The New Civics

The New Civics initiative is embedded within the broader Foundation belief that cultivating knowledge and new ideas about education will ultimately improve students’ lives and enrich society. The designation “new” refers to an expanded understanding of civic education and its relationship to civic action. Ultimately, we see civic education not simply as a grounding in historical and procedural knowledge of systems of government, but, more broadly, as education, whether in schools or elsewhere, that develops skills, knowledge, and dispositions that lead to informed and reasoned civic action.

With this expanded understanding, we aim to support research that deepens our understanding of educational and other influences on civic action, that attends to social inequalities in civic education and civic action, and that has the potential to shape future research and practice in these fields. And we aim to create occasions for scholars’ learning, inquiry, and exchange – to strengthen the research community and its connections to educational policy and practice.

Funding Opportunities in The New Civics


Measuring the Quality of Civic and Political Engagement ($100,000-$400,000)
  • Those interested in submitting a proposal to create reliable and valid measures of the quality of civic and political engagement among youth ages 15-25  - click here.  Application Closed.
  • Guidelines for online submission.  Application Closed.
Small Grants ($50,000 or less)
  • Those interested in submitting a proposal for a small research grant to The New Civics should review the request for proposals - click here.
  • Guidelines for a Small Grant proposal to The New Civics - click here.

Note: The Major Grant program in The New Civics has ended. The last deadline for submitting a preliminary proposal for a Major Grant was April 29, 2014.  Large research projects on civic education may be eligible for funding through the Lyle Spencer Research Awards - click here. There are no changes to the Small Grant program.

For a complete list of The New Civics (TNC) research grants - click here, and for descriptions of meetings and conferences sponsored by TNC - click here.

For an annotated bibliography of readings recommended by TNC grantees - click here.

For commissioned background papers related to the New Civics - click here.