EMERG Program Guidelines
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the new Equity in Math Education Research Grants (EMERG) Program aims to reconceptualize equitable and ambitious mathematical experiences for student populations who have historically not had access to such opportunities. These include African-American, Latine, and Indigenous students as well as students from communities experiencing inter-generational poverty. The EMERG program will cultivate and support an intergenerational research community of diverse scholars and practitioners including:
1) An initial cohort of 10 EMERG early career scholars (within seven years of obtaining the Ph.D. or equivalent) chosen for their potential to propose and carry out cutting edge research and their willingness to have their initial project proposals refined through interaction with the EMERG collective.
2) An Executive Board consisting of senior researchers and practitioners with expertise in mathematics education research, development, and practice, who will oversee the project and select EMERG Scholars.
3) An Advisory Committee who will mentor and advise EMERG Scholars. Advisory Committee members’ expertise spans the mathematical, educational, learning sciences, developmental, historical, linguistic, social, political and practical foundations required for re-thinking what is needed to support learners to identify with, invest in, and become powerful knowers, doers, and generators of mathematics.
In addition to each EMERG Scholars’ individual projects, the EMERG community will create a robust and evolving conceptual framework to guide research in mathematics education.
To support grantees’ participation over two years in this innovative initiative, the program will award up to 10 grants of $100,000 each. (Grantees will also be awarded funds to cover up to 10% overhead and travel expenses, for a total grant award not to exceed $113,000.)
A final important note: Unlike other early career research grants, EMERG Scholars will have their initial project proposals refined through mentoring and interaction with the EMERG community. More details are available in the Application Components, outlined below.
An initial cohort of 10 EMERG early career scholars (within seven years of obtaining the Ph.D. or equivalent) chosen for their potential to propose and carry out cutting edge research and their willingness to have their initial project proposals refined through interaction with the EMERG collective.
An Executive Board consisting of senior researchers and practitioners with expertise in mathematics education research, development, and practice, who will oversee the project and select EMERG Scholars.
An Advisory Committee who will mentor and advise EMERG Scholars. Advisory Committee members’ expertise spans the mathematical, educational, learning sciences, developmental, historical, linguistic, social, political and practical foundations required for re-thinking what is needed to support learners to identify with, invest in, and become powerful knowers, doers, and generators of mathematics.
The EMERG Program supports scholars whose research focuses on deep mathematics learning and participation for students. The primary goals of this program are to:
1. Foster the professional development of a cadre of emerging scholars whose research focuses on fostering successful mathematics learning, development, and participation for historically underserved students from African American, Latine, Indigenous, and low-income communities.
2. Develop a conceptual framework and engage as a community of emergent, midcareer and senior researchers and practitioners in highlighting and making progress on key issues related to research on equitable and ambitious mathematics instruction for students from these communities.
3. Cultivate a network of expert advisors that can strengthen the evidence informing the Gates Foundation’s K-12 strategy for supporting mathematics learning for students from these communities.
- Only individual applications will be accepted. Applicants must apply through their institution’s sponsored programs office.
- Applicants must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent after January 1, 2016. Tenured and non-tenured candidates may apply.
- Applications are encouraged from scholars with shared racial, ethnic, language, and/or cultural backgrounds with the focus student populations. Additionally, applicants should have demonstrated commitment to the learning, development, and participation of students in these communities, as well as experience working with them, either as a researcher and/or a practitioner.
- The proposed project must be a research project.
- Applicants must be affiliated with a university or research center in the United States.
- Applicants may not be employees of the BMGF or the NAEd.
- Each research grant will be in the amount of approximately $113,000. Awards will be made as subcontracts between the applicant’s institution and the NAEd over two disbursements.
- The research grant includes approximately $2,000 in funds to use toward airfare travel to four in-person convenings, where scholars will participate in individual and group mentoring toward strengthening their individual projects and long-term research agenda. They will also discuss ongoing work with the EMERG Executive Board.
- Institutions may not charge more than 10% in indirect costs on these grants.
- Funds will be used for research expenses, including but not limited to the following: purchase of data sets, travel to research locations, participant stipends, technology expenses, and research assistance stipends.
- EMERG Scholars will not be required to take leave from their teaching and administrative responsibilities; however, they may choose to use project funds to negotiate a reduced workload or full time away from teaching or administrative responsibilities, assuming they receive institutional approval.
- For projects involving human subjects, Principal Investigators must receive approval for their project from a human subjects review board prior to release of funds.
Preparing the Application
Proposals must be submitted electronically through the online application available on the NAEd website beginning on June 15th, 2023. Applicants should carefully read all instructions prior to starting the online submission process.
- All applications must use 11-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one-inch margins. Do not reduce your font size—reviewers must be able to read all documents.
- All applications and documents must be submitted in English.
- All uploaded documents must be in pdf format. (NAEd staff will not support any document conversion to pdf.)
- Do not include cover letters, a table of contents, or any additional materials.
- Please include your name in the header of each uploaded document.
Applications will be reviewed by NAEd members and other senior scholars with expertise in relevant areas. As a reminder, candidates are applying to be part of a learning process, and their proposed projects will be refined with support from the EMERG community. As such, proposals will be evaluated on the following:
- Intellectual rigor of the proposed project
- Compelling nature/significance of the research question(s)
- Intellectual breadth, depth, and richness of the project – does this project consider other disciplines?
- Intellectual humility – will this candidate be willing to heed advice and support from other members of the EMERG community, with the understanding that the actual project could look different than the initial proposal?
- Contribution to the greater EMERG community – we are looking to fund a cohort of scholars focusing on diverse settings, locations, disciplines, and methods.
Additionally, reviewers will consider the applicant’s past research record, career trajectory, and commitment to the field of education research. We will award 10 research grants to begin during the 2024-2025 academic year.
Information on the Principal Investigator (PI)
Contact information, institutional affiliation, certification of PI eligibility
Current Curriculum Vitae
- Presentations (only at research conferences)
- Funded grants
- Dissertation title and committee
- Experiences relevant to your application (e.g. – volunteering for an afterschool program that serves underrepresented students)
Institutional Letter of Commitment
A Letter of Commitment (LOC) signed by an authorized institutional representative. This letter will certify the eligibility of the Principal Investigator and confirm the cooperating institution’s authorization of the submitted proposal and intent to enter into a subaward arrangement with the National Academy of Education. Please ensure the LOC includes the following information:
- Name of cooperating institution
- Name of awarding institution (National Academy of Education)
- Name, title, and contact information (phone & email) of Principal Investigator at cooperating institution
- Proposal title
- Total requested dollar amount ($113,000)
- Type of agency of cooperating institution
- Name, title, and contact information for authorized institutional representative
- Dated signature of authorized institutional representative.
The narrative is limited to 10 double-spaced pages, with two additional single-spaced pages for references.
A preliminary proposal indicating the work the PI hopes to carry out, including the following:
- Problem description/policy issue to be addressed
- [Preliminary] Theoretical or conceptual framework for the research
- Brief review of relevant research/policy literature
- Research questions to examine, hypotheses to be tested
- Statement on how this work could contribute to the larger field of education research (Is the work filling a void or creating a new lane? Does it represent a break with tradition in some way? Is it disruptive (in a good way)?
- [Preliminary] Description of study methodology, including any data to be collected and associated data collection and analysis strategies; rationale for how the data to be gathered addresses the fundamental research objective.
- Applicants may attach two extra pages (single-spaced) for references. The project description (10 pages) and references (two pages, single-spaced) should be uploaded as one document within the online system. Technical and supplemental appendices (charts, graphs, tables, questionnaires, etc.) may be included and do not count towards the limit; however, please be judicious in the quantity included, as reviewers are not required to review material in the appendices. An applicant may have a document that is more than 12 pages, but it must not have more than 10 pages of project description and only two pages for the references. Please understand that project descriptions can include “preliminary” elements and are expected to evolve as the EMERG research community takes shape, grapples with the issues raised by the proposals, and develops conceptual approaches.
Personal Statement (limited to 2 double-spaced pages)
Provide a career statement narrative, describing the following:
- What led the applicant to their current role and interest in math education research, including personal work history (both research and practice)? Applicants should indicate future professional plans and how the proposed research contributes to long-term professional goals.
- The candidate’s commitment to issues of ambitious and equitable engagement with mathematics, especially for students from minoritized communities (African-American, Latine, and Indigenous Peoples) and from communities experiencing persistent inter-generational poverty.
- Candidate’s willingness to participate in the EMERG intellectual community and to have their work-in-progress evolve as a result.
Applicants will be required to list two references who can speak to the applicant’s promise as a scholar in the field of math education and the strength of the preliminary project proposal. One of these references could serve as the EMERG scholar’s program mentor. If so, please indicate so in the application. Due to the unique nature of the EMERG program, applicants are encouraged to speak with their references as early as possible.
Example of Past Research Relevant to Math Education
Provide an example of a previous research project that demonstrates the applicant’s promise as a researcher in the field of math education and ability to complete the proposed project. Applicants may submit a chapter of a book, dissertation, an article, or other research, and the writing sample may be published or unpublished.
A list of current and pending commitments on sponsored research projects.
All application materials, including letters of reference, are due by 8:00pm EDT on September 28th, 2023.
Director, Special Projects
National Academy of Education
LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED