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Funding Available for Innovative Education Projects and Programs

Sep 12 2022
By B. Rose Huber
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

A fund offered through Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs will support creative, interdisciplinary research projects and programs addressing important issues in education.

Now in its fifth year, the Overdeck Education Innovation Fund will award small grants of up to $10,000 for multiple innovative faculty and student research projects, as well as education programs. Priority will be given to proposals that are cross-disciplinary as well as those that align with the following focus areas:

Early Impact: with the goal of ensuring all children enter kindergarten “ready to learn” and continue to experience high-quality learning in early elementary years.

Exceptional Educators: with the goal of increasing the concentration of expert educators in K-9 so that more children have access to educators who empower them to reach their full potential.

Innovative Schools: with the goal of ensuring that children in K-9 have access to personalized solutions that improve both academic and social-emotional skills.

Inspired Minds: with the goal of ensuring that all children have access to high-quality out-of-school STEM experiences that help them achieve their full potential.

Data for Action: with the goal of empowering the education sector to make impact-driven and cost-effective decisions that enable children to unlock their full potential.

There are two categories for proposals: education research projects and education program projects. Proposals will be judged on quality, originality, and impact in the field. Proposals from across the “research continuum” — from planning grants to data collection and analysis — or those linked to innovative pedagogy and program implementation are welcome.

Proposals may be submitted by individual faculty members, Princeton students, or groups of faculty or students. All submissions must include a Princeton faculty member as the principal investigator. For student applications, this person will typically be their adviser or the director of their program.

For both research and program projects, grant requests are permitted on a rolling basis. Submissions are limited to one proposal per faculty member or student. All proposals should include a letter of intent (no more than five single-spaced pages) and a detailed budget providing the following information:

  • Overview of the project.
  • Project goals and objectives.
  • Project activities.
  • Fully developed project budget.
  • Background on faculty, students, and other participants involved in the project.

For full guidelines and more information, contact Valerie Smith, program administrator at the Education Research Section (

The Overdeck Family Foundation was established in 2011 by John and Laura Overdeck with the goal to provide children opportunities to unlock their potential through education. The Foundation funds compelling, innovative research that will measurably enhance education inside and outside the classroom.

Laura Overdeck graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University and on the Department of Astrophysical Sciences’ Advisory Council. She is a former member of the Woodrow Wilson Advisory Council, which is now known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs’ Advisory Council.