Investing in Innovation (I3) Fund: VALIDATION GRANTS

2015-08-04: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Investing in Innovation (I3) Fund: VALIDATION GRANTS CFDA Number 84.411B
Funding Opportunity Number: ED-GRANTS-060515-002
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement | Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Education
Eligible Applicants Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Agency Name: ED
Closing Date: 2015-08-04
Award Ceiling: $12,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 2
Description: Note: 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. Free 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. Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), established under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies (LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The i3 program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students. The central design element of the i3 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. Applicants proposing practices supported by limited evidence can receive relatively small grants that support the development and initial evaluation of promising practices and help to identify new solutions to pressing challenges; applicants proposing practices supported by evidence from rigorous evaluations, such as large randomized controlled trials, can receive sizable grants to support expansion across the country. This structure provides incentives for applicants to build evidence of effectiveness of their proposed projects and to address the barriers to serving more students across schools, districts, and States. As importantly, all i3 projects are required to generate additional evidence of effectiveness. All i3 grantees must use part of their budgets to conduct independent evaluations (as defined in this notice) of their projects. This ensures that projects funded under the i3 program contribute significantly to improving the information available to practitioners and policymakers about which practices work, for which types of students, and in what contexts. The Department awards three types of grants under this program: "Development" grants, "Validation" grants, and "Scale-up" grants. These grants differ in terms of the level of prior evidence of effectiveness required for consideration of funding, the level of scale the funded project should reach, and, consequently, the amount of funding available to support the project. This notice invites applications for Validation grants only. The notice inviting applications for Scale-up grants is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The notice inviting applications for Development grants was published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16648) and is available at…. Validation grants provide funding to support expansion of projects supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness (as defined in this notice) to the national level (as defined in this notice) or regional level (as defined in this notice). Validation grants must further assess the effectiveness of the i3-supported practice through a rigorous evaluation, with particular focus on the populations for, and the contexts in, which the practice is most effective. We expect and consider it appropriate that each applicant propose to use the Validation funding to build its capacity to deliver the i3-supported practice, particularly early in the funding period, to successfully reach the level of scale proposed in its application. Additionally, we expect each applicant to address any specific barriers to the growth or scaling of the organization or practice (including barriers related to cost-effectiveness) in order to deliver the i3-supported practice at the proposed level of scale and provide strategies to address these barriers as part of its proposed scaling plan. All Validation grantees must evaluate the effectiveness of the practice that the supported project implements and expands. We expect that these evaluations will be conducted in a variety of contexts and for a variety of students, will identify the core elements of the practice, and will codify the practices to support adoption or replication by the applicant and other entities. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.411B (Validation grants). Applications for grants under the i3 program,