(CLOSED) William T. Grant Institutional Challenge 2022

Sponsor Name: 
William T. Grant Foundation
Description of the Award: 

Please Note: While the funder does not limit the number of applications from an institution, this down-select is to select the application that will receive the full endorsement and support of OSVPR and Foundation Relations.

To view slides and video from the past webinars and other applicant guidance visit the Foundation's Resources for Applicants page.

The Institutional Challenge Grant encourages university-based research institutes, schools, and centers to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

To do so, research institutions will need to shift their policies and practices to value collaborative research. They will also need to build the capacity of researchers to produce relevant work and the capacity of agency and nonprofit partners to use research.

Applications are welcome from partnerships in youth-serving areas such as education, justice, child welfare, mental health, immigration, and workforce development. We especially encourage proposals from teams with African American, Latinx, Native American, and Asian American members in leadership roles. The partnership leadership team includes the principal investigator from the research institution and the lead from the public agency or nonprofit organization.


The award supports research institutions to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations to reduce inequality in youth outcomes. Research institutions will need to address four important goals:

  1. Grow an existing institutional partnership with a public agency or nonprofit organization.

  2. Pursue a joint research agenda to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

  3. Create institutional change to value research-practice partnerships within research institutions.

  4. Enhance the capacity of both partners to collaborate on producing and using research evidence.

The Award

The award will provide $650,000 over three years, in support of:

  • Up to $50,000 for up to 9 months of joint planning activities (e.g., refining protocols for partnering, selecting fellows, finalizing partnership and data sharing agreements, etc.).
  • Funding for two years of a full-time equivalent fellowship. In addition, universities are required to fund one additional year of a full-time equivalent fellowship.
  • Up to three years of support for the partnership to conduct and use research to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.
  • Resources to advance the proposed institutional shifts and capacities of both partners.
  • Indirect cost allowance of up to 15 percent of total direct costs.

Current grantees have the opportunity to apply for a funded two-year continuation grant in order to solidify the partnership and institutional changes. At the end of the five years, we expect the following results:

  • The research institution has established a set of strategies that facilitate sustained research collaborations with public agencies or private nonprofit organizations.
  • The public agency or private nonprofit organization has increased its capacity to use research evidence.
  • Participating researchers have improved partnership skills.
  • The research generated has been used in decision making and is likely to lead to improved outcomes for youth.


Eligible research institutions

The award will be made to an organization, not to an individual. Eligible organizations include university-based research institutes, schools, or centers. Grants are limited without exception to tax-exempt organizations. Institutions that sit outside of the academy, such as research organizations and think tanks, are not eligible.

Eligible principal investigators

Eligible principal investigators are leaders at eligible research institutions. They have visibility, influence on institutional policies and practices, and access to the resources needed to optimize and implement the award. They also possess the skills needed to cultivate trusting relationships with leaders from the partner public agency or nonprofit organization and to ensure the conduct of high-quality research.

Eligible public agencies or nonprofit organizations

Eligible public agencies include state or local agencies and their departments and divisions. Nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations are eligible if they are open to the general public and provide or coordinate services for youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States. Eligible agencies and organizations engage in work relevant to youth in the areas of education, justice, child welfare, mental health, immigration, or workforce development and have the resources needed to implement and optimize the award.

Please read more in the Application Information on the funder’s website about the eligible public agencies or non-profit organizations, eligible leaders from the public agencies or non-profit organizations, and eligible fellows.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Sep 14, 2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Please upload one PDF file (File name: Last name_GrantInstChall_2022) containing the following items in order no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Describe the Institutional Partnership between Penn State and the public agency or nonprofit organization with which you plan to partner. (2 pages max)

2. Describe the Joint Research Agenda to reduce inequality in youth outcomes. Include a paragraph about how you plan to address changing institutional policies and practices to encourage participation in research-practice partnerships. (2 pages max)

3. Brief CV (2 pages max)

4. 1 page letter from the partnering organization supporting the research agenda.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

The Office of Foundation Relations is the designated institutional contact responsible for communicating with the Foundation. For questions concerning the application process or other foundation-related questions applicants should please contact Jara Dorsey-Lash, Associate Director, Foundation Relations (jed72@psu.edu).

No Applicants. Now available on a first come, first served basis. Contact LimitedSubs@psu.edu if you are interested in applying.