Announcing an upcoming change to the Major Grants program
At its Board meeting in October 2013, the Directors of the Spencer Foundation approved plans for a major redesign of our long-standing Major Grants program. We are excited about this revised program, to be called “The Lyle Spencer Research Awards.” The program will build on Spencer’s proud tradition of searching out and supporting research and scholarship grounded in powerful ideas, yielding work that promises to influence the development of the field and ultimately to contribute to what Lyle Spencer called “lasting improvement in education.” These are of course not new aims for Spencer, but we believe that the redesign we have planned can significantly improve our effectiveness in pursuing them. There will be substantial changes in both the application and selection process for awards, as well as adjustments in award limits and application timetables, and a new articulation of the character of the work that can best advance the program’s aims. Operational details of the revised program are under development, and more complete information about these details as well as the rationale for the changes will be available on our website later in the year. We anticipate that the deadline for the first round of proposal submissions under the new program will be in June 2014 with funding decisions expected in August 2015.
Our main purpose in writing now is to address researchers who are in the process of developing proposals for submission to the existing Major Grants program. In the interest of affording a smooth transition to our revised program, we are moving the upcoming deadline for preliminary proposals from January 14 to March 14, 2014, with funding decisions expected in February 2015. This will be the last opportunity to submit a preliminary proposal under the existing Major Grants program in the Areas of Inquiry.
We understand that this announcement is likely to provoke great curiosity about the changes we have planned, and we will have more information on our website in December. We respectfully ask you to hold your questions until then. We felt a need to make this preliminary announcement immediately for the sake of providing a clear timetable for those who are currently in the process of developing proposals under the existing program.