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Vanderbilt University Grant Support

Tennessee Eduction Research Alliance

The Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA), a research-practice partnership between Peabody College and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), requests proposals from university faculty to conduct research on questions related to TERA and TDOE priorities through the TERA Research Partnership Fund. The TERA Research Partnership Fund is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and seeks to encourage collaboration between researchers and key members of the Tennessee Department of Education while also developing scholar capacity to conduct policy and practiced-focused research.

 TERA seeks proposals for up to $40,000 (with the potential for larger awards if they require substantial original data collection) to support rigorous research projects aligned to TERA and TDOE priorities - early literacy, educator effectiveness, academic and non-academic student needs, and high school and bridge to postsecondary. TERA has a particular interest in quantitative and mixed methods projects that leverage TERA’s extensive administrative data system. To respond to current questions and concerns related to the impact of COVID-19 school closures on students and educators, the TERA Research Partnership Fund will prioritize projects that can demonstrate the potential impact and use of the proposed research in state, district, or school policy or implementation related to COVID-19.

 TERA will accept rolling submissions and will conduct reviews on June 22, July 13, and August 3, 2020. Proposal requirements and details are listed in the Request for Proposals. Potential applicants are encouraged to email Erin O’Hara ( with questions.


Office of the Vice-Provost for Research:

Many useful links to research-related matters are available on the website of the Vice-Provost for Research:  The Following are supports that are particularly noteworthy.

Discovery Grant Program   

The Discovery Grant Program is one of the primary ways Vanderbilt invests in advancing core disciplines, thereby strengthening the scholarly profile of the university. The program is designed to serve as a catalyst to significant external funding sources, supporting new ideas, cutting-edge research and the development of infrastructure. The Discovery Grant Program provides a springboard to make possible external grants that will be more attractive to large federal funding agencies such as the NSF, NIH, DoD, etc. This program is open to VU-employed faculty in all schools and colleges. 

Research Scholar Grants Program

The Research Scholar Grant Program provides funding for innovative scholarship and creative expression projects that are unlikely to have extramural funding options available. These awards support humanistic research and efforts that result in the creation of artistic or humanist bodies of work. This program is open to VU-employed faculty in all schools and colleges.

Trans-Institutional Grant Program (TIPS)

Trans-Institutional Programs are pilot funds for trans-institutional efforts that are, or may lead to, emerging programs, centers and institutes. Awards are also made to reinvest in existing trans-institutional centers and institutes. TIPs support such entities that collectively aim to answer big questions and address grand challenges. They seed and expand research and teaching collaborations across disciplines, solve critical problems, embrace discovery and spark learning to position Vanderbilt as a world leader in a given area. This program is open to all VU and VUMC-employed faculty.

Vanderbilt Initiative Awards

  • Small-scale or new initiatives that showcase potential to become a major hub of activity - center or institute - that will advance the core missions of Vanderbilt
  • Provide seed funding up to $100,000 per year.
  • Provide faculty the opportunity to pursue innovative ideas for discovery and learning with colleagues from diverse disciplines.
  • Must include collaborators from multiple schools and colleges.* 

Vanderbilt Reinvestment Awards

  • Awarded to existing centers and institutes that facilitate learning collaborations across campus.
  • Assist collaborations taking a critical next step in order to ensure continued success.
Funding varies on a case-by-case basis.