Skip Program Navigation
Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant Program

   Current Section  FAQs
 Office of Innovation and Improvement Home

Application Process

Can an organization that won a grant last year submit an application this year?

Yes, all national not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply this year regardless of their status as past or current grantees. However, the funds they request must be for new activities not funded under previous grants.

Can an organization submit more than one application?

An organization may submit more than one application as long as the projects being proposed are not for the same activities.

Will an equal number of awards be made across each absolute priority?

Given the limited number of expected awards it likely will be very difficult to balance the number of awards across all 3 absolute priorities.

Do all partner organizations have to be selected prior to applying for a SEED grant?

There is no requirement that all partners are identified in the application. However the reviewers can only rate applications based on what is provided, so we suggest that applicants provide information on how partners would be selected and what characteristics they will have. Additionally, if an applicant has not yet identified the specific population to be served by the grant, it must demonstrate that the populations or settings they will serve overlap with the populations or settings served in the studies used to meet the evidence standards.

Can an applicant work with a district that is already being served by a prior SEED grant?

Yes. Being a partner on a previous or current SEED grant does not disqualify an organization from participating in a new SEED grant. However, the activities carried out by the partner in the two SEED grants should be distinct.

Are planning activities allowable in year 1?

There is no prohibition on using grant funds for planning activities. As with all proposals, applicants should explain how the activities align with their proposed outcomes. Additionally, applicants may want to consider how they balance planning time with actual implementation since these grants are three-year projects and the significance of the project is one of the selection criteria by which the proposals will be reviewed.

Is there a minimum or maximum budget that is permitted for a SEED grant?

There is not a required range of award sizes. However all applicants should document how their request is reasonable and sufficient to carry out their proposed activities.

Can any products or findings produced by a SEED grant project remain proprietary to the organization?

A grant recipient may copyright any products produced or purchased under a grant award. However, the Department reserves a royalty-free nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish or otherwise use the products including data produced under an award for Federal purposes and to authorize others to do so. (EDGAR, 74.36 (a)(c)(d) Intangible Property provides a detailed description of intangible property rights under a grant award.)

Must applicants consult with private schools, pursuant to Section 9501(a) of ESEA, before submitting their application?

Under Section 9501(a), this requirement applies to "programs authorized under" Part A of Title II. While the SEED program is funded through appropriations under Part A of Title II, it is not authorized under Part A of Title II. There this requirement does not apply to the SEED program.

Evidence Standards

Can a potential applicant submit their evidence for review by ED prior to submitting an application?

To ensure fairness and consistency in information and technical assistance provided to all prospective applicants, we are unable to review evidence documentation before the application deadline.

Does a study submitted to demonstrate "moderate evidence of effectiveness" have to be on the specific intervention that the applicant is using, or can it support a similar strategy in a different context?

The study does not have to be completed by the applicant or conducted on the specific intervention proposed. However, the applicant must document how the study or evidence supports the effectiveness of the "process, product, strategy, or practice" proposed in the application. Additionally, the applicant must demonstrate that the population that it proposes to serve overlaps with the sample in the study.

What does overlapping population mean in the definitions of the evidence standards?

The definitions for both strong and moderate evidence of effectiveness require that the studies submitted must include “a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed” to be served by the project. While the people served by a proposed project do not need to be the exact people served in the study, the applicant must document how the settings or populations are related.

Eligibility Criteria

Are organizations that operate regionally, but provide services in several states eligible to apply?

For the purposes of the SEED program, the definition of "national not-for-profit organization" does not draw a distinction between a regional or a national organization as long as the organization meets the definition, including having "staff or affiliates in multiple States."

If an organization has programs in multiple states, but only one central office, would that meet the definition of a “national not-for-profit organization?”

An organization does not need to establish offices in multiple states as long as it can document that it has staff or affiliates that provide the applicants’ services in those states in which the staff or affiliates are located.

I work for an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) that has 501(c)(3) exemption status. Would we then be considered an eligible "national not-for-profit organization" to apply to the SEED program?

Having 501(c)(3) status likely means that your IHE is a not-for-profit for the purposes of the SEED program. However, it must meet the requirements under 34 CFR 77.1(c) and demonstrate that your IHE meets the definition of a "national not-for-profit organization" as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA).

My organization is tax exempt, but does not have 501(c)(3) exemption status. Is 501(c)(3) status a requirement to be eligible?

Having 501(c)(3) status is not necessary to meet the definition of a "nonprofit" in 34 CFR 77.1(c), meaning that it is not a requirement to be eligible for a SEED grant. As noted above, your entity must meet the requirements under 34 CFR 77.1(c ) and demonstrate that it meets the definition of a “national not-for-profit” organization as defined in the NIA.

Can a consortium of not-for-profits apply?

