Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Dissertation Grants

Grants to USA IHEs, agencies, school districts, nonprofits, for-profits, Tribes, and housing authorities for early childhood research. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for graduate-level research addressing questions relevant to early childhood programs that serve low-income children and families, as well as to foster mentoring relationships between faculty members and doctoral students.
Top topical priorities for the 2021 announcement include (but are not limited to) improved understanding and building the evidence-base for:Programs’ methods and processes for reaching, enrolling, and/or sustaining the participation of the hardest to serve populations in HS/EHS (e.g., children/families experiencing deep poverty, homelessness, child maltreatment, foster care);The comprehensive nature of HS/EHS and meeting children’s/families’ needs through comprehensive services (e.g., family engagement, family/parenting support services, economic/self-sufficiency support services, health and/or disability services);Innovative strategies to build, retain, and provide professional development supports for a qualified HS/EHS workforce, including a focus on promoting HS/EHS staff health, mental health, and wellness; andMeasuring, examining, and improving the features of quality in HS/EHS that impact outcomes (e.g., classroom practices, home visiting practices, staff skills/competencies, center- or program-level quality features).Understanding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on HS/EHS program services, staff, families, and children, including children eligible for services under IDEA, families experiencing homelessness, and families experiencing trauma.For a list of additional topics of interest, see and Requirements of the Head Start Dissertation Grants:Build capacity in the early care and education field by supporting high-quality dissertation research and student-faculty collaboration and mentorship.Conduct rigorous research that has the capacity to inform HS/EHS programs, policies, and practices.Support active communication, collaboration, and partnerships between researchers and HS/EHS programs.Foster the exchange of current research, ideas, and information among research, policy, and practice communities.For a detailed description of goals and requirements, see

Sub Title
Grants to USA Agencies, Nonprofits, Tribes, and For-Profits for Graduate-Level Early Childhood Research
Funding Source

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)

02/23/22 11:59 PM ET Receipt
Eligibility Criteria

City or township governments
County governments
For profit organizations other than small businesses
Independent school districts
Indian housing authorities
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Public housing authorities
See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
Small businesses
Special district governments
State governments

Term of Contract

The total length of the proposed project is either 12 or 24 months. For a 1-year proposed project, the project period would start September 30, 2021 and end September 29, 2022. For a 2-year proposed project, the project period would start September 30, 2021 and end September 29, 2023.

Estimated Total Program Funding
Number of Grants
Estimated Size of Grant
- Award Ceiling: $25,000 Per Budget Period - Award Floor: $20,000 Per Budget Period