Effective School Practices to Support the Whole Child

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) invites applications from US-based teams of schools, support organizations and/or researchers who want to apply the science of learning and human development to improve existing school-based practices that develop self-direction and curiosity, specifically in adolescents (ages 11-18 years old).

We are looking for practices that go beyond standalone interventions–and are integrated into the core structure(s) of the school model, including teaching and learning, school culture and climate, mentoring/advisory and/or professional learning.

Opportunity

Overview

At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), we are committed to ensuring every young person enters adulthood with the skills and abilities they need to reach their full potential — and each teacher is equipped with the mindsets, tools and practices they need to support their students’ learning and development.

We believe this starts with taking an evidence-based, ‘whole child’ approach to learning — in short, expanding the definition of student success beyond academics to include the identity, physical, mental, cognitive, social and emotional development of students. We support this aim by providing teachers the tools, practices and resources they need to meet the unique needs of each student in the classroom, based on the latest research about how students develop and learn.

By leveraging what we know from the science of learning and human development across multiple areas (academic, social, emotional, identity, cognitive, mental and physical health), we have an opportunity to develop new school practices grounded in science. We have been thinking a lot about how to help refine and share the great work of schools and organizations who are focused on both helping students build academic skills and develop competencies beyond academics.

This Request For Applications (RFA) builds on the work that we have been supporting over the last two years in partnership with the Science of Learning and Development initiative and the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social Emotional & Academic Development, as well as through child development research, such as the Promise of Adolescence paper published by the National Academy of Sciences. Additional information, as well as summaries of these reports on these resources can be found in our summary — ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.’ We want to support schools to leverage the science to continue to advance their best practices.

Our goal for this funding opportunity aims to:

  1. Identify and improve school practices by leveraging the science of learning and human development, so that more teachers and schools have access to resources that help students build academic skills as well as competencies beyond academics; and
  2. Leverage various ways to integrate research and practice to accelerate the application of adolescent development knowledge to the design and practice of learning environments.

Details

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invites applications from US-based teams of schools, support organizations, and/or researchers who want to apply the science of human development to improve existing school-based practices that develop self direction and curiosity, specifically in adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). These practices may address foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning), specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old).

This grant opportunity is intended to support specific projects that will:

  • Identify a specific school-based practice;
  • Use the science of learning and human development to refine and iterate the practice;
  • Collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and
  • Use data collected to improve the practice’s design.

This grant opportunity is not intended for general operating support, program implementation, or systems for scaling.

This grant opportunity will accept applications starting 6:00am PDT on Thursday, August 1, 2019 until 9:00pm PDT, on September 13, 2019.

After the initial round of applications are reviewed, a select group of teams will be invited to a round of interviews. Decisions are expected to be made in late-November (subject to change at CZI’s discretion). Grants will range from $300,000-$750,000 to support projects over a 12- to 24-month period.

We expect each team will have a unique project aimed at strengthening different types of practices. We hope that by partnering with and connecting this community to each other through convenings, we can accelerate the advancement of more whole child practices in the field.  This round of funding is part of our broader effort to strengthen community, build capacity, and promote collaboration (more on our website).

The grant recipients will be a part of a foundational cohort focused on practice and will be expected to travel to two in-person meetings annually during the term of the grant, for which travel and expenses will be reimbursed by CZI (and are not to be included as a part of the project budget). Awarded grantees will also be invited to participate in regular webinars and conference calls focused on problems of practice they are facing. Grantees will also be invited to join a peer collaborative, where they can build connections across the field.

Webinar

We hosted a webinar on August 13, 2019 to provide an overview of this opportunity and to answer questions.

Below are links to resources from the webinar:

More questions? Please email wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.

Eligibility

All grantee organizations will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Minimum Criteria

To be considered for this grant from CZI:

  • The school practice(s) or program must be intentionally designed to:
    • Support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or ”building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning);
    • Be implemented with students ages 11- to 18-year-olds (grades 6-12). While schools may serve students outside of this age range, the practice should be specifically focused on the developmental needs of adolescents within this age range; and
    • Be fully integrated into one or more existing core structure(s) in the overall school model, specifically related to teaching and learning, school culture and climate, mentoring/advisory or professional learning. It should not be a standalone or an add-on practice, program or intervention. (For more, please see how we define integrated practice and core structure of school model in the Glossary)
  • The practice(s) or program must be implemented, previous to the grant, in at least one school, and the school leader must be a part of the team submitting the application. For the purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA), schools must be K-12 institutions and can include public district, public charter and/or independent/private schools. Home schools are not eligible at this time.
  • The organization receiving the grant must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3.
    • For example, a 501(c)(3) public charity, 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, governmental instrumentality such as a public school district, research university, or an organization with a public charity fiscal sponsor

CZI reserves the sole right to decide if applying organizations meet the eligibility requirements.

Prioritization Criteria

TEAM

We are looking for collaborative and capable teams motivated to improve and iterate effective practice based on science. Teams should bring different perspectives effectively representing and integrating the experiences of their target student populations and communities they aim to serve. We are committed to supporting teams led by leaders of color to continue to diversify the representation of leaders who have access to philanthropic support. Ideally, teams should be interdisciplinary, bringing expertise in adolescent development, applied research and practice. Teams without direct partnership with researchers should have a clear interest and plan to authentically incorporate the science of adolescent development to enrich and improve their practices (through literature reviews, interviews, etc.).

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY

We are looking for organizations with demonstrated capacity to facilitate the integration of research into practice and support cycles of continuous improvement. Organizations should have both the experience and systems necessary to rigorously integrate scientifically grounded practices into schools, as well as a commitment to use data to evaluate and iterate. Organizations should also demonstrate capability in running programs in schools, creating research based practices and engaging in instructional design and ongoing professional learning efforts.

SPECIFIC PRACTICE

We are looking to refine, improve and measure practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks”, specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). Teams should have explicit understanding of:

  • The skill(s) and/or mindset(s) the practice focuses on;
  • How these skills ladder up to curiosity and/or self-direction; and
  • How the practice is informed by the science of adolescent development.

The practice or set of practices must be implemented in a school and should be integrated into a core structure of the school (teaching and learning, school culture/climate, advisory/mentoring and/or teacher professional learning), specifically for students between ages 11-18. Practices and/or organizations should have a track record of positive impact on their prioritized metrics.  Practices that address the needs of the most vulnerable populations will be weighted more heavily.

