Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Education Innovation and Research Program: Early-phase Grants CFDA Number 84.411C

Each funding opportunity description is a synopsis of information in the Federal Register application notice.

For specific information about eligibility, please see the official application notice.

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register.



Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

Please review the official application notice for pre-application and application requirements, application submission information, performance measures, priorities and program contact information.

For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at 8. pdf.

Purpose of Program:
The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program, established under section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA), provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations.

The EIR program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of those solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.

The central design element of the EIR program is its multi-tier structure that links the amount of funding that an applicant may receive to the quality of the evidence supporting the efficacy of the proposed project, with the expectation that projects that build this evidence will advance through EIR's grant tiers:
``Early-phase,'' ``Mid-phase,'' and ``Expansion.'' Applicants proposing innovative projects that are supported by limited evidence can receive relatively small grants to support the development, implementation, and initial evaluation of the practices; applicants proposing projects supported by evidence from rigorous evaluations, such as an experimental study (as defined in this notice), can receive larger grant awards to support expansion across the country.

This structure provides incentives for applicants to:
(1) Explore new ways of addressing persistent challenges that other educators can build on and learn from; (2) build evidence of effectiveness of their practices; and (3) replicate and scale successful practices in new schools, districts, and States while addressing the barriers to scale, such as cost structures and implementation fidelity.

All EIR projects are expected to generate information regarding their effectiveness in order to inform EIR grantees' efforts to learn about and improve upon their efforts, and to help similar, non-EIR efforts across the country benefit from EIR grantees' knowledge.

By requiring that all grantees conduct independent evaluations of their EIR projects, EIR ensures that its funded projects make a significant contribution to improving the quality and quantity of information available to practitioners and policymakers about which practices improve student achievement and attainment, for which types of students, and in what contexts.

The Department awards three types of grants under this program:
``Early-phase'' grants, ``Mid-phase'' grants, and ``Expansion'' grants.

These grants differ in terms of the level of prior evidence of effectiveness required for consideration for funding, the expectations regarding the kind of evidence and information funded projects should produce, the level of scale funded projects should reach, and, consequently, the amount of funding available to support each type of project.

Early-phase grants provide funding to support the development, implementation, and feasibility testing of a program, which prior research suggests has promise, for the purpose of determining whether the program can successfully improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.

Early-phase grants must demonstrate a rationale (as defined in this notice).

These Early-phase grants are not intended simply to implement established practices in additional locations or address needs that are unique to one particular context.

The goal is to determine whether and in what ways relatively newer practices can improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.

This notice invites applications for Early-phase grants only.

The notices inviting applications for Mid-phase and Expansion grants are published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

EIR is designed to offer opportunities for States, districts, schools, and educators to develop innovations and scale effective practices that address their most pressing challenges.

Early-phase grantees are encouraged to make continuous improvements in project design and implementation before conducting a full-scale evaluation of effectiveness.

Grantees should consider questions such as:
How easy would it be for others to implement this practice, and how can its implementation be improved? How can I use data from early indicators to gauge impact, and what changes in implementation and student achievement do these early indicators suggest? By focusing on continuous improvement and iterative development, Early-phase grantees can make adaptations that are necessary to increase their practice's potential to be effective and ensure that the EIR-funded evaluation assesses the impact of a thoroughly conceived practice.

Early-phase applicants should develop, implement, and test the feasibility of their projects.

The evaluation of an Early-phase project should be an experimental or quasi-experimental design study (as defined in this notice) that can determine whether the program can successfully improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.

Early-phase grantees' evaluation designs are encouraged to have the potential to meet the moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) threshold.

The Department intends to provide grantees and their independent evaluators with evaluation technical assistance.

This evaluation technical assistance could include grantees and their independent evaluators providing to the Department or its contractor updated comprehensive evaluation plans in a format as requested by the technical assistance provider and using such tools as the Department may request.

Grantees will be encouraged to update this evaluation plan at least annually to reflect any changes to the evaluation, with updates consistent with the scope and objectives of the approved application.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 8 4. 411C (Early-phase Grants).

Agency: Department of Education

Office: Department of Education

Estimated Funding: $115,000,000

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Education Innovation and Research Program: Early-phase Grants CFDA Number 84.411C; Notice Inviting Applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018

Additional Information of Eligibility:

Eligible Applicants: (a) An LEA; (b) An SEA; (c) The Bureau of Indian Education; (d) A consortium of SEAs or LEAs; (e) A nonprofit organization; and (f) An SEA, an LEA, a consortium described in (d), or the Bureau of Indian Education, in partnership with-- (1) A nonprofit organization; (2) A business; (3) An educational service agency; or (4) An institution of higher education.

To qualify as a rural applicant under the EIR program, an applicant must meet both of the following requirements: (a) The applicant is-- (1) An LEA with an urban-centric district locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the Secretary; (2) A consortium of such LEAs; (3) An educational service agency or a nonprofit organization in partnership with such an LEA; or (4) A grantee described in clause (1) or (2) in partnership with an SEA; and (b) A majority of the schools to be served by the program are designated with a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43, or a combination of such codes, as determined by the Secretary.

Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale codes from the National Center for Education Statistics School District search tool (, where districts can be looked up individually to retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (, where individual schools can be looked up to retrieve locale codes.

More information on rural applicant eligibility is in the application package.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:
e-Mail: Program Mailbox

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

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