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The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released an Educator’s Practice Guide for college and university faculty, administrators, and advisors working with postsecondary students who are academically underprepared for college. The “Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education – A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty” presents six evidence-based recommendations. The report includes a summary of the evidence, guidance on carrying out the recommendation, suggestions for surmounting potential roadblocks, and an implementation checklist for each recommendation.

If you are developing a grant proposal for a program to support college students in developmental education, this guide will be very valuable. It is full of resources and information to inform program design as well as establish rationale and evidence of potential effectiveness.

The six recommendations of the guide are:

  1. Use multiple measures to assess postsecondary readiness and place students.
  2. Require or incentivize regular participation in enhanced advising activities.
  3. Offer students performance-based monetary incentives.
  4. Compress or mainstream developmental education with course redesign.
  5. Teach students how to become self-regulated learners.
  6. Implement comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting support programs.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) website page for the report is The direct link to the guide is

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Due Date:  Letter of Intent (optional, but strongly encouraged) is due by 5/5/16; Full application package is due by 8/4/16 4:30PM EST.
Eligibility:  Non-profit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities. Applicants must have the ability to and capacity to conduct scientific research.
Award Amount:  Varies based on research goal and grant duration from $600,000 to $3.8 million over a period of 2-5 years.
Title: Education Research Grants
Agency: Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
Release Date: 3/28/16

Link to Submit LOI:
Link to Request for Applications (RFA):
Webinars: IES will post topics and dates for funding opportunity webinars at when available.

Note: The application package will be available for download from by 5/5/16.

Description:  The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides grants for research performed in authentic educational settings pertaining to “student academic outcomes and student social and behavioral competencies that support success in school and afterwards”. According to the RFA, “All research supported under the Education Research Grants program must address the education outcomes of students and include measures of these outcomes. The Institute is most interested in student academic outcomes and student social and behavioral competencies that support success in school and afterwards.”

Applications will be accepted for one of the Institute’s 11 standing focused programs of research topics, as well as three special topics introduced for FY 2017. Each topic has its own specific set of Sample, Outcomes and Setting requirements that must be met.

The 11 focused programs are:

  • Specific Populations of Learners
    • Early Learning Programs and Policies (Pre-K ages 3-5)
    • English Learners (EL K-12, EL educators)
    • Postsecondary Education and Adult Education (individuals age 16+ involved in post-secondary or adult education)
  • Salient Student Education Outcomes
    • Reading and Writing (K-12)
    • Mathematics and Science education (K-12)
    • Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning (K-12)
  • Potential Mechanisms of Intervention
    • Cognition and Student Learning (Pre-K, K-12)
    • Education Leadership (Practicing Education Leaders and/or people training to become education leaders)
    • Education Technology (Pre-K, K-12)
    • Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching (Teachers/instructional personnel of K-12)
    • Improving Education Systems (K-12 public education systems)

FY 2017 Special Topics:

  • Arts in education (K-12)
  • Career and Technical Education (K-12)
  • Systemic Approaches to Educating Highly Mobile Students (K-12)

Applications must be directed to one of five research goals, as aligned with the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development (

  • Exploration
  • Development and Innovation
  • Efficacy and Replication
  • Measurement
  • Effectiveness

Multiple applications are allowed from one applicant as long as each is for a significantly different project.

Awards will be announced no later than July 1, 2017.

Registration with is required. Registration takes a minimum of 3-5 business days and can take up to 4 weeks to complete. Grants cannot be submitted until the registration process is completed.