SCOPED PROJECT

We are looking to support a well-scoped project that has a clear plan to:

  • Identify a specific school-based practice;
  • Use the science of learning and human development to refine the practice;
  • Collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and
  • Use that data to iterate and improve the practice’s design.

The project will connect research to practice, be implemented in at least one school and be rigorously designed. Projects may be at different stages and will include a clear plan for design, implementation, iteration, codification and/or assessment of effectiveness.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

We are looking for teams that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We will prioritize opportunities where DEI is a core component of the work and is effectively integrated throughout the design – for team, organizations, practice(s), project and scale. Teams should be committed to leveraging the strengths of diverse communities and cultural histories. Practices and programs should affirm the identity of staff and students.

For questions about eligibility or the application process, please contact us in advance of the application deadline at wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com. Deadline extensions will not be granted.

Application & Selection Details

Budget

Total costs for project should range from $300,000-$750,000 over 12 months to 24 months, starting in January 2020. Budgets should be inclusive of no more than 15% indirect/overhead costs.

Application and Review Process

The review process is a three-step process, including:

Step 1: An eligibility quiz intended to guide teams to determine if they are eligible for consideration.

Step 2: A full application, which is only accessible if teams answer all questions affirmatively in the eligibility quiz.

Step 3: A full-team interview with all participating decision makers on the proposed project.  Only a select group of applicants will be invited to the interview.

It is also possible that we will request additional information from teams as needed once an application has been submitted.

Grant duration

Awards will be either 12 months to
24 months, with a project start date no earlier than January 2020. Actual start date may vary, at the discretion of CZI.

Application 

All applications must be completed and submitted through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s online application portal. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative uses SurveyMonkey Apply (SMApply) as its grants management portal. SMApply is configured to work best using the Google Chrome browser.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with this portal in advance of the submission deadlines. The instructions for how to use the portal can be found here.

For ease of reviewing the questions and preparing your responses, a copy of the application questions asked in the portal can be downloaded (Word or PDF).  Please note that all applications must be submitted through the portal.

Selection

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative adheres to a set of core values around people, technology, collaboration and communities in the evaluation of progress of our grantees. Applications will be evaluated based on the categories laid out in the eligibility section, including:

  • TEAM: Collaborative and capable teams motivated to improve and iterate effective practice based in research.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY: Organizations with demonstrated capacity to facilitate the translation, integration and evaluation of research to practice.
  • SPECIFIC PRACTICE: We are looking to strengthen and refine practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning), specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old).
  • SCOPED PROJECT:We are looking to support a well-scoped project that has a clear plan to identify a specific school-based practice, use the science of learning and human development to refine the practice, collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and use that data to iterate and improve the practice’s design.
  • COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION:  We will prioritize opportunities where DEI is a core component of the work and is effectively integrated throughout the design–for team, organizations, practice(s), project and scale.
Key Dates
August 1, 2019
Application portal opens at 6:00am PDT
August 13, 2019
Informational Webinar at 10:00am PDT. See the “Webinar” section for more information
September 13, 2019
Applications are due by 9:00pm PDT. Application portal will close
October 14 - November 1, 2019
Full-team interviews
Late November 2019
Earliest notifications of decisions (subject to change)
January 2020
Earliest start date of award period (subject to change)
Policies
  • Please note, we are not seeking or soliciting personally identifiable information about individual students. Responders may choose to share anonymized information about student outcomes, but they must not provide information that contains any personally identifiable student information that may be subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) and its implementing regulations. Any such information provided to us is unsolicited and will be destroyed. It will also be taken as evidence that the responder is not proficient in handling student information.
  • Funds from this award are intended to support the advancement of school-based practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). Grants are made to organizations and  reasonable flexibility on how these funds are utilized is allowed, provided that the funds are used to support the development and advancement of school-based practices. A detailed budget is required with applications.
  • Funded organizations will also be asked to provide a summary of budget expenditures during annual reporting.
  • For awarded projects, updated budgets and progress reports will be due at the conclusion of each grant year. Specific deliverable requirements will be outlined in the award notification.
  • Funded organizations will be required to participate in two convenings annually, conference calls and regular check-ins with grant officer. Key personnel of funded projects are expected to participate in grantee meetings, including annual meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area. Travel support for these meetings will be provided by CZI separately from the requested grant funds.
  • Grantees are not restricted from obtaining additional funding from other sources, provided that there is no conflict with meeting the terms of the CZI grant.
  • Ethical conduct: CZI advocates the highest ethical standards for the conduct of research and for the professional and personal conduct of grantees. Grantee organizations must adopt appropriate procedures for examination of cases of scientific and personal misconduct, including harassment. When conducting primary research, research teams must have in place appropriate procedures for the ethical treatment of human subjects, including obtaining the appropriate written informed consent from human subjects. CZI regards the policies of the National Institute of Health as a strong model for such procedures.
  • Intellectual Property: Grantees are not required to assign any Intellectual Property Rights to CZI in connection with the grant. CZI supports and promotes policies that enable research results and technologies to have the broadest reach and impact. To this end, ownership in intellectual property rights resulting from grants awarded as part of this Request for Applications (RFA) can be retained by grantees, we ask that copyrightable materials created with grant support be made freely available to others under creative commons licenses and BSD open source licenses and that any patents resulting from grant support be freely licensable for all academic and non-commercial use and any commercial licenses granted be non-exclusive.
  • Unused funds may be carried over to the following year, and requests for no­-cost extensions will be considered.
  • Indirect costs cannot exceed 15% of direct costs and must be included within the annual budget. Indirect costs may not be assessed on capital equipment or subcontracts, but subcontractors may include up to 15% indirect costs of their direct costs.
  • Applications selected through this process will either be funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation (CZF) or recommended for funding through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Donor­ Advised Fund (DAF) at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF).
  • The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative reserves the sole right to not recommend the funding of any applications.
  • For awarded grantees: no external communications about the grant shall be made without obtaining written approval from the grantor, i.e. CZF or SVCF, in consultation with CZI.
  • Please do not submit any student personally identifiable information to CZI. We consider all education data laws and regulations to be a baseline for action, and will expect any partners or applicants to actively protect the privacy of students. Strict adherence to education data laws will foster trust and collaboration among intermediaries and their schools, districts, or other relevant parties. For more information on our privacy principles, view the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Education Privacy Principles.

