Research in Special Education


To support scientifically rigorous research contributing to the solution of specific early intervention and education problems associated with children with disabilities.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Education
Office: Institute of Education Sciences
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: No competition was held for 2014 awards. Fiscal Year 2015: Applications for 2015 awards were due on August 7, 2014; the Department notified applicants in May 2015. The Department received 287 applications and made 31 awards. Fiscal Year 2016: Applications for new awards are due August 6, 2015; applicants will be notified by July 1, 2016. It is anticipated that approximately 300 applications will be received and 50 funded.
Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, Part E.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants that have the ability and capacity to conduct scientifically valid research are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, non-profit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities or at risk for disabilities benefit from this research.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Grant competitions are announced in the Federal Register and on the agency website ( Standard Form 424 ("Application for Federal Assistance"), an application narrative, and required certifications must be submitted by the deadline specified in the Federal Register.

The Requests for Application grant notices (available on describe the substantive requirements for applications and provide information on how to prepare and submit applications electronically through The Application Packages provide all of the required forms and are available on Letters of Intent are encouraged but not required.

Grant applications to Institute of Education Sciences (IES) competitions must be submitted via the government-wide portal that allows potential applicants to find grant opportunities and apply for grants. The registration process can take several weeks. Interested applicants should begin the registration process well in advance of application deadlines.

Individuals planning to submit an application on behalf of their organization must ensure that (1) their institution/organization is registered with and (2) they register themselves as Authorized Organizational Representatives (AORs) well before the competition deadline. registration information can be found at
Award Procedure
Grant applications that are responsive and compliant to the Requests for Applications are evaluated by expert reviewers for scientific and technical merit. Scientific reviews are conducted in accordance with the review criteria stated in the Request for Applications and the review procedures posted on the IES website,, by a panel of scientists who have substantive and methodological expertise appropriate to the program of research and Request for Applications. Awards are competitive, with the following criteria considered in making award decisions for responsive and compliant applications: Scientific merit as determined by peer review, performance and use of funds under a previous federal award, contribution to the overall program of research described in the Request for Applications, and availability of funds.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
240 days - 330 days.
Not Applicable.
Renewals are based on the review of annual performance reports and the recommendation of the project officer. All renewals are subject to the availability of funds.
How are proposals selected?
The criteria for selecting applications are contained in the Request for Applications that announces the competition. Each Request for Applications is posted on the Funding Opportunities home page of the Institute web site:
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for research on children with or at risk for disabilities and training in special education research.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
As required by the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for direct grant programs (34 CFR 75). Generally, annual financial and progress reports must be submitted as required by grant award terms and conditions. Cash reports are not applicable. Annual progress and performance reports are required as part of the submittal of form ED 524B. Annual expenditure reports are required as part of the submittal of form ED 524B. Staff also monitor drawdowns using agency financial reports. The Department has established performance measures for the program. The measures are: (1) The percentage of projects that result in peer-reviewed publications. (2) The cumulative number of IES-supported interventions with evidence of efficacy in improving education outcomes for students with or at risk for disabilities. (3) The number of newly developed or modified interventions with evidence of promise for improving education outcomes for students with or at risk for disabilities.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
As stated in grant or contract terms and conditions, the awardee shall maintain accounts, records, and other evidence pertaining to all costs incurred, revenues or other applicable credits acquired under this grant or contract.

Each grantee will keep intact, and accessible, records relating to the receipt and expenditure of Federal funds and the expenditures of the grantee's contribution to the cost of the project, if any. Records will normally be retained for 3 years after the date of the submission of the final expenditure report, or for grants that are reviewed annually, 3 years after the date of the award.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Projects gnerally may be supported for 1 to 5 years. Funds are granted on a 12 month basis. All grantee obligations shall be liquidated within 90 days following the end of the award period. Payments may be made according to a predetermined schedule or by way of reimbursement. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic transfer.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Robert Ochsendorf, Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research, Office of the Commissioner, 400 Maryland Ave, S.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20202 Email: Phone: (202) 219-2234.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 14 $54,000,000; FY 15 est $54,000,000; and FY 16 est $54,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No grant competitions were held for FY 2014 awards were made in 2014.

The FY 2015 awards ranged from approximately $395,000 to $3,500,000 for 1 to 4 year projects.

The FY 2016 grant awards are estimated to range in size from $300,000 to $4,000,000 for 1 to 4 year projects. Award maximums vary depending on the type of project.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) codified at CFR Part 200. The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 77, 81, 82, 84, 86 (part 86 applies only to institutions of higher education), 97, 98, and 99. In addition 34 CFR part 75 is applicable, except for the provisions in 34 CFR 75.100, 75.101(b), 75.102, 75.103, 75.105, 75.109(a), 75.200, 75.201, 75.209, 75.210, 75.211, 75.217, 75.219, 75.220, 75.221, 75.222, and 75.230.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Information on funded grants is available at Fiscal Year 2015: Available Information on funded grants is available at Fiscal Year 2016: Awards will be posted at


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