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mini-grant2021-04-13T21:11:52+00:00

Mini-Grant Competition

The Edunomics Lab and the Massive Data Institute, research centers at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, received awards to construct the first-ever national dataset of ESSA-required school-by-school per-pupil expenditures.

We are pleased to announce a mini-grant competition to support demonstration research using NERD$ (National Education Resource Database on Schools) our new school spending data archive. Projects may address a broad range of questions related to education policy and practice.

This competition has dual purposes to 1) generate awareness of the archive and potential uses through demonstration research and analyses, and 2) obtain feedback on the dataset and user interface to influence the final stages of development.

National Education Resource Database on Schools - Georgetown University

What is the mini-grant competition?

Grants of $5,000 will be awarded to individuals or organizations.

Projects may use school spending data for a single district or multiple districts, or single or multiple states, but must incorporate data for more than one school. Applicants are encouraged to propose work using these data in conjunction with other public or administrative data sources. We encourage applicants to review the state-level documentation as they consider whether data from a particular state will meet the needs of their proposed work.

One-half of the award ($2,500) will be disbursed upon the project start date of July 1, 2021. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2021. Awardees will participate in a showcase event sharing their analysis and findings in early 2022 and provide feedback on the dataset and portal interface via survey. Final deliverables for the projects must share the methods and findings of the data analysis. Deliverables can take the form of written reports (with no restriction or requirements around length) geared toward a range of audiences, or awardees may choose to submit slide decks or a collection of graphs as long as they report out key methods and findings. If applicable, projects can be reused for other purposes, such as policy briefs, thesis deliverables, or school board presentations. The final $2,500 will be disbursed following the showcase.

What is the application deadline?

Applicants must upload the application materials using the link on the right by 11:59pm ET April 30, 2021.

What data are in the school spending data archive?

The school spending data archive is under construction. There are currently FY 2018-19 school-by-school spending amounts for 33 states. We expect all states to be available by June 1, 2021. Although the archive will have cross-state comparable data for all states at a later date, by June 1 the following eight states will be available for cross-state analysis: District of Columbia, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington. We encourage applicants to review the state-level documentation as they consider whether data from a particular state will meet the needs of their proposed work. We will update details about which states are included and post state-level documentation in the coming months. Please email us at nerds@georgetown.edu with any specific questions.

School-by-school spending data are posted for the following states (as of March 9, 2021): Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

What are the project requirements?

Awardees must use data from the school spending data archive to conduct analysis related to education practice or policy. Analyses may use school spending data for a single district or multiple districts, or single or multiple states, but must incorporate data for more than one school.

Final deliverables for the projects must share the methods and findings of the data analysis. Deliverables can take the form of written reports (with no restriction or requirements around length) geared toward a range of audiences, or awardees may choose to submit slide decks or a collection of graphs as the deliverable as long as they report out key methods and findings. If applicable, projects can be reused for other purposes, such as policy briefs, thesis deliverables, or school board presentations.

Projects must be complete by December 31, 2021. Awardees will participate in a showcase event sharing their analysis and findings in early 2022 and provide feedback on the dataset and portal interface via survey.

Who is eligible to apply?

We welcome applications from individuals and organizations. Candidates may be from any discipline including but not limited to education, public policy, economics, sociology, psychology, and political science. Students (undergraduates and graduate), postdoctoral fellows, faculty, researchers, federal, district or school staff, and advocates are all encouraged to apply.

What is the project timeline?

Projects will begin in July 2021 and conclude in December 2021.

What is the application process?

Proposals (750 words max) should describe: (1) the research question and its importance; (2) the data sources and sample (including proposed district(s) or state(s)); (3) the plan for analysis; and (4) the qualifications of the applicant (if an organization, for the supervising individual) to conduct the proposed analysis (or attach a resume or CV). Successful proposals will be explicit in describing the contribution of school-by-school spending data to the research question. Please use the proposal template linked on the right.

When will awardees be notified?

Applicants will be notified of award decisions by June 1, 2021, for award start dates of July 1, 2021.

Where can I learn more or get help developing project ideas?

An informational webinar will be held on March 25, 2021 (register using the link on the right) and Dr. Nora Gordon will host virtual office hours to answer questions and help develop project ideas (sign up using the link on the right).

NERD$ data access
Mini-Grant Research Opportunity Flyer
Watch Recording of 3/25 Webinar
Sign up for Proposal Office Hours

Relevant Resources

NERD$ Infographic
School Spending Data: A New National Archive

Proposal Materials

Proposal Instructions & Template
Complete the Application Form
Submit My Proposal