Wednesday, June 16th 2021 Announcements, Learning Differences

New seed grants to foster research on learning differences

Selection committee will look for projects that engage diverse perspectives to create novel solutions.

by Brooke Donald

A young boy in a wheelchair looks at a book on a table in front of him


Stanford researchers are invited to submit interdisciplinary research proposals on learning differences and/or the future of special education for projects funded up to $80,000 for a one year project.

The seed funding is sponsored by Stanford Graduate School of Education's Initiative on Learning Differences and the Future of Special Education, one of five initial focus areas within the Transforming Learning Accelerator. The initiative seeks to advance knowledge about the complex array of factors underlying learning differences and design learning that affords learner, educator, and system transformation.

This challenge is open to interdisciplinary research projects that employ quantitative, qualitative, and/or mixed research methods. The deadline for applications is July 16, 2021.

"Successful applications will catalyze creative and transformative research to improve learning outcomes for students with learning differences," said Elizabeth Kozleski, professor of education and co-faculty director of the learning differences initiative.

Research efforts should be geared towards individuals aged five through 21, she said. With a preference for early career investigators, this funding is open to all Stanford faculty and post-docs who include research collaborators from one or more disciplines, to foster the development of interdisciplinary networks.

Proposals should focus on one or more of the following:

  1. The design of learning environments, learning tools, and/or learning practices that address equity issues (e.g., challenges related to access or opportunities) involving learners with learning differences. This may include but is not limited to challenges that require the integration of anthropological, architectural, archaeological, biological, cultural, environmental, legal, sociological, and technological perspectives on learning.
  2. Understanding of learning differences across sensory, physical, cognitive, and/or social/emotional dimensions of human capacity within specific contexts.
  3. Assessments of human and/or institutional capacities, particularly in the contexts of education, medicine, policy, and psychology and interdisciplinary responses (e.g. re-framings, interventions) to advance inclusive education agendas.

Kozleski said the selection committee will be looking for projects that advance the goals of the project and that engage diverse perspectives to create precise, novel and creative learning solutions. These should be learner-centered, incorporate the science and design of learning, and have pathways to impact.