Unsolicited Applications Announcement

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Applicant Information

The Institute of Education Sciences announces its interest in considering unsolicited applications for research, evaluation, statistics, and dissemination projects that would make significant contributions to the mission of the Institute. The Institute's mission is to conduct and support rigorous education statistics, research, and evaluation in order to provide reliable information about the condition of education, education practices that improve academic achievement, and the effectiveness of federal and other education programs. Unsolicited applications are defined as those that are not eligible for funding under the Institute's current grant competitions.


A prospectus may be submitted at any time during the fiscal year. However, grants for unsolicited applications are typically made in the last quarter of the federal fiscal year.

To be considered for funding in FY 2006 (ending September 30, 2006), the prospectus must be received by May 1, 2006.

Current Application

As an example of a permissible unsolicited application, the Institute could consider a proposal to conduct research on statistical techniques and research methodologies to address specific problems in education research because none of the Institute's competitions for the current year covered this content. In contrast, the Institute could not consider an unsolicited application to conduct research on the effectiveness of a mentoring program for teachers because this content was solicited in the Institute's competition for Teacher Quality Research Grants.

Potential applicants should be aware that the Institute does not provide funds to support program delivery or the provision of services. In addition, activities supported by the Institute must be relevant to U.S. schools.

To Submit a Prospectus

Those interested in this opportunity to conduct field initiated research, evaluation, statistics, or dissemination projects should submit a short prospectus that will allow the Institute to decide whether further conversations with the potential applicant are warranted. The prospectus should include (1) a description of the proposed project (note, proposals to conduct research, evaluation, or statistics projects should include descriptions of the proposed methods and data analysis strategy), (2) the proposed timeline, (3) the proposed total budget (including both direct and indirect costs), and (4) the personnel.

The prospectus should be no more than 6 double-spaced pages, where a "page" is 8.5 inches x 11 inches, on one side only, with 1 inch margins at the top, bottom, and both sides, and using a font that is at least 12-point in height with no more than 15 characters per inch. As a practical matter, applicants who use a 12 point Times New Roman without compressing, kerning, condensing or other alterations typically meet these requirements.

The prospectus must be submitted via electronic mail to IESprospectus@ed.gov. The prospectus should be submitted in attachment form as a Word document or a pdf file. To be considered for funding in FY 2006 (ending September 30, 2006), the prospectus must be received by May 1, 2006.

Notification of Decision

Because of the anticipated volume of submissions, the Institute is unable to respond to specific queries prior to the receipt of the prospectus. Potential applicants should submit the required prospectus. The Institute will evaluate the prospectus to determine if the proposed project would make a significant contribution to the Institute's overall mission to advance evidence-based education. The Institute will notify the applicant via return email of its decision by June 23, 2006. Because of the anticipated volume of submissions, the Institute is unable to provide feedback on prospectuses that do not result in a request for a full proposal. If the decision is to consider the project further, a full proposal using the forms and format applicable to the Institute's regular research competitions will be required for external peer review. Funding decisions will be based on scientific merit as determined by the peer review, performance and use of funds under a previous federal award, contribution to the mission of the Institute, and availability of funds.

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Last Modified: 11/15/2005