DIVERSITY AND EQUITY

We are committed to building a grant program that fosters diversity and addresses systemic inequities. We aim to provide teachers with principles, tools, practices and resources they need to meet the unique needs of each student in the classroom–based on the latest research about how students develop and learn. We aim for conditions in which a diverse range of prospective practices can thrive and grow. We believe the strongest teams incorporate a wide range of voices. Women, underrepresented minorities and organizational leaders representing geographic areas that disproportionately impact underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Confidentiality

All submitted applications will be kept confidential, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants, and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learning from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be accepting responses to this Request For Applications (RFA) starting 6:00am PDT on Thursday, August 1, 2019 until 9:00pm PDT, on September 13, 2019.

If you would like to ask questions about this RFA before responding, we will be hosting an optional webinar on August 13, 2019 from 10:00am-11:00am PDT. To RSVP for the webinar or to view the recording of the information webinar, visit the section above called “Webinar”.  Process and logistical questions can be answered by emailing wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.

ABOUT THE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA)

  • What are CZI’s goals for this RFA?
    • This funding opportunity aims to
      • Identify and improve school practices by leveraging the science of learning and human development, so that more teachers and schools have access to resources that help students build academic skills as well as competencies beyond academics, and
      • Leverage various forms of integrated research and practice to accelerate the application of adolescent development knowledge to the design and practice of learning environments.
  • Why an RFA?
    • At CZI we strongly value diverse and innovative approaches to collaboration. We believe that an RFA process:
      • creates an opportunity to elevate the work of more organizations, increasing the diversity and innovation of the sector-wide organizations that are working towards creating exemplar whole child learning environments;
      • opens up access to connect more and different organizations with CZI’s resources and network; and
      • creates an opportunity to leverage cohort-based learning opportunities and supports by connecting organizations from across the country who are working towards related goals.
  • Who will be reviewing the submitted applications?
    • All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers. These reviewers may include CZI employees, consultants and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI.
  • Will what I submit be kept confidential?
    • All submitted applications will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learnings from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

ABOUT THE APPLICATION

  • What is the deadline to submit my eligibility quiz? What is the deadline to submit my full application?
    • All applications must be submitted through our online portal by 9:00pm PDT on September 13, 2019. Both the eligibility quiz and the application must be started and completed during that time frame. You must complete the eligibility quiz before access to the full application will be granted.
  • What happens if I don’t pass the eligibility quiz?
    • The eligibility quiz is intended to be a tool to guide potential applicants in developing the strongest application possible. If you are not able to answer affirmatively to all questions, then you will not be eligible for funding. You may take the eligibility quiz as many times as needed.
  • Can I start my application and come back to work on it?
    • Yes. To access the eligibility quiz and application, you will need to make an account on our application portal. You will be able to save your work and come back to it as needed. Application submissions will not be reviewed until the application is submitted in the portal.
  • What are your selection criteria? Is there a rubric?
    • We have outlined our priorities for selection. Our selection process is aligned to these priorities. CZI reserves full discretion to make funding decisions and will not be able to provide feedback on individual applications given the volume of responses anticipated.
  • How many applications do you expect to receive vs. grants you will make?
    • This RFA is open to the public. We are not able to predict how many applications we will receive. We will adjust our review timeline accordingly to ensure all applications receive appropriate consideration. We expect to make approximately 5-10 grants, but will adjust accordingly based on the opportunities presented.
  • Am I limited to using the framework presented in Building Blocks for Learning?
    • No. Building Blocks for Learning is intended to be a guide as needed. The priority is to focus on competencies, skills and mindsets that are grounded in the science of learning and human development. In your application please reference any frameworks or research you are using so that we have them as a reference.

DATA AND MEASUREMENT

  • What kind of data about the practice should I provide with my application?
    • We are looking for two types of evidence:
      • Metrics and data you are using (or will use) to inform the design, improvement and impact of your practice. Examples of categories for which you might have evidence include academic outcomes, engagement, culture/climate and discipline.
      • Demonstration of how your practice is (or will be) grounded in the science of adolescent learning and development.

Please do not submit any student personally identifiable information to CZI. We consider all education data laws and regulations to be a baseline for action, and will expect any partners or applicants to actively protect the privacy of students. Strict adherence to education data laws will foster trust and collaboration among intermediaries and their schools, districts, or other relevant parties. For more information on our privacy principles, view the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Education Privacy Principles.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Can I apply with multiple organizations?
    • Yes. We are looking for interdisciplinary teams of schools, support organizations and researchers. While not all teams need to have individuals from each of these groups, we hope that they will have the relevant expertise and experience integrating research into practice, designing and implementing practices in schools, identifying metrics and collecting data to evaluate effectiveness and continuously improve.
  • If we partner with other organizations, how will funding be distributed?
    • We encourage interdisciplinary teams to apply, which may include an application with multiple organizations. We will be giving the grant to one organization, which we will call the “lead organization”. The lead organization receiving the grant must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 or have a fiscal sponsor that tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3. The lead organization will be responsible for sub-awards.
  • Are awards available for work in grades K-5 and/or college aged students?
    • This grant opportunity is intended to support the advancement of practices that are designed specifically to support adolescents, ages 11-18 (grades 6-12). While we know that your schools may have students outside this age range, this practice should specifically focus on the developmental needs of students within this range.
  • Are teams outside of the USA eligible for funding?
    • The project needs to be designed for US-based schools, which includes US states and territories. Grants will only be made to US-based organizations.
  • How many applications can I submit?
    • Only one application can be submitted for each team focused on a specific practice. We recommend that the organization leading the project only submits one application, so that appropriate capacity can be dedicated to a successful project. A single organization may act as an advisor on multiple projects, and thus may be a part of multiple applications. In considering multiple applications, we will try to assess if an organization has the capacity to be involved in multiple projects.
  • What types of expenses can I include in my budget?
    • You will need to complete our template (which can be accessed through the application portal) and submit it with your application. The budget can range from $300,000-$750,000 for projects that are 12 months to 24 months. The template offers categories of funding including:
      • Personnel (full-time, part-time)
      • Research associates
      • Consultants (e.g. project management, research integration, etc.)
      • Travel
      • Community engagement efforts
      • Other direct costs
      • Sub-awards to partner organizations (with note describing their role)

      The budget may include no more that 15% of indirect costs. Grantees will be expected to report against the budget annually and have a plan to sustain any added FTEs as follow-on funding will not be guaranteed.

