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IES to Support 88 New Education Research Projects

Washington, D.C.

In the coming days and weeks, the Institute of Education Sciences will announce 88 new education research grants, worth $41.1 million, but outgoing IES Director John Q. Easton said other top-rated proposals could not be supported.

Thomas Brock, the National Center for Education Research commissioner, said he expects later this week to announce eight grants in research training, worth $2.4 million, and two grants worth a total of $3 million to support knowledge use and developmental education projects at education research and development centers.

In the next few weeks, IES expects to announce additional first-year awards for grants, including:

  • Eleven statistical and research methodology grants, worth $2.4 million in the first year, including three early-career projects;
  • Eighteen grants worth a total of $6 million to support state, local, and other research partnerships; and
  • Forty-nine education research grants, totalling $27.3 million and covering 10 topics including student cognition, effective teachers, and education technology.

The education agency has been struggling to cope this year with multiple budget cuts, including no money for new research at the National Center on Special Education Research. In the fiscal 2014 grant cycle, there were 32 proposals requesting a total of $19.4 million which reviewers rated between 1.81 and 2.0—within the highest tier of quality— but which left without funding in the largest program, education research. Brock said none of the research topics was hit harder than the others: "It was across the board."

In spite of the budget crunch, the agency found money for more new research grants this year than in fiscal 2013. That year, IES awarded grants to 49 of its highest-rated proposals, or about 60 percent, while this year the agency found support for a little more than 73 percent of the top applicants. Easton told IES' advisory board, the National Board for Education Sciences, at a meeting in Washington today that IES was able to recoup $1 million from an active grant that imploded, but the bulk of the agency's nearly $180 million budget for research, development and dissemination went to continuing grants and other ongoing projects, such as the What Works Clearinghouse and the digital archive ERIC.

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