(CLOSED) William T. Grant Scholars Program

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


The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand the researchers' expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas.

The Foundation focuses on research in two distinct focus areas: 1) reducing inequality in youth outcomes and, 2) improving the use of research of research evidence in decisions that affect young people. Proposed research must address questions that align with one of these areas.

The foundation supports research studies that aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people ages 5-25 in the United States along dimensions of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins.

Rationale & History

Our focus on reducing inequality grew out of our view that research can do more than help us understand the problem of inequality—it can generate effective responses. We believe that it is time to build stronger bodies of knowledge on how to reduce inequality in the United States and to move beyond the mounting research evidence about the scope, causes, and consequences of inequality.

Our research interests center on studies that examine ways to reduce inequality in youth outcomes. We welcome descriptive studies that clarify mechanisms for reducing inequality or elucidate how or why a specific program, policy, or practice operates to reduce inequality. We also welcome intervention studies that examine attempts to reduce inequality. Finally, we welcome studies that improve the measurement of inequality in ways that can enhance the work of researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.

We invite studies from a range of disciplines, fields, and methods, and we encourage investigations into various youth-serving systems, including justice, housing, child welfare, mental health, and education.

Applicants must propose one or two mentors for the first two years of the award. Each proposed mentor must submit a letter. Additionally, three letters of recommendation must be submitted from colleagues, supervisors, or the department/division chairperson who nominates the applicant, respectively. Proposed mentors may not submit recommendation letters.

Award Details

Total award: $350,000/5 years ($70,000 per year). Indirect costs may not exceed 7.5% of total direct costs.

Requests to fund the recipient's salary must not exceed 50% of the total salary received from the sponsoring institution.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be nominated by their institutions. Major divisions of in institution (e.g., College of Education, Medical School) may nominate only on applicant each year.
  • Applicants must have received their terminal degree within seven years of submitting their application (calculated by adding seven to the year the doctoral degree was conferred). In medicine, the seven-year maximum is dated from the completion of the first residency.
  • Applicants must be employed in a career-ladder position (i.e., tenure-track).

Key Dates

  • May 1, 2023: Internal Deadline to connect with Foundation Relations and RA*
  • June 14, 2023 at 3 PM EST: Mentor and Reference Letter Deadline
  • July 5, 2023 at 3 PM EST: Proposal Deadline
  • December 2023: Notification of Finalist Stage and Interview
  • February 2024: Notification of Award
  • March 2024: Award Announcement
  • July 1, 2024: Award Start Date
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 05, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

All applications must be submitted through the Foundation's online submission system. Please do not set up a log in or accept any terms and conditions for this application process without contacting the Office of Foundation Relations. Interested applicants should plan on meeting briefly with Jara (jed72@psu.edu) and their research administrator before registering on the portal or submitting a proposal to discuss process and helpful background information.*

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: 
Monday, May 1, 2023 - 11:59pm
No Applicants, Now first come, first served - Contact LimitedSubs@psu.edu if you wish to apply