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What We Fund

We believe that educational approaches that support authentic, challenging, active and relevant learning experiences can only happen via teachers and students. Our design-based research approach centers on teachers’ needs and their involvement as essential partners in a variety of classroom and community settings. We aim to conduct research on programs that may be adapted to meet the needs of the local, national and global context in order to empower student voices and support the wealth of diversity in the classroom as a resource for learning.

By combining qualitative and quantitative research methods in a carefully structured, three-phased research approach, we are committed to giving educators the confidence and guidance for taking innovative instructional practices to scale.

LER’s Grant Types

Development Grants

Development grants are awarded to educational researchers who propose a compelling and innovative approach to teaching and learning (authenticity, disciplinary rigor, active and relevant learning experiences, clearly articulated adult learning theory, etc.). Such proposals require time in the field to implement early prototypes with expert practitioners who assist in the codesign and redesign of the programs and practices based on the field research trials. These evidence based improvements allow for the development of a minimal viable program. It is expected that these awards will require 2-4 years of implementation.

Replications Grants

Replication grants are awarded to educational researchers who have established an evidence base of promising programs and/or practices with a clearly defined minimal viable program that is ready for further study in new contexts. The primary objectives of the replication grant are to evaluate the implementation of the programs and practices with a broad array of students and in various school settings. Such research may result in further refinements to the program and practices, including the professional learning for teachers. In this way, the replication grant is designed to prepare the program for a rigorous large-scale study. In addition, the replication study may attend to system-level enablers of and barriers to the successful implementation of the innovation. It is expected that replication awards will require 1-3 years of field research.

Validation Grants

Validation grants are awarded to educational researchers who have a demonstrated history of conducting large-scale research trials, with cutting-edge technical knowledge related to the most current research methodology and extensive experience with school recruitment, including incentives for active and sustained participation. Such awards are typically granted for three years.

View all Grant Awards (11)

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Research

Enabling Conditions for Scaling Project-Based Learning

Zuckerbrod, N., De Vivo, K., and Udall, D. (2021). Enabling Conditions for Scaling Project-Based Learning. Lucas Education Research. This paper reviews the work of the Enabling Conditions Collaboratory (ECC), a team of researchers that looked across research projects to study the conditions that support the success of project-based learning. The researchers found that student engagement […]

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Research

Project-Based Learning Boosts Student Achievement in AP Courses

This brief examines the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California examining a project-based approach to Advanced Placement courses.

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Research

Project-Based Learning Leads to Gains in Science and Other Subjects in Middle School and Benefits All Learners

This research brief highlights the findings of a study looking at the impact of a project-based approach to science instruction in middle school.

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Research Award

Multiple Literacies in Project-Based Learning

Multiple Literacies in Project-Based Learning is a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade science program developed by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

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Research Award

Project-Approach to Literacy and Civic Engagement (PLACE) Project

Project PLACE is a second-grade, project-based learning social studies and literacy program developed by teams from University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

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Research Award

Investigating the Role of Curriculum Materials

“Investigating the Role of Curriculum Materials” was a study that examined the various factors that influenced an educator’s success in shifting to a project-based learning curriculum model.

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Research Award

Learning Through Performance

In an effort to accelerate and deepen student learning of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards in mathematics, the Understanding Language - Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (UL-SCALE) developed sixth-grade project-based curricula with performance-based assessments.

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Research Award

Equity in Science Education

Equity in Science Education is a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, project-based learning science program developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity in conjunction with the San Francisco Unified School District.

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Research Award

Core Practices for Project-Based Teaching

Core Practices for Project-Based Teaching is a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Project research focuses on the critical role professional development and instructional quality play in fostering meaningful student learning.

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Research Award

Democratic Knowledge Project

The Democratic Knowledge Project is a project-based learning civics initiative that includes a year-long 8th grade civics curriculum, Civic Engagement in Our Democracy.

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