CASJE Small Grants Program
Request for Proposals
January 12, 2023
CASJE (Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education) is an evolving community of researchers, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders dedicated to improving the quality of knowledge that can be used to guide Jewish education. Our aim is to stimulate and support the work of researchers, practitioners, and funders who believe that research-based evidence should inform decision-making in Jewish education. To this end, CASJE helps to develop applied research programs focused on high-priority issues facing Jewish education, broadly defined, across sectors and settings.
Small Grants Opportunity
As part of its mission to promote research to guide improvements in Jewish education, CASJE is awarding up to three grants of up to $36,000 each for studies of Jewish educational processes and outcomes. These grants are intended to stimulate research that investigates Jewish education and its effects, and that is well-positioned to inform practice. Small grants are especially well suited for small-scale, exploratory studies that look closely at educational processes or well-defined phenomena. Projects may investigate learning across the wide variety of settings where Jewish education happens and focus on learners of any age across the lifespan.
- Principal Investigators (PIs): at least one of the principal investigators (if a collaboration is proposed) applying for a research grant must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field.
- Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally; however, all proposals must be submitted in English, budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars, and research findings must be presented in English.
The grant will be applied to research activity completed within 18 months of the award. The grant period will commence on July 1, 2023, and final reports must be submitted to CASJE by December 31, 2024.
The award is for the conduct of empirical research. Conceptual inquiries or literature reviews will not be funded. For a brief description of what constitutes empirical research, see https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/emp.
Proposals can be submitted by a single individual or by a research team. Partnerships between researchers and practitioners are encouraged.
The award may be used towards salary for the research team, honoraria for outside advisors (including scholars and practitioners), for securing course release, or for project-related expenses. It may not be applied to institutional indirect costs.
All CASJE small grants research must be conducted under IRB supervision. CASJE can offer financial support and guidance to independent scholars who will need to hire an independent IRB. Please clarify in your proposal if you are seeking such support.
CASJE encourages grantees to make data generated by their project available for secondary analysis by other researchers. Please clarify in your proposal what data may be produced by your project that would be suitable for secondary analysis. CASJE will work with grantees on a case-by-case basis to develop an appropriate plan to make these data available.
By March 31, 2024, mid-way through the grant period, awardees will present a short progress report (approximately 500 words) to the CASJE Advisory Board.
Upon completion of the study, and no later than December 31, 2024:
I. Grantees will submit an executive summary (approximately 1200 words) to the CASJE Advisory Board about the work conducted, the findings produced, and their significance.
II. Grantees will produce either a full narrative report or a paper suitable for publication in an academic journal (e.g. the Journal of Jewish Education). Grantees submitting a report should include five main components: research problem, questions and their significance, literature review, methodology, findings, and discussion. CASJE will secure a masked peer review and provide non-binding feedback on the submitted manuscript. Final reports will be made available on casje.org.
III. Grantees will present their findings to relevant researchers, practitioners, and funders, to engage the field with their study. Grantees should select at least one option from both Category A and Category B below.
Category A: At Least One In-Person Conference Presentation
- Submit a paper/spotlight/consultation proposal for presentation at the annual Network for Research in Jewish Education conference or another relevant academic conference (e.g., AERA). Travel expenses up to $800 will be covered by CASJE.
- Present at a practitioner-oriented conference, such as PRIZMAH, Leaders Assembly, or JPRO, or a funder-oriented conference such as JFN. Travel expenses up to $800 will be covered by CASJE.
Category B: At Least One Publicly Oriented Sharing of Findings and Implications with the Field
- Publish a practitioner-oriented article in a relevant venue (e.g., eJewishPhilanthropy, HaYidion, JEducationworld). CASJE will match you with a publicist and cover costs to support drafting and pitching this short essay.
- Design a data rich infographic highlighting key findings and implications for the field. CASJE will match you with a graphic designer and cover costs for design services.
Criteria for the Award
The selection committee, comprised of a standing committee of the CASJE Advisory Board, will award grants based on the following criteria:
- Clear focus on a central question or problem in Jewish education
- Clear connection of research to practice and policy
- Significance of research questions
- Appropriateness of research design
- Adequacy of budget and timeline
- Potential of the Principal Investigator(s) to conduct a study of high quality
Abstract: A 150-word summary of the proposed study, including the research question(s), its importance for contemporary Jewish education, and a short description of the project.
Project Description: A 1,500-word description of the project including the following components:
- A description of the project, including the central research question(s) and its significance to contemporary Jewish education;
- A brief summary of relevant literature, the relationship of the proposed research to that literature, and the new knowledge expected to result from the proposed research;
- A brief bibliography (does not count toward the word limit);
- A summary of the conceptual framework, research methods, settings, sample, participants, data collection instruments, modes of analysis that the project will employ, and identification of any data generated by the project suitable for secondary analysis;
- A preliminary plan for engaging practitioners or policymakers in the development of the research questions, instrumentation, and meaning-making conversations about emerging findings;
- A clear identification of the Principal Investigator(s) and a clear definition of the role(s) they and any supporting researcher(s) will play; and
- A timeline for the project’s milestones and completion by December 31, 2024.
Budget and Budget Narrative: The grant will not exceed $36,000. Please provide a project budget and narrative with justification including: Salaries, Benefits, Fees/Stipends, Supplies, Transcription, Equipment, Travel, and Sub-contractors’ Fees, if relevant.
References: The names and contact information of two individuals who are prepared to serve as references.
CV: A copy of a current CV or resume for all Principal Investigators.
BIDDER’S CALL: February 15, 2023, 12:00 pm EDT; RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 16, 2023; Email completed proposals by 11:59pm EDT to email@example.com
GRANT AWARD DECISION: May 1, 2023
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the RFP.
APPENDIX – High Priority Research Topics
CASJE supports the development of applied research that investigates critical issues facing contemporary Jewish education. CASJE studies focus on Jewish education broadly defined across a variety of sites and settings, with an interest in learners, educators, curriculum, larger socio-historical contexts in which Jewish education plays out, and the dynamic interaction of these elements. We invite proposals that align with this core interest in Jewish education practice and policy.
To date, CASJE has supported significant contributions to knowledge in the field in several areas including: Jewish Early Childhood Education; Educational Leadership in Jewish Day Schools; Hebrew Language Education; and Career Trajectories of Jewish Educators.
In 2022, CASJE convened a panel of researchers, practitioners, and funders. We asked them to share with us what underexplored areas in Jewish education they believed were ripe for investigation and what critical questions related to Jewish education practice or policy they wanted to see illuminated by research. The panel generated nearly 100 areas of interest and also indicated which areas they thought should be prioritized, as reflected by the short list below:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Jewish Educational Settings
- Jewish Educator Professional Learning
- Families as Sites of Jewish Education
- How Americans Learn about Jews and the Jewish Experience
- Israel Education
- Mental Health and Wellness in Jewish Education
- Part-time Jewish Education
- Research Use in Jewish Education
- Sustainability/Relevance of Jewish Education
- Jewish Social Justice Education
- Clergy as Jewish Educators
- Also noted some were demographic subgroups of particular interest in relation to Jewish education: Secular Jews/Jews of No Religion, Interfaith Families, Hareidi Jews, Older Adults (e.g. empty nesters, retirees, grandparents), GenZ
We welcome proposals that address these topics. We equally look forward to receiving proposals that advance new ideas and areas of inquiry not included on this list.
 In 2022, CASJE convened a panel of researchers, funders and Jewish educational leaders to develop a list of high priority research topics; this list is appended to the RFP.