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College of Education

Ongoing Funding Resources: Who Funds What? A Quick Guide

Funding AgenciesWhat They FundComments
Grants.govA “one-stop-shop" resource for grant writing tips, grant resources, and access to federal funding opportunity announcements. 
National Science Foundation (NSF)Research in science, mathematics, engineering, social science, and education. STEM education initiatives. Fellowships, instrumentation.Largest funder of academic research. Tend to fund basic research. Will not fund human disease-related research or research in the humanities.
U.S. Department of Education:
Research on education from preschool through higher education, adult education.Main research programs funded through Institute for Education Research (IES) and Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE).
U.S. Department of Agriculture:
National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA)
Agriculture & Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Funds a wide range of food and agriculture research, including biotechnology, genomics, pest management, biofuels, childhood obesity and more. Funds fellowships.Most research funding through AFRI. Also teams with other agencies (NSF, DoD) for some grant programs.
National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST) Funds research related to materials, manufacturing, information technology, measurement, and standards.Part of Department of Commerce. Most of research is intramural, but they do funds some extramural research, particularly in collaboration with NIST researchers.
Department of Defense:
Fund basic and applied research related to the mission of each service. In addition to physics, materials, mathematics, computer science, etc., they may fund some life science and psychology (e.g., human cognitive and behavioral modeling).Research offices are AFOSR (Air Force), ARO (Army), ONR (Navy), DARPA (high-risk, high-payoff research for all services), NSA.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)Implementation grants for mental health and substance abuse services. 
Administration for Children & Families (ACF)Funds research to promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. Funds fellowships. 
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)Funds fellowships and projects in the arts (including theater, arts education, dance, literature, folk arts, music, and more). 
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)Funds fellowships, humanities initiatives, collections and education in the humanities. 
Department of State:
Fulbright Program
Most grants fund cultural exchanges, fellowships.Funds opportunities for faculty to conduct research abroad.
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationFunds STEM research, Science of STEM learning, Data and computational research, Economics, Energy & Environment, and other select issues.Also funds Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics, (including books, TV, films, etc.), as well as research fellowships for early-career scientists and scholars. Tips for writing a successful grant proposal to Sloan here.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Funds scholarship in the humanities, arts and cultural heritage, and scholarship in other countries.Also funds Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships, dissertation, postdoc and early career faculty grants focusing on the humanities to support diversity, HBCUs and tribal colleges, and higher education in the US and other countries, and projects to digitize scholarly communications (research libraries, archives, etc.).
Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationProjects to improve: global health and development (especially preventing disease in children and empowering women and girls), and education of underprivileged US students. Also fund special projects in Washington state.Grand Challenges Opportunities
Awarded Grants Database
While much of the funding is focused on interventions, they do fund basic research (especially related to disease prevention).
Kauffman FoundationSupports research on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education and the intersection of technology, public policy, and the economics of education.Most external funding for intervention and support projects in education, entrepreneurship and rather than research. Supports entrepreneurship.org. Special focus on Kansas City.
Ford FoundationFunds projects that challenge inequality, including civil engagement and government, free expression and creativity, equitable development, inclusive economies and gender, racial and ethnic justice, internet freedom and youth opportunity and learning.Funds large fellowship programs for underrepresented grad students who aspire to careers in academia. Also funds films and new media projects.
Spencer FoundationResearch on education and improvement of its practice.Also funds dissertation and postdoc fellowships.
W.K. Kellogg FoundationProjects to promote educated kids, healthy kids, and secure families. Focus on early childhood (prenatal to age 8), within the context of their families and community. Committed to racial equity and community & civic engagement. Special interest in Michigan.Applications accepted throughout the year; no set deadlines. Most grants that include research combine interventions with research.
Submission Tips (PDF)
Required Application Information (PDF)
National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)Supports projects related to the teaching and learning of language, literacy, and culture.One year grants, for which calls are announced every two years (on odd years).
National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)Funding ranges from $1,500 to $24,000 and is available to help math teachers, prospective teachers, and other math educators improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.Must be a member to apply.
National Education Association (NEA)Deadlines: Feb 1, June 1, Oct 15
Beneficiaries include: higher education faculty & staff, education support professionals, K-12 educators.
Must be a member to apply.