The U.S Department of Education is accepting “pre-applications” for its small $3 million development grants which are part of a larger $150 million Investing in Innovation grant contest. The deadline to apply is April 26. Applications for the larger “scale-up” and “validation” grants-which require more evidence of past success but can win applicants up to $25 million-will be available later this spring.
This is the second time the federal department used a pre-screening process to whittle down the potential applicants. Last year 650 applicants submitted a proposal for screening. Outside peer reviewers help the department choose the strongest pre-applications who then go on to submit full applications and compete in the main contest.
There is one significant change to the development grants this round. The matching requirement-which requires winners to secure private dollars to help cover the costs of their projects-has been relaxed even further because past i3 winners struggled to gain and keep matching commitments. Now development grant winners (who must secure a 15 percent private matching grant) can come up with half of that match up to six months after starting their projects.