Lyle Spencer Research Awards: Advancing Understanding of Education Practice and Its Improvement


The Spencer Foundation is pleased to introduce an ambitious new grant program, The Lyle Spencer Research Awards: Advancing Understanding of Education Practice and Its Improvement . This program is the successor to our long-standing field-initiated major grant program, which was phased out in early 2014.

With this program, we aim to reinforce our commitment to intellectually ambitious research, oriented ultimately to improving the practice of education, and independent of any particular reform agendas or methodological strictures. This is not at base a change of direction for a foundation that has always aimed to foster creative and open-minded scholarship; it is however an emphatic assertion of our determination to search for and support the most challenging, original, and constructive scholarship and research we can find. We intend through this endeavor to press our colleagues in the research community to raise their level of intellectual ambition, to encourage work that is more thoughtful, more critical of prevailing assumptions, more self-critical about their own work and its limitations, and more relevant to the aim of building knowledge for improved educational practice.

Annually, through a highly competitive award process, we will provide research grants of up to $1,000,000 each to a small number of outstanding proposals. This new program is a reaffirmation of Spencer’s well-established tradition of supporting intellectually rigorous education research, but even more it is an effort to create much-needed space for creative and ambitious research projects that promise to advance our understanding of educational practice and its improvement.

More information about the Lyle Spencer Research Awards is available here: