Research Grants

The Center for Education and Ethics announces a new grant program. The Center will make awards of up to $40,000 for research projects in philosophy as it relates to educational policy and practice. We encourage applicants to understand educational policy and practice in broad terms, including issues that directly relate to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, but also concerning policies that influence children’s growth and development in the family and other institutions. We also encourage diverse kinds of philosophical research ranging from the highly abstract to the highly applied. Proposals might concern any of the following topics:

  • the proper content of moral education and of the rights of parents to choose its content
  • the place of religion in schools
  • justice and efficiency in the allocation of public funds across schools and school districts
  • the content of the curriculum
  • the commercialization of schools and childhoods generally
  • the obligations to students with special educational needs
  • the proper content of sex education in particular and “education for living” more generally (concerning e.g., parenting, financial self-management) and the extent to which it is right for schools to defer to parental preferences regarding these matters
  • the moral rights of school students to privacy, to freedom of expression, to freedom of association
  • the rights and obligations of teachers with respect to abusive or violent children
  • should schools cultivate the virtues needed to sustain a democratic society, and if so, what are they and how is this best done given the other values schools should realize and pursue
  • ethical considerations in college admissions and enrollment

We emphasize that this list is illustrative and not exhaustive.

To apply, applicants will need to complete a short online form and upload a proposal narrative, budget, and CV. Please check back in September for more information about uploading your documents.

Proposals narratives of no more than 1800 words (not including references or appendices) should attend to the following:

  • Identify a central problem being investigated
  • Explain its significance
  • Situate it in the relevant literature
  • Discuss the work and timeline, and
  • Set goals for the type of products that will result (e.g. articles, edited volumes, books).

A Curriculum Vita should be uploaded with your materials. If there are co-PIs on the project, each person will need to provide a CV.

Budgets may include funding for a variety of activities that would support the project. These might include: research assistants, workshops and conferences with other scholars, travel to meetings and conferences, summer salary, or course releases. In addition to an itemized budget detailing funding plans of no more than 24 months, please include a paragraph explaining any expenses that might appear unusual or in need of justification. Budgets will be evaluated as part of the review process and may not exceed $40,000. The Center for Ethics and Education has a policy not to pay indirect costs for these grants. Budgets must be signed by an authorizing agent at your institution.

Please note: Requests for projects that are primarily focused on conducting original empirical work or projects seeking to support educational programs are outside of our funding priorities.

Grant Cycles

There will be one grant review period for the 2016-2017 academic year. We anticipate funding 4 grants.
Next deadline: November 7, 2017.

Eligibility and Restrictions

  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a research grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field.
  • The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, or non-profit research facility that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. We cannot award grants directly to individuals.
  • Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.

Please direct questions about your grant application to Paula McAvoy (pjmcavoy@wisc.edu).

Grant Awards


Up to $40,000

Next Deadline


Nov. 7, 2017

Awarded Grants