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Grant Funding Resources for Educational Initiatives


A variety of sources of grant funding are available to support educational initiatives at the college and university level. Below you’ll find information on databases of funding opportunities as well as several different funding agencies.

Vanderbilt faculty, students, and staff interested in applying for a grant to support an educational initiative are encouraged to take advantage of the CFT’s grant consultation services. Other local resources include:

Internal Funding Sources

  • Enhancing Graduate Education – This occasional grant series provides internal funds for initiatives designed to improve graduate education at Vanderbilt.
  • Venture Fund Grants – This occasional grant series provides funds to College of Arts & Science full-time faculty members (including senior lecturers) to implement proposals for innovative courses and creative pedagogical practices. For more information, contact the A&S Dean’s Office at 615-322-2851.
  • Course Improvement Grants and Educational Advancement FundThe Office of the Provost offers two internal funding programs, the Educational Advancement Fund and the Course Improvement Grant, designed to support excellence in the classroom through pedagogical advancement and long-term educational transformation.

Grant Databases

  • Research Professional is a searchable funding information database accessible from any Vanderbilt computer without registering or needing a password. However, if you register yourself, you can sign up for weekly email alerts of new grant opportunities in your field of interest. Registered users can also save their searches and set up email alerts for those searches.
  • The Grant Advisor Plus is a weekly publication that highlights upcoming grant opportunities. Those entries are also compiled in a searchable database. Access is available from any Vanderbilt computer.
  • offers grant listings from 26 federal agencies. Search by keyword, category, agency or more advanced criteria. You can also subscribe to receive email notification of funding opportunities. RSS subscriptions are also available.
  • The Foundation Center helps philanthropic foundations connect with grant seekers. Its website allows one to look up grantmaking organizations and search requests for proposals.

Selected External Funding Sources

General Sources

  • Henry Luce Foundation – Higher Education Grants“The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.”
  • The Spencer FoundationThis foundation’s mission is to “investigate ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world.” It funds grants focusing on several different aspects of higher education.
  • Ford FoundationEducational initiatives that align with Ford Foundation goals “to reduce poverty and injustice and to promote democratic values, international cooperation and human achievement” might apply for grants or fellowships.
  • Lumina FoundationThis foundation provides funding for initiatives designed to “to increase awareness of the benefits of higher education, improve student access to and preparedness for college, improve student success in college and increase productivity across the higher education system.” You can follow the Lumina Foundation via monthly or daily emails or RSS feeds.
  • The Teagle FoundationThis foundation is “committed to promoting and strengthening liberal education.” Their programs “generally encourage collaboration among institutions, seeking to generate new knowledge on issues of importance to higher education.”
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – Digital Media & Learning Initiative“The digital media and learning initiative aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to education and other social institutions that must meet the needs of this and future generations.”

Funding for Humanities Education

Funding for Social Science Education

  • Social Science Research CouncilPart of the SSRC’s mission is to “educate and train the next generation of social science researchers.” The SSRC sometimes offers fellowships and grants to that end.

Funding for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education

  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation – Science Education“Grants in the Science Education program area promote access to the scientific enterprise, provide information about scientific and technical careers, and encourage innovation to the structure of scientific training.”