Yes, a consortium of not-for-profits may apply. However, you would need to document that each not-for-profit in the consortium meets the definition of "national not-for-profit" as defined in the NIA.

What is an affiliate for the purposes of being a national not-for-profit?

For the purposes of the SEED grant competition, an affiliate is an entity that is separate from the applicant, has an ongoing, formal relationship with the applicant, and whose work is relevant to the applicant’s project.

My not-for-profit organization has an online program, does that mean we are a national not-for-profit?

For the SEED grant competition, merely having an online presence that is accessible in several states is not sufficient to meet the definition of a "national not-for-profit organization." An applicant would likely still have to demonstrate that they have "staff or affiliates in multiple States" to be eligible to receive a SEED grant.

What would constitute a “significant number or percentage of recipients” for the purposes of meeting the definition of a “national not-for-profit organization?”

There is no specific threshold to meet that aspect of the definition. Therefore, the applicant must demonstrate how it meets that standard based on the context in which it proposes to implement its project.

To meet the definition of “national not-for-profit organization,” does an organization need onsite staff at project sites across multiple states long-term or is it sufficient for staff to be on site only during the SEED project period?

The eligible applicant must meet the definition of a “national not-for-profit organization” which includes having staff or affiliates in multiple states. If an organization does not meet that part of the definition at the time of the application, it would not be eligible to receive a SEED award, so it is not sufficient for an organization to expand into multiple states only during the SEED project.

If an organization has programs in multiple states, but only one central office, would that meet the definition of a “national not-for-profit organization?”

To meet the eligibility requirement, applicants must document that they have staff or affiliates in multiple states that provide the applicants’ services in and who are located in those states.


Must applicants meet the moderate evidence threshold (absolute priority 1) for all absolute priorities under which they apply?

Under the SEED program, all applicants are required to address absolute priority 1, which requires that a proposed project be supported by Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness, and at least one of remaining absolute priorities, absolute priorities 2 through 4. The project is the entire scope of activities proposed by an applicant, not just a subset of the project that falls under one of the absolute priorities (2-4) an applicant decides to address. Therefore, in cases where an applicant’s project addresses more than one of absolute priorities 2-4, it would not be sufficient for an applicant to submit evidence that only dealt with activities that fell under one of those priorities. An applicant is not required to submit a separate study for each absolute priority they address, but it must be clear how the entire scope of its project is supported by Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness.

Under Absolute Priority 2 (AP 2), may an applicant work exclusively with current teachers or principals?

This priority requires that applicants “include activities that focus on creating and expanding high-performing teacher preparation programs, principal preparation programs, or both.” Additionally, applicants must have a “selection process to determine which teachers or principals participate.” Given the focus of this priority to prepare aspiring teachers or principals who are selected into the program after a rigorous selection process, applicants must propose projects to prepare new teachers or principals.

It may be possible to include training of current teachers or principals as part of a preparation program, for instance to serve as mentors for aspiring teachers or principals. However, that training must be related to the preparation of new teachers or principals.

Under AP 2, may an applicant propose to work with assistant principals?

Applicants may propose projects that prepare and license assistant principals as part of a pipeline of preparing principals. Assistant principal preparation often impacts the overall development, preparation, and recruitment of principals. So if applicants can demonstrate how their work with assistant principals fits within the overall work of preparing principals for partner schools or districts, they may propose to do so.

Under AP 3, can the professional development provided align with Common Core State Standards rather than state specific standards?

This priority requires that projects align with state standards so that teachers receive training relevant to the context in which they teach. While an applicant’s proposal may align with the Common Core State Standards generally, applicants should also indicate how they will tailor their professional development for teachers to meet the relevant state standards.

Under AP 3, may an applicant focus on developing teachers’ ability to improve student literacy without including professional development specifically targeted at improving teachers’ writing instruction?

The priority focuses on improving student literacy and writing skills by enhancing teachers’ “knowledge, understanding, and teaching of writing” in the context of their subject areas. Therefore, to meet this priority, an applicant may not leave out the improvement of writing instruction.

Under Competitive Preference Priority 1 (CPP1), would an applicant receive up to 5 points or would it receive either 0 or 5 points?

The points are determined based whether or not the applicants’ evidence meets the standard of strong evidence. If an applicant’s evidence is sufficient to meet the standard it will receive all 5 points, if it does not, the applicant will receive 0 points.

Under CPP 3, may an applicant receive points for working with only with principals instead of teachers?

In order to receive points for CPP 3, applicants must either increase opportunities for high quality preparation of or professional development for STEM teachers, or increase the number of teachers in STEM subjects from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. If applicants can show that their work with principals would impact teachers in these ways, then it is possible to receive points.

Print this page Printable view Bookmark  and Share
Last Modified: 03/24/2015