GET HELP

  • Can I contact you with questions?
  • I am an existing CZI Education grantee.
    • Can I apply?
      • Yes. Please note that these are grants supporting school-based practice-specific projects, not general operations.
    • Can my program officer help me with my application?
      • No. Existing grantees will not receive any additional/special support with the application. We want to ensure that all applicants get the same level of support.
  • Do you provide any additional support?
    • We will be hosting a webinar on August 13, 2019 at 10:00am PDT to provide a preview and answer questions. You can RSVP to attend that webinar or view the recording and slides in the “Webinar” section above.
Glossary
  • Adolescent – For the purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA), we are specifically focused on early adolescents, ages 11-18. Below is an excerpt from The Promise of Adolescence that further describes why adolescence is a critical time of development. More on adolescence can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain develop and mature. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark adolescence as a period of opportunity to discover new vistas, to form relationships with peers and adults, and to explore one’s developing identity. It is also a period of resilience that can ameliorate childhood setbacks and set the stage for a thriving trajectory over the life course. (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25388.)
  • Building blocks – They are the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets that facilitate and foster success in school and life. For this RFA we have grounded in self-direction and curiosity, as they are the competencies that sit on top of a number of other “building blocks” as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning. Applicants do not need to ground their practices or projects in Building Blocks for Learning framework, but they should be able to speak to how the competencies they are focusing on are grounded in the science of learning and development and foster success in school and life.
  • Continuous improvement – This is a process in which a team uses data to methodically improve over time. For the purpose of this RFA, we are looking for teams that have a clear plan to identify a practice, integrate the science of learning and human development, collect data to measure the effectiveness of the practice and use that data to iterate and improve the design and implementation of the practice.
  • Core structure of school model – Every school model looks different depending on the context in which it operates. For this RFA, we are looking for practices that are a central and critical component of school model, often designed as a routine. Examples of core structures may include teaching and learning, school culture and climate, mentoring/advisory, and professional learning. We are open to other categories as they are relevant to your context.
  • Curiosity – We are grounding this work in curiosity and self-direction, and the opportunity to bring strong evidence that multiple skills and mindsets contribute to the development of these higher-order skills. A curious individual values and draws energy from pursuing new knowledge, fueled by optimism and a growth mindset. But curiosity is more than just wonder and excitement to explore and learn. A number of skills contribute to an individual’s ability to demonstrate curiosity and to prioritize the actions associated with it in the face of challenge or competing priorities. More on curiosity can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.’
  • Integrated practice – Integrated practices are intentionally designed to become core components of a school model. The design of the practices address how students are being engaged in explicit instruction as well as how students have opportunities to build meaning through authentic experiences, specifically to practice their learning and receive feedback.
  • School-based practice – For the purpose of this RFA, schools must be K-12 institutions and can include public district, public charter and/or independent/private schools. Home schools will not be eligible at this time. Practices need to be implemented at the school during the course of the school day.
  • Science of learning and human development – An additional set of principles that ground our approach to partnership and investment in the space include the implications from the science of learning and development. From these principles comes a way to articulate how the sciences of learning and development should be used to build optimal learning environments for students. More on the science of learning and human development can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.
  • Self-direction – We are grounding this work in curiosity and self-direction, and the opportunity to bring strong evidence that multiple skills and mindsets contribute to the development of these higher-order skills. Self-directed learning and development requires a complex set of skills and mindsets. First and foremost is deep knowledge of one’s self (self-awareness). In order to plan, execute and monitor the process of learning and development, an individual needs to be aware of strengths and areas for growth and what conditions enable or detract from motivation. More on self-direction can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.
  • Support organizations – An organization that provides direct support to schools, including but not limited to technical assistance, subject matter expertise, professional development services, data and evaluation support and project management. They may support schools to design practices, integrate research, develop a continuous improvement process, collect and analyze data and/or iterate accordingly.
  • Researchers – We encourage academic and scientific scholars who have expertise in social sciences to apply directly or join teams that are implementing practices in schools. Ideally, all teams have expertise in the science of learning and human development. If you are a researcher who is interested in connecting with a team, please contact us to learn more at wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.
  • Whole child approach to learning – Learning is a social process and the evidence supporting the importance of relationships, including mentorship, in connection to students’ academic and social-emotional outcomes continues to build. Students also don’t learn in a vacuum; physical conditions like hydration, sleep and emotional state have direct impact on the learning centers of the brain and the ability to engage in the process of learning. American education was established over a century ago, before the science of human development emerged as a field. Our whole child work is dedicated to accelerating the integration of what we know about the science of human development into education. Grounding education in human development means taking a whole child approach to learning that accounts for the many different ways in which young people grow. An expanded definition of student success and well-being include the following areas of development:
    • Academic – Skills and knowledge typically associated with K-12 education. This includes the four core content areas: mathematics, literacy, science and social studies, as well as the subjects included in most requirements for a diploma, like art, health and physical education.
    • Cognitive – Skills related to attention, perception and memory. These are the skills we draw upon to learn and retain knowledge like executive function, visual and auditory processing, reasoning, and short- and long-term memory.
    • Social and Emotional – Skills and mindsets involved in the social process of learning and development. This domain includes social and emotional factors with links to well-being and academic success, like healthy adult attachment, stress management, self-regulation and resilience.
    • Physical – Nutrition, fitness, and sleep, as well as vision, hearing and dental health.
    • Mental – A state of well-being demonstrated by the ability to realize potential, cope with stress, work toward goals and make meaningful social contributions and connections. The mental health domain draws from the definition provided by the World Health Organization: “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
    • Identity – An individual’s unique sense of purpose, including one’s personal, collective and cultural identities, as well as one’s personal values.
RFA Contact

For administrative and programmatic inquiries, or other questions pertaining to this RFA, please contact wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com

Key Dates
August 1, 2019
Application portal opens at 6:00am PDT
August 13, 2019
Informational Webinar at 10:00am PDT. See the “Webinar” section for more information
September 13, 2019
Applications are due by 9:00pm PDT. Application portal will close
October 14 - November 1, 2019
Full-team interviews
Late November 2019
Earliest notifications of decisions (subject to change)
January 2020
Earliest start date of award period (subject to change)
Opportunity

Overview

At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), we are committed to ensuring every young person enters adulthood with the skills and abilities they need to reach their full potential — and each teacher is equipped with the mindsets, tools and practices they need to support their students’ learning and development.

