2024 Call to Effective Action
Frequently Asked Questions
We are not sure which grant to apply for. Can you provide some examples of applicants in each category?
First, make sure your organization is eligible to apply for one of Accelerate’s Call to Effective Action grants by reviewing the CEA application landing page.
Then, the best way to determine which grant to apply for is to consider prior implementation and any evidence of the impact of the proposed tutoring model.
If your model has been implemented and evaluated before with research evidence that suggests positive causal outcomes on student achievement through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) we invite you to include this information in section 3 (Research & Prior Evidence) of the grant application and to apply for an Adoption Grant. Please note that Adoption grantees will be expected to conduct RCT design (sample of 350-400 students) in a new setting with preference for the full school year beginning in Fall 2024, with allowance for Spring 2025 or semester long project based on program design and prior evidence of impact.
If your model has been implemented before with data collected that suggests positive effects on student achievement – either through pre-post assessments, quasi-experiments, or experimental evaluations – we invite you to share this information in section 3 (Research & Prior Evidence) of the grant and to apply for a Promise Grant. Please note that Promise grantees will be expected to participate in a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) or Quasi-Experimental Design (QED) based on a regression discontinuity (RD) design in SY 2024-25.
If your model has been developed, and has been implemented as a pilot, but has not yet generated prior evidence suggesting positive effects on student achievement, either because it is new or because data has not yet been systematically collected, an Innovation grant is the better fit. Accelerate will support Innovation grantees to implement their model with fidelity in the upcoming year and assess the effectiveness of the model. Accelerate will work with Innovation grantees and their research partner to determine what research methodology is most appropriate to begin to build the model’s evidence of impact on student achievement.
If you have further questions, please reach out to the Accelerate team at CEA@accelerate.us.
What may grant funding be used for? Is there a cap on indirect costs?
Accelerate’s aim is to promote the project goals while providing grantees with maximum flexibility. Funding may be used to support operational costs, pre-evaluation costs, staff and direct program costs. Innovation grantees must allocate necessary funds for research/evaluation costs. Promise and Adoption grantees will have their research and evaluation study funded separately through Accelerate, and should not budget for this expense.
Applicants are invited to submit a proposed budget at the time of applying; those selected will work with Accelerate to determine the final allocation of funds, with the understanding that some shifts may occur during the grant year, which can be addressed with budget amendments.
Up to 5% of the grant amount may cover indirect costs.
What qualifies as tutoring?
For the purpose of the Call to Effective Action grant program, the term ‘tutoring’ includes a variety of delivery models, including in-person, virtual, hybrid, or fully tech-enabled. The key component is that students are receiving personalized instruction tailored to their needs during the school day.
The prevailing research (Kraft & Falken, 2021; Nickow et al., 2020; Robinson et al., 2021) indicates that effective high-dosage tutoring is typically (i) individualized, with student:tutor ratios not higher than 4:1, (ii) intensive, with dosage between 3-5 sessions/week, at least 30-60 minutes/session, (iii) sustained for 50 hours (over 36 weeks, with some effective tutoring programs lasting for at least 10 weeks), and (iv) based on high-quality instructional materials (HQIM). However, we encourage applicants to submit proposals featuring program designs that may deviate from these guidelines so long as the applicant presents a well-defined theory of action supported by evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the alternative design.
We were awarded a grant from Accelerate via its Call to Effective Action last year. Can we apply again?
Yes, prior grantees are eligible and encouraged to apply for this Call of Effective Action. Refer to question 1 to help determine which grant type would be appropriate. Please note, however, that if the model is currently engaged in an evaluation and results are not yet available, it may be more appropriate to wait until a future year. If you have any questions, reach out to Accelerate at CEA@accelerate.us.
If we are awarded a grant, what will the research component look like?
Innovation grantees may bring their own research partner or conduct their evaluation internally. Accelerate can recommend an evaluator upon request. For all Innovation grantees, the expectation is that research begins in Fall 2024 when implementation begins.
For Promise and Adoption grantees who apply to Accelerate with a researcher identified, Accelerate will first approve the researcher, then work with the grantee and researcher to mutually agree upon a study design and timeline. For grantees who successfully applied to Accelerate without a proposed research partner or whose previously identified researcher is not approved by Accelerate, Accelerate will assist with matching grantees with a researcher in late spring/early summer 2024. Accelerate will then collaborate with the grantee and its selected researcher to support the development of a study design and timeline. For Promise and Adoption grantees, research may begin in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025, depending on the study design, program design and parameters, and as outlined in the grantee agreement.
Accelerate has also developed partnerships with external funders who are interested in funding rigorous formal evaluations of tutoring programs. As needed, Accelerate will support grantees in applying for and accessing this funding.
What should the Letter of Commitment from a district partner include?
Given the research focus of the Call to Effective Action grants, the Letter of Commitment from a district partner must include an understanding and commitment to data sharing for the proposed tutoring model. We have included a Letter of Commitment template that you may update and use for your application.
What is the timeline for an award decision and allocation of grant funds?
A timeline of key dates for the application process is below. Please note that this timeline is not exhaustive.
February 5, 2024
- Grant opportunity available
March 1, 2024
- Priority application deadline
March 15, 2024
- Application deadline
March – April 2024
- Interviews with select Promise and Adoption grant applicants
May 1, 2024
- Notification of award
May – June 2024
- Grant award finalization
- Research partner confirmation
- Start of grant award year
What is the expected timeline of activities for grantees?
A calendar of key dates, particularly those relating to research, are below. Please note that this timeline is not exhaustive.
- Finalize grant agreements and budgets
- Confirm all partners in the project
- Develop and finalize research design, with Accelerate’s support
- Secure data-sharing agreements, as needed
- Prepare for fall implementation of tutoring, including scheduling of students
- First grant payments provided to grantee
- Begin implementation of tutoring
- Begin implementation of data tracking systems, including those tracking student participation
- Continue implementation of tutoring (same cohort or new cohort, depending on the model)
- Begin research if it has not started already
- Second grant payment provided upon successful completion of milestones to date
- Final grant payment provided upon successful completion of milestones to date
- Conclude research
What are the reporting requirements for grantees?
Grantees will be asked to complete five phase reports on the project during the grant period. The reports will be a mix of surveys and meetings with Accelerate staff. The schedule below is a tentative timeline of the phase updates and month due and is subject to change.
Phase 1: Share Initial Preparation for Tutoring Program,
Program and Research Design, and Participating School Sites
September Phase 2: Update on Implementation and Research Launch November Phase 3: Update on Implementation and Research December Phase 4: Update on Implementation and Research March Phase 5: Final Report on Implementation and Research June
Where can we learn more?
Accelerate will be offering optional office hours for grant related questions in February, you may sign up for a 30 minute session via this link. Questions may also be emailed to CEA@accelerate.us at any time.