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What are Education Research Grants?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2018
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Education research grants are grants that may relate to either those available to academic institutions for research purposes, or grants that focus on research in education specifically. Those grants available to institutions for research purposes could focus on nearly any topic or issue, including medicine, the environment, sociology, psychology, or any number of other areas. Education research grants specific to the study of education may look at teaching methods, special needs issues, or administrative functions. Funding for grants comes from a variety of public and private sources.

No matter what type of grant being discussed, education research grants are often awarded through a very competitive application process. Those hoping to receive a grant typically need to clearly define the issue, what research methods will be used, potential outcomes or benefits, and include a time line. Some grants require a certain funding match from other sources, which could include in-kind or cash donations.

The overall goal of any education research grant is to discover something new that was not known before, or confirm something that may have been called into question. This involves setting a hypothesis, and using the scientific method to test that hypothesis. In the end, the results may confirm or reject the hypothesis, or may be inconclusive. If the results are inconclusive, a detailed explanation as to why no conclusions were drawn, and what may be done in the future to correct that problem may be required.

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Education research grants specifically looking at educational issues are often meant to improve the educational system in some way. This may be by funding a study to determine why some schools exceed expectations and some schools do not, or why some children learn better using certain methods. Common grants of this type include music education grants, youth education grants, special needs education grants, and arts education grants.

The study of special needs is a popular area for education research grants. With one in 150 children being diagnosed with autism, along with the many other conditions that cause developmental and mental delays, the need for continued research is clearly evident. These students often cannot be taught in the same way as other students, and research is geared toward finding ways to teach them most effectively. Often, the ultimate goal is for the student to achieve some level of independent communication and independent living.

Many sources offer funding for different education research grants. Private institutions may provide funding based on a product they hope to develop, or a cause that is important to them. Various state and national governments often provide funding based on a defined mission or objective. For example, one grant program offered by the U.S. Department of Education seeks to study methods to improve the chances that at-risk children will graduate.

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