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Funding Opportunities | Education Research Grant Programs

Program Announcement: Evaluation of State Education Programs and Policies CFDA 84.305E

Program Officer:
Dr. Allen Ruby
Telephone: (202) 245-8145

The Evaluation of State Education Programs and Policies (State Evaluation) program supports the evaluation of fully-developed programs and policies implemented by State educational agencies to determine whether they produce a beneficial impact on student education outcomes relative to a counterfactual when they are implemented under routine conditions in authentic education settings. These evaluations are to determine both the overall impact of the programs/policies and the impact across a variety of conditions.

For the fiscal year (FY) 2015 competition, the State Evaluation program supports evaluations of major state programs and policies intended to improve the education outcomes of students in grades K–12. The types of state programs and policies that may be evaluated include those related to the following:

  1. College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments.
  2. Identification and Improvement of the Lowest-Performing Schools, and/or Schools with the Greatest Achievement Gaps.
  3. Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems.

States have been actively developing and implementing programs and policies within these three areas. For example, states have made major reforms to ensure that all students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce by providing instruction aligned to challenging new college- and career-ready standards and assessments. States have introduced differentiated accountability and support for low-performing schools, and have developed new approaches to evaluating and strengthening the performance of school personnel. The U.S. Department of Education has provided funding to support these efforts by states through the Race to the Top, School Improvement Grants, and Teacher Incentive Fund programs, in addition to providing flexibility through waivers of provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA flexibility) (see

The Institute is interested in learning how these state-designed programs and policies impact student academic outcomes. The FY 2015 State Evaluation program is focused only on supporting evaluations of state policies and programs (and/or specific components of such programs and policies) that fall within one of the three categories above. The evaluations are to be conducted through partnerships between State educational agencies and research institutions such as colleges or universities or research firms. The results of these evaluations are intended to help states assess the effectiveness of their programs and policies, make improvements as needed, and build their capacity for future research. The evaluations are also intended to inform all states as to the effectiveness of such programs and policies (and/or their specific components) overall and for specific populations of students, schools, and districts.

Projects under the State Evaluation program will result in the following:

  • Evidence regarding the impact of a fully-developed program/policy, implemented by a State educational agency, on relevant student academic outcomes relative to a comparison condition using a rigorous research design that meets the Institute's What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards (with or without reservations) ( The impacts include both overall impacts and impacts under a variety of conditions.
  • Conclusions on and revisions to the theory of change that guides the program or policy and a discussion of the broader contributions to the theoretical and practical understanding of education processes and procedures.
  • Information needed for future research on the program or policy.
    • If a beneficial impact is found, the identification of the organizational supports, tools, and procedures needed for sufficient implementation of the core components of the program or policy.
    • If no beneficial impact is found, a determination of whether and how to revise the program or policy and/or its implementation.
  • Information about the financial costs of the program/policy.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Please note that this competition will take place in FY 2015 and has an earlier application deadline than the Institute's FY 2016 competitions.

Milestone Date Website
Letter of Intent Due April 16, 2015
Application Package Available April 16, 2015
Application Due By 4:30:00 pm Washington DC time on June 10, 2015
Applicants Notified By July 31, 2015
Start Date August 1, 2015

Request for Applications and Application Package

The Request for Applications describes the substantive requirements for research applications, as well as provides information on how to prepare and submit applications electronically through

Evaluation of State Education Programs and Policies (FY 2015) – 84.305E
Application deadline: June 10, 2015
PDF File Download, view, & print as a PDF (1.1 MB)
MS Word Download, view, & print in MS Word format (265 KB)

The Application Package provides all of the forms that you must complete and submit to apply for the funding opportunities listed on this page. The Application Package will be available on by April 16, 2015.

To find the correct downloadable Application Package, you must first search by the CFDA number for this grant program without the alpha suffix. For this grant program, first search by 84.305. The search will yield more than one package. Select the FY 2015 84.305E package. See the relevant FY 2015 84.305E Request for Applications for further details.

Need Help?

Several blue quesiton marksFor general inquires, contact the Institute of Education Sciences. For questions about this special FY 2015 funding opportunity, contact the National Center for Education Research. IES also offers a series of webinars related to research funding opportunities. For more information regarding webinar topics and dates, as well as the registration process, browse here. To view slides from previous webinar sessions, browse here.

For assistance with downloading or submitting your application package through, contact the customer support team at,, or 1-800-518-4726.