We believe this starts with taking an evidence-based, ‘whole child’ approach to learning — in short, expanding the definition of student success beyond academics to include the identity, physical, mental, cognitive, social and emotional development of students. We support this aim by providing teachers the tools, practices and resources they need to meet the unique needs of each student in the classroom, based on the latest research about how students develop and learn.

By leveraging what we know from the science of learning and human development across multiple areas (academic, social, emotional, identity, cognitive, mental and physical health), we have an opportunity to develop new school practices grounded in science. We have been thinking a lot about how to help refine and share the great work of schools and organizations who are focused on both helping students build academic skills and develop competencies beyond academics.

This Request For Applications (RFA) builds on the work that we have been supporting over the last two years in partnership with the Science of Learning and Development initiative and the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social Emotional & Academic Development, as well as through child development research, such as the Promise of Adolescence paper published by the National Academy of Sciences. Additional information, as well as summaries of these reports on these resources can be found in our summary — ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.’ We want to support schools to leverage the science to continue to advance their best practices.

Our goal for this funding opportunity aims to:

  1. Identify and improve school practices by leveraging the science of learning and human development, so that more teachers and schools have access to resources that help students build academic skills as well as competencies beyond academics; and
  2. Leverage various ways to integrate research and practice to accelerate the application of adolescent development knowledge to the design and practice of learning environments.

Details

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invites applications from US-based teams of schools, support organizations, and/or researchers who want to apply the science of human development to improve existing school-based practices that develop self direction and curiosity, specifically in adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). These practices may address foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning), specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old).

This grant opportunity is intended to support specific projects that will:

  • Identify a specific school-based practice;
  • Use the science of learning and human development to refine and iterate the practice;
  • Collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and
  • Use data collected to improve the practice’s design.

This grant opportunity is not intended for general operating support, program implementation, or systems for scaling.

This grant opportunity will accept applications starting 6:00am PDT on Thursday, August 1, 2019 until 9:00pm PDT, on September 13, 2019.

After the initial round of applications are reviewed, a select group of teams will be invited to a round of interviews. Decisions are expected to be made in late-November (subject to change at CZI’s discretion). Grants will range from $300,000-$750,000 to support projects over a 12- to 24-month period.

We expect each team will have a unique project aimed at strengthening different types of practices. We hope that by partnering with and connecting this community to each other through convenings, we can accelerate the advancement of more whole child practices in the field.  This round of funding is part of our broader effort to strengthen community, build capacity, and promote collaboration (more on our website).

The grant recipients will be a part of a foundational cohort focused on practice and will be expected to travel to two in-person meetings annually during the term of the grant, for which travel and expenses will be reimbursed by CZI (and are not to be included as a part of the project budget). Awarded grantees will also be invited to participate in regular webinars and conference calls focused on problems of practice they are facing. Grantees will also be invited to join a peer collaborative, where they can build connections across the field.

Webinar

We hosted a webinar on August 13, 2019 to provide an overview of this opportunity and to answer questions.

Below are links to resources from the webinar:

More questions? Please email wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.

Eligibility

All grantee organizations will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Minimum Criteria

To be considered for this grant from CZI:

  • The school practice(s) or program must be intentionally designed to:
    • Support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or ”building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning);
    • Be implemented with students ages 11- to 18-year-olds (grades 6-12). While schools may serve students outside of this age range, the practice should be specifically focused on the developmental needs of adolescents within this age range; and
    • Be fully integrated into one or more existing core structure(s) in the overall school model, specifically related to teaching and learning, school culture and climate, mentoring/advisory or professional learning. It should not be a standalone or an add-on practice, program or intervention. (For more, please see how we define integrated practice and core structure of school model in the Glossary)
  • The practice(s) or program must be implemented, previous to the grant, in at least one school, and the school leader must be a part of the team submitting the application. For the purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA), schools must be K-12 institutions and can include public district, public charter and/or independent/private schools. Home schools are not eligible at this time.
  • The organization receiving the grant must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3.
    • For example, a 501(c)(3) public charity, 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, governmental instrumentality such as a public school district, research university, or an organization with a public charity fiscal sponsor

CZI reserves the sole right to decide if applying organizations meet the eligibility requirements.

Prioritization Criteria

TEAM

We are looking for collaborative and capable teams motivated to improve and iterate effective practice based on science. Teams should bring different perspectives effectively representing and integrating the experiences of their target student populations and communities they aim to serve. We are committed to supporting teams led by leaders of color to continue to diversify the representation of leaders who have access to philanthropic support. Ideally, teams should be interdisciplinary, bringing expertise in adolescent development, applied research and practice. Teams without direct partnership with researchers should have a clear interest and plan to authentically incorporate the science of adolescent development to enrich and improve their practices (through literature reviews, interviews, etc.).

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY

We are looking for organizations with demonstrated capacity to facilitate the integration of research into practice and support cycles of continuous improvement. Organizations should have both the experience and systems necessary to rigorously integrate scientifically grounded practices into schools, as well as a commitment to use data to evaluate and iterate. Organizations should also demonstrate capability in running programs in schools, creating research based practices and engaging in instructional design and ongoing professional learning efforts.

SPECIFIC PRACTICE

We are looking to refine, improve and measure practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks”, specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). Teams should have explicit understanding of:

  • The skill(s) and/or mindset(s) the practice focuses on;
  • How these skills ladder up to curiosity and/or self-direction; and
  • How the practice is informed by the science of adolescent development.

The practice or set of practices must be implemented in a school and should be integrated into a core structure of the school (teaching and learning, school culture/climate, advisory/mentoring and/or teacher professional learning), specifically for students between ages 11-18. Practices and/or organizations should have a track record of positive impact on their prioritized metrics.  Practices that address the needs of the most vulnerable populations will be weighted more heavily.

SCOPED PROJECT

We are looking to support a well-scoped project that has a clear plan to:

  • Identify a specific school-based practice;
  • Use the science of learning and human development to refine the practice;
  • Collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and
  • Use that data to iterate and improve the practice’s design.

