Two OPRE Graduate Research Grant Announcements

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently published two discretionary research funding announcements titled “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants” and “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Research Scholars,” which are summarized below.

If you have questions regarding either or both grant announcements, please email the OPRE grant review team at HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com or call 1-877-350-4624.

Grant Opportunity 1: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant

The full announcement for “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants” is available online at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2012-ACF-OPRE-YR-0281. These grants are meant to facilitate high quality research that directly addresses the needs of low-income children, families, and their early childhood educators, to inform and improve Head Start policies and practice, and to foster mentoring relationships between faculty members and high quality doctoral students.

Who is eligible to apply? Head Start Graduate Student Research grants are available to support dissertation research by advanced graduate students from relevant disciplines who are working in partnership with Head Start or Early Head Start programs and faculty mentors.

Eligible applicants include doctoral level graduate students enrolled in accredited public, State-controlled, and private institutions of higher education. The institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

What is the funding award limit and project period? Applicants may apply for project periods up to 24 months with two 12-month budget periods. Up to $25,000 may be awarded for each budget period. For information about previous Head Start Graduate Student Grantees, seehttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/grad_student/index.html.

What types of research are supported? Proposed projects must represent high-quality research (including research using different methodologies, designs, or secondary data analysis) and must address applied research questions that will inform and improve Head Start policies and practice on topics of current interest. Topics of current interest for this announcement include, but are not limited to (please see announcement for further details):

  • Needs of families from diverse backgrounds
  • Family involvement and family outcomes
  • Issues related to children who are dual language learners
  • Professional development of staff
  • Community engagement and collaboration
  • Health and health services
  • Transition to kindergarten or from Early Head Start to Head Start
  • Teacher and classroom characteristics that influence children’s academic readiness
  • Leadership and management in Head Start programs

When is the application deadline? Letters of intent are due April 16, 2012 and applications are due May 14, 2012.

Grant Opportunity 2: Child Care Graduate Student Research Grant

The full announcement for “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Research Scholars” is available online at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2012-ACF-OPRE-YE-0306. These grants are meant to build capacity in the research field to focus research on questions that have direct implications for child care policy decision-making and program administration and to foster mentoring relationships between faculty members and high quality doctoral students.

Who is eligible to apply? Funds for Child Care Research Scholars are available to support dissertation research on child care policy issues by advanced graduate students from relevant disciplines.

Eligible applicants include doctoral level graduate students enrolled in accredited public, State-controlled, and private institutions of higher education. The institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

What is the funding award limit and project period? Applicants may apply for project periods up to 24 months with two 12-month budget periods. Up to $25,000 may be awarded for each budget period. For information about previous Child Care Research Scholars, seehttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/cc/ccr_scholars/index.html

What types of research are supported? Proposed projects must represent high-quality research (including research using different methodologies, designs, or secondary data analysis) and must address applied research questions that will inform and improve child care policies and practice. Topics of current interest for this announcement include, but are not limited to (please see announcement for further details):

  • Understanding the child care needs of diverse low-income families and/or improving child care programs and policies for various subpopulations.
  • The effects of alternative State/Territory/Tribal- and local-level child care subsidy policies and practices on children and families served
  • Issues related to Tribal child care
  • Features of child care that are most critical to support children’s development and family well-being
  • Factors that play a role in parents’ decisions about work, child care, and subsidy access
  • Examination of family-level processes that might be influenced by child care or child care subsidy use or might moderate the relationships between care and children’s development;
  • Examination of context-level factors that influence availability of and access to quality child care in rural United States
  • Issues related to the participation of various minority groups in different types of early care and education programs and how these types of care/programs meet their needs
  • Cost-effective investments to improve child care quality in all settings
  • Impact of changes in the early child care sector on the delivery and quality of child care and access to high-quality care by low-income, at-risk families
  • Issues and outcomes related to early childhood workforce development
  • Factors promoting or hindering collaboration among child care providers and other early childhood systems
  • Issues related to the participation of home-based providers in professional development initiatives and other systemic approaches to improve quality of care received by low-income children
  • Development/validation of measures/instruments to assess the characteristics of care or needs of caregivers
  • Issues related to child care licensing

When is the application deadline? Letters of intent are due April 13, 2012 and applications are due May 21, 2012.

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