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William T. Grant Scholars Program

Posted: 5/28/2018 (Funding)

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand junior researchers’ expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas. We recognize that early-career researchers are rarely given incentives or support to take such risks, so this award includes a mentoring component, as well as an emphasis on community and collaboration.

Scholars Program applicants should have a track record of conducting high-quality research and an interest in pursuing a significant shift in their trajectories as researchers. Proposed research plans must address questions of policy and practice that are relevant to the Foundation’s focus areas.

The online application will open on April 23. All applications must be received by July 5, 2018 at 3:00 PM EST.

Focus Areas

We fund research that increases understanding in one of our two focus areas:

We seek research that builds stronger theory and empirical evidence in these two areas. We intend for the research we support to inform change. While we do not expect that any one study will create that change, the research should contribute to a body of useful knowledge to improve the lives of young people.


Award recipients are designated as William T. Grant Scholars. Each year, four to six Scholars are selected and each receives up to $350,000, distributed over five years.

Awards begin July 1 and are made to the applicant’s institution. The award must not replace the institution’s current support of the applicant’s research.


The Foundation holds annual meetings during the summer to support the Scholars’ professional development. These summer retreats are designed to foster a supportive environment in which Scholars can improve their skills and work. Scholars discuss works-in-progress and receive constructive feedback on the challenges they face in conducting their projects. The retreat consists of workshops centered on Scholars’ projects, research design and methods issues, and professional development. The meeting is attended by Scholars, Scholars Selection Committee members, and Foundation staff and Board members. Scholars are also invited to attend other Foundation-sponsored workshops on topics relevant to their work, such as mixed methods and the use of research evidence in policy and practice.

In years one through three of their awards, Scholars may apply for additional awards to mentor junior researchers of color. The announcement and criteria for funding are distributed annually to Scholars. Our goals for these two-year awards are to build Scholars’ mentoring skills and understanding of the career development issues faced by junior colleagues of color. We also seek to expand their mentees’ research assets and increase the number of strong, well-networked researchers of color doing work on the Foundation’s research interests. The Foundation convenes annual workshops to strengthen these mentoring relationships and support career development.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant received his/her terminal degree (e.g., PhD, MD) within seven years of submitting the application. For PhDs this is the date the doctoral degree was conferred. In medicine, the seven-year maximum is dated from the completion of the first residency.
  • Project advances the Foundation’s interest in understanding programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality or improving the use of research evidence.
  • Applicant is employed at a tax-exempt organization.

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Deadline: 07/05/2018