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The Foundation for Child Development is currently accepting proposals for its 2021 Young Scholars Program (YSP). YSP supports scholarship for early career researchers. The program funds implementation research that is policy- and practice-relevant, and that examines the preparation, competency, compensation, well-being, and ongoing professional learning of the early care and education (ECE) workforce. Research awards are up to $225,000 for primary research and up to $180,000 for secondary data analysis.

Research Focus
All proposed research must have primary questions that are relevant to the ECE workforce. All proposed research questions must support scientific inquiry into the implementation of specific ECE programs, policies, or practices. Implementation research provides the opportunity to engage in meaningful exploration of what works (or not), for whom, and under what conditions. Finally, all supported research must have a clear connection to policies and practices that have the potential to result in a positive impact on the ECE workforce and on the young children in YSP’s priority populations.

Who Should Apply?
YSP is an open competition; applicants need not be nominated to apply. The Foundation regards diversity as an asset for building a strong and productive society and is committed to diversity and equity in scholarship and through our grantees. To increase the diversity of research perspectives, the Foundation encourages applications from:

  • Scholars who are from underrepresented groups that have historically experienced economic instability and social exclusion, including, but not limited to: researchers of color, first-generation college graduates, culturally and linguistically diverse scholars, and researchers from low-income communities
  • Scholars who represent a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches

Interested applicants must have received their doctoral degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., J.D., etc.) between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2019. For applicants with medical degrees, applicants must have received their M.D. degrees between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2019.

How to Apply
For additional information on the research focus, eligibility criteria, application timeline, and how to apply, please visit the Foundation’s website.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 8PM EST (7PM CST / 6PM MST / 5PM PST).

We look forward to receiving your application!

Please send all questions about the application, including technical questions about the online system, to

Sign Up for the May 7th YSP Webinar!

Join us on Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 1PM – 2:30PM EST (12PM – 1:30PM CST / 11AM – 12:30PM MST / 10AM – 11:30AM PST) for an informational webinar about the required Letter of Intent (LOI) process.

Foundation staff will discuss YSP’s research focus and review the LOI process, including applicant and institutional requirements. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session.

ABOUT US: Research, policy and practice—we connect these pieces to help build early childhood systems that enable children to reach their full potential. Founded in 1900, the Foundation for Child Development identifies needs, fills gaps and integrates knowledge for successful implementation and continuous improvement. Learn more about our focus areas and download resources by clicking these links.