The project will connect research to practice, be implemented in at least one school and be rigorously designed. Projects may be at different stages and will include a clear plan for design, implementation, iteration, codification and/or assessment of effectiveness.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

We are looking for teams that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We will prioritize opportunities where DEI is a core component of the work and is effectively integrated throughout the design – for team, organizations, practice(s), project and scale. Teams should be committed to leveraging the strengths of diverse communities and cultural histories. Practices and programs should affirm the identity of staff and students.

For questions about eligibility or the application process, please contact us in advance of the application deadline at wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com. Deadline extensions will not be granted.

Application & Selection Details

Budget

Total costs for project should range from $300,000-$750,000 over 12 months to 24 months, starting in January 2020. Budgets should be inclusive of no more than 15% indirect/overhead costs.

Application and Review Process

The review process is a three-step process, including:

Step 1: An eligibility quiz intended to guide teams to determine if they are eligible for consideration.

Step 2: A full application, which is only accessible if teams answer all questions affirmatively in the eligibility quiz.

Step 3: A full-team interview with all participating decision makers on the proposed project.  Only a select group of applicants will be invited to the interview.

It is also possible that we will request additional information from teams as needed once an application has been submitted.

Grant duration

Awards will be either 12 months to
24 months, with a project start date no earlier than January 2020. Actual start date may vary, at the discretion of CZI.

Application 

All applications must be completed and submitted through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s online application portal. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative uses SurveyMonkey Apply (SMApply) as its grants management portal. SMApply is configured to work best using the Google Chrome browser.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with this portal in advance of the submission deadlines. The instructions for how to use the portal can be found here.

For ease of reviewing the questions and preparing your responses, a copy of the application questions asked in the portal can be downloaded (Word or PDF).  Please note that all applications must be submitted through the portal.

Selection

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative adheres to a set of core values around people, technology, collaboration and communities in the evaluation of progress of our grantees. Applications will be evaluated based on the categories laid out in the eligibility section, including:

  • TEAM: Collaborative and capable teams motivated to improve and iterate effective practice based in research.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY: Organizations with demonstrated capacity to facilitate the translation, integration and evaluation of research to practice.
  • SPECIFIC PRACTICE: We are looking to strengthen and refine practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, or “building blocks” (as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning), specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old).
  • SCOPED PROJECT:We are looking to support a well-scoped project that has a clear plan to identify a specific school-based practice, use the science of learning and human development to refine the practice, collect data to measure how the practice impacts the intended competencies, skills and mindsets; and use that data to iterate and improve the practice’s design.
  • COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION:  We will prioritize opportunities where DEI is a core component of the work and is effectively integrated throughout the design–for team, organizations, practice(s), project and scale.
Key Dates
August 1, 2019
Application portal opens at 6:00am PDT
August 13, 2019
Informational Webinar at 10:00am PDT. See the “Webinar” section for more information
September 13, 2019
Applications are due by 9:00pm PDT. Application portal will close
October 14 - November 1, 2019
Full-team interviews
Late November 2019
Earliest notifications of decisions (subject to change)
January 2020
Earliest start date of award period (subject to change)
Policies
  • Please note, we are not seeking or soliciting personally identifiable information about individual students. Responders may choose to share anonymized information about student outcomes, but they must not provide information that contains any personally identifiable student information that may be subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) and its implementing regulations. Any such information provided to us is unsolicited and will be destroyed. It will also be taken as evidence that the responder is not proficient in handling student information.
  • Funds from this award are intended to support the advancement of school-based practices that support the development of self-direction and/or curiosity, addressing the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets, specifically for adolescents (ages 11-18 years old). Grants are made to organizations and  reasonable flexibility on how these funds are utilized is allowed, provided that the funds are used to support the development and advancement of school-based practices. A detailed budget is required with applications.
  • Funded organizations will also be asked to provide a summary of budget expenditures during annual reporting.
  • For awarded projects, updated budgets and progress reports will be due at the conclusion of each grant year. Specific deliverable requirements will be outlined in the award notification.
  • Funded organizations will be required to participate in two convenings annually, conference calls and regular check-ins with grant officer. Key personnel of funded projects are expected to participate in grantee meetings, including annual meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area. Travel support for these meetings will be provided by CZI separately from the requested grant funds.
  • Grantees are not restricted from obtaining additional funding from other sources, provided that there is no conflict with meeting the terms of the CZI grant.
  • Ethical conduct: CZI advocates the highest ethical standards for the conduct of research and for the professional and personal conduct of grantees. Grantee organizations must adopt appropriate procedures for examination of cases of scientific and personal misconduct, including harassment. When conducting primary research, research teams must have in place appropriate procedures for the ethical treatment of human subjects, including obtaining the appropriate written informed consent from human subjects. CZI regards the policies of the National Institute of Health as a strong model for such procedures.
  • Intellectual Property: Grantees are not required to assign any Intellectual Property Rights to CZI in connection with the grant. CZI supports and promotes policies that enable research results and technologies to have the broadest reach and impact. To this end, ownership in intellectual property rights resulting from grants awarded as part of this Request for Applications (RFA) can be retained by grantees, we ask that copyrightable materials created with grant support be made freely available to others under creative commons licenses and BSD open source licenses and that any patents resulting from grant support be freely licensable for all academic and non-commercial use and any commercial licenses granted be non-exclusive.
  • Unused funds may be carried over to the following year, and requests for no­-cost extensions will be considered.
  • Indirect costs cannot exceed 15% of direct costs and must be included within the annual budget. Indirect costs may not be assessed on capital equipment or subcontracts, but subcontractors may include up to 15% indirect costs of their direct costs.
  • Applications selected through this process will either be funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation (CZF) or recommended for funding through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Donor­ Advised Fund (DAF) at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF).
  • The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative reserves the sole right to not recommend the funding of any applications.
  • For awarded grantees: no external communications about the grant shall be made without obtaining written approval from the grantor, i.e. CZF or SVCF, in consultation with CZI.
  • Please do not submit any student personally identifiable information to CZI. We consider all education data laws and regulations to be a baseline for action, and will expect any partners or applicants to actively protect the privacy of students. Strict adherence to education data laws will foster trust and collaboration among intermediaries and their schools, districts, or other relevant parties. For more information on our privacy principles, view the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Education Privacy Principles.

