New Wilson School fund to support creative quantitative research projects

A new fund offered through Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will focus on cross-disciplinary projects involving quantitative data analysis.

A call for proposals is open to fund creative research projects, made possible by the Overdeck Family Foundation, which has donated $1 million to create the Overdeck Education Research Innovation Fund. This fund will be awarded over two years for innovative faculty and student research projects.

The funds will be distributed in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years with two levels of grant support available: Grants of $5,000 or less, to be considered on a rolling basis; and grants between $5,000 and $200,000 to be considered annually.

Priority will be given to cross-disciplinary proposals, particularly those including research in education with intersections among two or more of the following disciplines: economics, sociology, politics, psychology and the natural and physical sciences.

Preference also will be given to proposals that align with one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Early impact: with the goal of exploring how best to support parents and caregivers in fulfilling their essential role in their children's development;
  • Exceptional educators: with the goal of increasing the preparation and development of teachers who are more likely to be ready on day one and stay engaged in the teaching profession for many years;
  • Innovative schools: with the goal of discovering core elements of successful school models and supporting innovation so these models can be replicated elsewhere;
  • Inspired minds: with the goal of ensuring that all students are stimulated and challenged both in and out of school, as well as identifying and encouraging the potential of future innovators.

"This fund represents an exciting opportunity to support innovative research in education," said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Wilson School, the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education and professor of economics and public affairs. "We are particularly excited about the ability to support research with a multidisciplinary lens, which will provide new insights into the best ways to support children and improve our schools."

Individual faculty members, Princeton students or groups of faculty or students may submit proposals. All student submissions must include a Princeton faculty member as principal investigator or adviser. Proposals from any part of the research continuum — from planning grants to data collection and analysis — are welcome.

All proposals should include a letter of intent no more than two pages long and a detailed budget. Grant proposals for $5,000 to $200,000 are due by Nov. 16. There is no deadline for grant proposals for under $5,000.

By Nov. 28, a faculty committee will invite selected projects to submit full proposals, which will be due Jan. 2. Full proposal guidelines will be included in the request.

All proposal materials should be submitted to Christine Gage at For letter-of-intent guidelines and other questions, email Gage or call her at 609-258-3143.

Demonstrating a passion and commitment to the future of American education, John and Laura Overdeck established the Overdeck Family Foundation in 2011. The foundation seeks to fill children's untapped potential by funding compelling, innovative programs and projects that have proven, quantifiable results.