Application Guidelines

proposals | submission timetable | review criteria | funding policies

Proposals for Program Evaluations

The foundation is currently accepting proposals focused on evaluating programs that have the potential of helping to close the opportunity / achievement gap between children living in under-resourced communities and/or from under-represented populations and other children.

  • Aims:
    • Primary aim:
      • What works: The primary aim of the proposal must concern evaluating the effectiveness of programs designed to promote positive cognitive and/or achievement outcomes for children (birth through 18 years) from underserved groups and/or low-resourced communities (minority ethnic groups, low-income families).
    • Secondary aims may also include:
      • What works for whom, under what conditions: Investigate variations in program effects; that is, test for moderation effects that inform whether program effects are stronger for certain groups and/or under certain conditions than other groups or conditions.
      • Reasons for effects: Investigate mechanisms through which effects occur; that is, test for mediation effects that inform why the program is effective.
      • Cost-benefit analyses: Compare the total costs of the program with its estimated monetary benefits to determine the net cost or benefit associated with the program.
    • Duration:
      • The proposed project may span up to three years (note that on rare occasions, the Foundation funds robust longitudinal studies of longer duration).
    • Application Process:

There is a two-stage application process.

Stage 1

Click the link to download the Program Evaluation Stage 1 Application (MS Word).
  • After completing application, convert form and required attachments to .pdf format and combine into one PDF document
  • Submit entire application as one .pdf document to:

Stage 2

    • Full Board review determines if applicant is approved to submit a Stage 2 application
    • If approved by the Full Board, the applicant will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application; Stage 2 applications are accepted by invitation only.
    • Stage 2 application guidelines are provided when invited to submit.

proposals | submission timetable | review criteria | funding policies

Submission Timetable

Stage 1 Applications are accepted throughout the year. Submission deadlines and funding cycles are as follows:

Stage 1 Proposal  
Due Date
Notification Date If Invited to Continue, Stage 2 Proposal Due Date Funding 
Start Date Range
4/1/2017 6/15/2017 8/1/2017 1/1/2018 – 4/30/2018
12/1/2017 2/15/2018 4/1/2018 9/1/2018 – 12/31/2018
4/1/2018 6/15/2018 8/1/2018 1/1/2018 – 4/30/2019
8/1/2018 10/15/2018 12/1/2018 5/1/2019 – 8/31/2019
12/1/2018 2/15/2019 4/1/2019 9/1/2019 – 12/31/2019
4/1/2019 6/15/2019 8/1/2019 1/1/2020 – 4/30/2020
8/1/2019 10/15/2019 12/1/2019 5/1/2020 – 8/31/2020
12/1/2019 2/15/2020 4/1/2020 9/1/2020 – 12/31/2020

Review Criteria Information

A detailed criteria outline is available for download here >

The document includes:

  • Factors that will cause a proposal to be disqualified and thus not reviewed by the Full Board of the Foundation.
  • Criteria the Full Board considers when reviewing proposals.

The Foundation favors projects that:

  • Represent strong collaborative relationships between researchers and practitioners (and other community stakeholders as appropriate).
  • Projects in which the community/population being studied is represented in the project’s leadership team.
  • Evaluate programs that show promise of being feasible, accessible and sustainable
  • Evaluate programs consistent with strength-based approaches rather than deficit models and consider the specific and unique assets and needs of children from underserved populations and/or low-resourced communities (e.g., minority ethnic groups, low-income communities). Concerning race and ethnicity, the Foundation seeks to increase understanding of what works best for children from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds (e.g., African American, Latino, Native American).
  • Projects for which operational funding for the program is already secured so that funding from the Foundation is used only for evaluation activities.
  • Projects that employ randomized control designs (including wait-list control designs when assignment to wait-list condition is randomized). Comparison group designs may also be employed when strong efforts are made to control for potential confounding variables (e.g., due to selection effects). The Foundation rarely funds evaluation projects that employ neither randomized control nor comparison group designs.
  • Projects that evaluate effects on measurable child outcomes.
  • Projects that include a member of the team (not necessarily the PI) who has experience leading projects of similar or greater scope. Applicants at all career stages may apply; teams are evaluated in terms of their abilities to successfully carry out the proposed work.

Inquiries and Reviews:

  • Due to having a small staff, the Foundation is typically unable to discuss individual projects prior to the submission of a Stage 1 application.
  • Due to the high volume of proposals, the Foundation is also unable to provide customized feedback to applicants after review by the Full Board

proposals | submission timetable | review criteria | funding policies

Funding Policies

Note the following policies:

  • Funding must be through the Principal Investigator’s home institution.
  • Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations only.
  • The Foundation caps indirect costs for both primary institutions and subcontracts at 10% of the direct costs of the project. Primary institution may NOT charge additional indirect on subcontract funds.
  • The Foundation will support up to two key personnel from the evaluation team and one practitioner or service provider from the program to attend one conference the last (or only) year of the project, with an allowable cost of $1,500 per person.
  • The Foundation follows National Institutes of Health guidelines for salary caps.

The Foundation does not fund:

  • Scholarships
  • Capital projects
  • Continuing education for providers
  • Projects outside of the United States or its territories
  • Support for scaling up programs already found to be effective
  • Evaluations conducted by for-profit organizations
  • Evaluations of for-profit programs
  • Evaluation of programs for children at risk for poor cognitive and academic outcomes due to medical conditions (including developmental delays or disabilities associated with biological causes) or substance abuse

Current Funding Rates:

  • About 12% of Stage 1 applications eventually result in funding. Approximately 15% of Stage 1 applicants are invited to continue to Stage 2, and approximately 50% of all Stage 2 submissions are funded.