DIVERSITY AND EQUITY

We are committed to building a grant program that fosters diversity and addresses systemic inequities. We aim to provide teachers with principles, tools, practices and resources they need to meet the unique needs of each student in the classroom–based on the latest research about how students develop and learn. We aim for conditions in which a diverse range of prospective practices can thrive and grow. We believe the strongest teams incorporate a wide range of voices. Women, underrepresented minorities and organizational leaders representing geographic areas that disproportionately impact underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Confidentiality

All submitted applications will be kept confidential, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants, and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learning from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be accepting responses to this Request For Applications (RFA) starting 6:00am PDT on Thursday, August 1, 2019 until 9:00pm PDT, on September 13, 2019.

If you would like to ask questions about this RFA before responding, we will be hosting an optional webinar on August 13, 2019 from 10:00am-11:00am PDT. To RSVP for the webinar or to view the recording of the information webinar, visit the section above called “Webinar”.  Process and logistical questions can be answered by emailing wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.

ABOUT THE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA)

  • What are CZI’s goals for this RFA?
    • This funding opportunity aims to
      • Identify and improve school practices by leveraging the science of learning and human development, so that more teachers and schools have access to resources that help students build academic skills as well as competencies beyond academics, and
      • Leverage various forms of integrated research and practice to accelerate the application of adolescent development knowledge to the design and practice of learning environments.
  • Why an RFA?
    • At CZI we strongly value diverse and innovative approaches to collaboration. We believe that an RFA process:
      • creates an opportunity to elevate the work of more organizations, increasing the diversity and innovation of the sector-wide organizations that are working towards creating exemplar whole child learning environments;
      • opens up access to connect more and different organizations with CZI’s resources and network; and
      • creates an opportunity to leverage cohort-based learning opportunities and supports by connecting organizations from across the country who are working towards related goals.
  • Who will be reviewing the submitted applications?
    • All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers. These reviewers may include CZI employees, consultants and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI.
  • Will what I submit be kept confidential?
    • All submitted applications will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible, except as necessary for evaluation or to comply with any applicable laws. All applications submitted through the shared portal will be shared internally with a team of reviewers including CZI employees, consultants and outside subject matter experts, selected at the sole discretion of CZI. CZI will also aggregate and anonymize data and learnings from the RFA to inform future program development, which may be shared externally. Application materials will not be returned to applicants.

ABOUT THE APPLICATION

  • What is the deadline to submit my eligibility quiz? What is the deadline to submit my full application?
    • All applications must be submitted through our online portal by 9:00pm PDT on September 13, 2019. Both the eligibility quiz and the application must be started and completed during that time frame. You must complete the eligibility quiz before access to the full application will be granted.
  • What happens if I don’t pass the eligibility quiz?
    • The eligibility quiz is intended to be a tool to guide potential applicants in developing the strongest application possible. If you are not able to answer affirmatively to all questions, then you will not be eligible for funding. You may take the eligibility quiz as many times as needed.
  • Can I start my application and come back to work on it?
    • Yes. To access the eligibility quiz and application, you will need to make an account on our application portal. You will be able to save your work and come back to it as needed. Application submissions will not be reviewed until the application is submitted in the portal.
  • What are your selection criteria? Is there a rubric?
    • We have outlined our priorities for selection. Our selection process is aligned to these priorities. CZI reserves full discretion to make funding decisions and will not be able to provide feedback on individual applications given the volume of responses anticipated.
  • How many applications do you expect to receive vs. grants you will make?
    • This RFA is open to the public. We are not able to predict how many applications we will receive. We will adjust our review timeline accordingly to ensure all applications receive appropriate consideration. We expect to make approximately 5-10 grants, but will adjust accordingly based on the opportunities presented.
  • Am I limited to using the framework presented in Building Blocks for Learning?
    • No. Building Blocks for Learning is intended to be a guide as needed. The priority is to focus on competencies, skills and mindsets that are grounded in the science of learning and human development. In your application please reference any frameworks or research you are using so that we have them as a reference.

DATA AND MEASUREMENT

  • What kind of data about the practice should I provide with my application?
    • We are looking for two types of evidence:
      • Metrics and data you are using (or will use) to inform the design, improvement and impact of your practice. Examples of categories for which you might have evidence include academic outcomes, engagement, culture/climate and discipline.
      • Demonstration of how your practice is (or will be) grounded in the science of adolescent learning and development.

Please do not submit any student personally identifiable information to CZI. We consider all education data laws and regulations to be a baseline for action, and will expect any partners or applicants to actively protect the privacy of students. Strict adherence to education data laws will foster trust and collaboration among intermediaries and their schools, districts, or other relevant parties. For more information on our privacy principles, view the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Education Privacy Principles.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Can I apply with multiple organizations?
    • Yes. We are looking for interdisciplinary teams of schools, support organizations and researchers. While not all teams need to have individuals from each of these groups, we hope that they will have the relevant expertise and experience integrating research into practice, designing and implementing practices in schools, identifying metrics and collecting data to evaluate effectiveness and continuously improve.
  • If we partner with other organizations, how will funding be distributed?
    • We encourage interdisciplinary teams to apply, which may include an application with multiple organizations. We will be giving the grant to one organization, which we will call the “lead organization”. The lead organization receiving the grant must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 or have a fiscal sponsor that tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3. The lead organization will be responsible for sub-awards.
  • Are awards available for work in grades K-5 and/or college aged students?
    • This grant opportunity is intended to support the advancement of practices that are designed specifically to support adolescents, ages 11-18 (grades 6-12). While we know that your schools may have students outside this age range, this practice should specifically focus on the developmental needs of students within this range.
  • Are teams outside of the USA eligible for funding?
    • The project needs to be designed for US-based schools, which includes US states and territories. Grants will only be made to US-based organizations.
  • How many applications can I submit?
    • Only one application can be submitted for each team focused on a specific practice. We recommend that the organization leading the project only submits one application, so that appropriate capacity can be dedicated to a successful project. A single organization may act as an advisor on multiple projects, and thus may be a part of multiple applications. In considering multiple applications, we will try to assess if an organization has the capacity to be involved in multiple projects.
  • What types of expenses can I include in my budget?
    • You will need to complete our template (which can be accessed through the application portal) and submit it with your application. The budget can range from $300,000-$750,000 for projects that are 12 months to 24 months. The template offers categories of funding including:
      • Personnel (full-time, part-time)
      • Research associates
      • Consultants (e.g. project management, research integration, etc.)
      • Travel
      • Community engagement efforts
      • Other direct costs
      • Sub-awards to partner organizations (with note describing their role)

      The budget may include no more that 15% of indirect costs. Grantees will be expected to report against the budget annually and have a plan to sustain any added FTEs as follow-on funding will not be guaranteed.

