Located in New York City, the William T. Grant Foundation is one of the world leaders on high-quality research on reducing inequality in youth outcomes, as well as improving the use of research evidence in decisions that affect young people in the United States.
This two-pronged mission makes the Foundation an ideal partner for NYU Steinhardt, where scholars and practitioners strive to foster knowledge, creativity, and innovation at the crossroads of culture, education, and human development.
One of the ways in which the Foundation and Steinhardt have become thought partners is through their support of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Housed at Steinhardt since its founding in 2008, this independent research center works with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to provide nonpartisan evidence on policies and practices that help promote students’ development and academic success.
In 2020, the Research Alliance was awarded a three-year, $150,000 grant under the Foundation’s category of funding that seeks to strengthen connections between research, policy, and practice.
“We are strongly committed to research-practice partnerships in education and other areas of youth services,” says Adam Gamoran, president of the William T. Grant Foundation. “We believe that work on the infrastructure of the educational system should be, in part, tackled on a local level, so the Research Alliance represents an opportunity for funding such partnership right in our own backyard.”
The Foundation is also well known for its commitment to supporting world-class research through national competitions. Many NYU Steinhardt faculty are the recipients of such awards – and Gamoran attributes that connection to the “exceptionally high quality of Steinhardt faculty members.”
“We want to support the very best research we can, and Steinhardt faculty compete for these funds like everyone else,” says Gamoran. “They are very successful in our competitions because they often work in areas that align with our priorities, and the quality of their research and innovation is very high.”
Several NYU faculty members are in the midst of William T. Grant Foundation–supported work right now.
Ajay Chaudry, research scholar at Steinhardt’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC), was awarded a three-year, $200,000 grant to explore how education and employment policies and programs can better support young adults from low-income families.
In summer 2021, Joanna Geller, director of the NYU Metro Center’s Center for Policy, Research, and Evaluation, received a $600,000 Reducing Inequality award. Her work will explore how a community-based civic leadership initiative for parents/caregivers and their children can disrupt power inequities to influence educational systems and institutions.