William T. Grant Foundation: Institutional Challenge Grant
The Institutional Challenge Grant aims to address educational disparities and extend ReadUP, an existing research-practice partnership between the Florida Center for Reading Research and Leon County Schools (LCS) that has already informed programming and instruction. Through this project, partnership activities will extend to include another school district: Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMUDRS). Together, partners will use the award to build capacity within the participating districts to generate and use research to reduce disparities in student achievement and school success. Partners will also use the award encourage institutional changes at both Florida State University (FSU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU). For example, programming will be developed for mid-career faculty at both universities to improve their capacity to participate in research-practice partnerships. Three faculty fellows will also generate new projects in areas prioritized by the districts.
In addition, FSU will develop a competitive award program to incentivize faculty to work with students to develop research activities within existing service-learning programs provided by the Center for Leadership and Social Change. FAMU’s College of Education will also develop structures that support faculty in conducting research that is beneficial for FAMUDRS.
Finally, leaders at both universities will work with partners from the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships to create resources to build faculty and university capacity related to research-practice partnerships and to highlight successful research-practice partnership projects. Ultimately, the team will develop a toolkit and framework to help other public research universities, including predominantly White institutions (PWIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), promote research-practice partnerships as a strategy for engaging in public impact research to address disparities in their local communities that also supports faculty advancement, student development, and research productivity.
- leverage existing partnerships, structures, and resources in the universities and the local Tallahassee community to address educational disparities, in general, and in reading achievement, specifically
- create sustainable institutional changes at two universities (FSU and FAMU) and two school districts (LCS and FAMUDRS) and improve their capacity to generate and use research evidence to address educational inequities
- develop a framework and toolkit that constitutes a playbook for public research universities like FSU and FAMU to use research-practice partnerships to address disparities in their college towns