choose to fund?

We will notify successful applicants and begin the contracting process in mid-June. A public announcement will be made in early July.

Who will evaluate research proposals? 

Proposals will be reviewed by our advisory panel, which includes academics and practitioners who represent a wide range of substantive and methodological expertise and on-the-ground experience, along with Public Agenda staff members. 

If the proposed project includes methods or other special expertise not found on your advisory panel, will you go to an outside expert?

If a proposed project includes areas of expertise that are outside the knowledge base of our advisory panel, we identify relevant experts to ensure that the substantive questions and methodological approaches in all proposals are reviewed fairly.

If you have a question that is not covered in this FAQ or in the RFP itself, please feel free to reach out to Emily Sandusky, Director of Research Accelerators, at [email protected].