Neubauer Spencer Seed Funding: Advancing Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) in Chicago Public Schools: Towards an Enhanced District-Wide Model for Implementation and Evaluation

Project: Research project

Project Details


With $245,000 in initial seeding from the Spencer Foundation, the Crown Family Foundation, the Steans Family Foundation, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and an anonymous donor, the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) at Northwestern University in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), established the Rapid Impact Grant Program. The goal of this program is to facilitate the acceleration of Northwestern researchers’ studying first-order CPS research questions, with actionable results, that can be addressed with small grant funding and a 12 to 18-month timeline. The Rapid Impact Grant program is a unique and unprecedented program: it seeks to align and match school district and researcher objectives for mutualistic collaboration and provide the needed funding to get a research-practice project off the ground. To implement the program, SESP’s Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP) and CPS’s Department of School Quality Measurement and Research (SQMR) developed a request for proposals process that included establishing guidelines, timelines, review criteria, IRB steps, and other interinstitutional processes, for selecting, funding and administering the Rapid Impact Grant Program. The RFP for round one of the program was issued on August 18, 2018 and yielded four fully funded projects. The RFP for round two was just launched on January 18 (see attached). This proposal is a request for an additional $75,000 in seed funding from the Spencer Foundation to partially support the Rapid Impact Grant Program’s next round. This funding will allow us to fund at least two additional projects, depending on proposals received, project budgets, and feedback from CPS. Budget Narrative Because we do not know which small grants will be funded, we do not know exactly how the funds will be spent. However, we expect that the budget will be expended in the following ways: (1) Faculty salary and benefits: Faculty members may seek to buy out a portion of a class, or pay for a portion of summer salary with these funds; (2) Research assistance: Researchers may seek to hire graduate or undergraduate research assistants, or programmers/coders, with these funds; (3) Miscellaneous: Researchers may seek funds for study participant payments, travel, materials, etc. We will develop a more detailed budget once we know the specific research projects to be supported. One hundred percent of the philanthropic funds raised for the Rapid Impact Grant program directly support research. SESP pays all administrative, management, and data management expenses for the program out of its own budget in order to maximize the impact of foundation support. The overarching goal of the Rapid Impact Grant program is to connect CPS with as many Northwestern scholars as possible, so that CPS and Northwestern scholars develop deep and mutualistic partnerships that are highly valuable to and have positive impact on CPS priorities. Our further aspiration is that this will be a model for other university-school district partnerships in Chicago and around the country and provide additional strategies and promising practices for research-practice partnerships.
Effective start/end date6/1/198/31/21


  • Spencer Foundation (202000023)


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