GET HELP

  • Can I contact you with questions?
  • I am an existing CZI Education grantee.
    • Can I apply?
      • Yes. Please note that these are grants supporting school-based practice-specific projects, not general operations.
    • Can my program officer help me with my application?
      • No. Existing grantees will not receive any additional/special support with the application. We want to ensure that all applicants get the same level of support.
  • Do you provide any additional support?
    • We will be hosting a webinar on August 13, 2019 at 10:00am PDT to provide a preview and answer questions. You can RSVP to attend that webinar or view the recording and slides in the “Webinar” section above.
Glossary
  • Adolescent – For the purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA), we are specifically focused on early adolescents, ages 11-18. Below is an excerpt from The Promise of Adolescence that further describes why adolescence is a critical time of development. More on adolescence can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain develop and mature. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark adolescence as a period of opportunity to discover new vistas, to form relationships with peers and adults, and to explore one’s developing identity. It is also a period of resilience that can ameliorate childhood setbacks and set the stage for a thriving trajectory over the life course. (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25388.)
  • Building blocks – They are the foundational and precursory competencies, skills and mindsets that facilitate and foster success in school and life. For this RFA we have grounded in self-direction and curiosity, as they are the competencies that sit on top of a number of other “building blocks” as theorized by frameworks such as Building Blocks for Learning. Applicants do not need to ground their practices or projects in Building Blocks for Learning framework, but they should be able to speak to how the competencies they are focusing on are grounded in the science of learning and development and foster success in school and life.
  • Continuous improvement – This is a process in which a team uses data to methodically improve over time. For the purpose of this RFA, we are looking for teams that have a clear plan to identify a practice, integrate the science of learning and human development, collect data to measure the effectiveness of the practice and use that data to iterate and improve the design and implementation of the practice.
  • Core structure of school model – Every school model looks different depending on the context in which it operates. For this RFA, we are looking for practices that are a central and critical component of school model, often designed as a routine. Examples of core structures may include teaching and learning, school culture and climate, mentoring/advisory, and professional learning. We are open to other categories as they are relevant to your context.
  • Curiosity – We are grounding this work in curiosity and self-direction, and the opportunity to bring strong evidence that multiple skills and mindsets contribute to the development of these higher-order skills. A curious individual values and draws energy from pursuing new knowledge, fueled by optimism and a growth mindset. But curiosity is more than just wonder and excitement to explore and learn. A number of skills contribute to an individual’s ability to demonstrate curiosity and to prioritize the actions associated with it in the face of challenge or competing priorities. More on curiosity can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.’
  • Integrated practice – Integrated practices are intentionally designed to become core components of a school model. The design of the practices address how students are being engaged in explicit instruction as well as how students have opportunities to build meaning through authentic experiences, specifically to practice their learning and receive feedback.
  • School-based practice – For the purpose of this RFA, schools must be K-12 institutions and can include public district, public charter and/or independent/private schools. Home schools will not be eligible at this time. Practices need to be implemented at the school during the course of the school day.
  • Science of learning and human development – An additional set of principles that ground our approach to partnership and investment in the space include the implications from the science of learning and development. From these principles comes a way to articulate how the sciences of learning and development should be used to build optimal learning environments for students. More on the science of learning and human development can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.
  • Self-direction – We are grounding this work in curiosity and self-direction, and the opportunity to bring strong evidence that multiple skills and mindsets contribute to the development of these higher-order skills. Self-directed learning and development requires a complex set of skills and mindsets. First and foremost is deep knowledge of one’s self (self-awareness). In order to plan, execute and monitor the process of learning and development, an individual needs to be aware of strengths and areas for growth and what conditions enable or detract from motivation. More on self-direction can be found in ‘An Overview of the Research We Ground In.
  • Support organizations – An organization that provides direct support to schools, including but not limited to technical assistance, subject matter expertise, professional development services, data and evaluation support and project management. They may support schools to design practices, integrate research, develop a continuous improvement process, collect and analyze data and/or iterate accordingly.
  • Researchers – We encourage academic and scientific scholars who have expertise in social sciences to apply directly or join teams that are implementing practices in schools. Ideally, all teams have expertise in the science of learning and human development. If you are a researcher who is interested in connecting with a team, please contact us to learn more at wholechildrfa@chanzuckerberg.com.
  • Whole child approach to learning – Learning is a social process and the evidence supporting the importance of relationships, including mentorship, in connection to students’ academic and social-emotional outcomes continues to build. Students also don’t learn in a vacuum; physical conditions like hydration, sleep and emotional state have direct impact on the learning centers of the brain and the ability to engage in the process of learning. American education was established over a century ago, before the science of human development emerged as a field. Our whole child work is dedicated to accelerating the integration of what we know about the science of human development into education. Grounding education in human development means taking a whole child approach to learning that accounts for the many different ways in which young people grow. An expanded definition of student success and well-being include the following areas of development:
    • Academic – Skills and knowledge typically associated with K-12 education. This includes the four core content areas: mathematics, literacy, science and social studies, as well as the subjects included in most requirements for a diploma, like art, health and physical education.
    • Cognitive – Skills related to attention, perception and memory. These are the skills we draw upon to learn and retain knowledge like executive function, visual and auditory processing, reasoning, and short- and long-term memory.
    • Social and Emotional – Skills and mindsets involved in the social process of learning and development. This domain includes social and emotional factors with links to well-being and academic success, like healthy adult attachment, stress management, self-regulation and resilience.
    • Physical – Nutrition, fitness, and sleep, as well as vision, hearing and dental health.
    • Mental – A state of well-being demonstrated by the ability to realize potential, cope with stress, work toward goals and make meaningful social contributions and connections. The mental health domain draws from the definition provided by the World Health Organization: “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
    • Identity – An individual’s unique sense of purpose, including one’s personal, collective and cultural identities, as well as one’s personal values.