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Futures Forum on Learning: Tools Competition

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Individuals and Organizations
to Help the Education System Recover From the Coronavirus

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Schmidt Futures and Citadel

LOI Date:

09/18/20

Deadline Date:

10/26/20 11:59 PM EST

Description:

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Grants to USA, Canada, and International individuals and organizations to help the education system recover from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Applicants are required to submit a concept paper prior to a full application. Funding is intended for projects, including platforms, tools, technology, and research to accelerate recovery from learning loss for students between grades K-12, and advance the field of learning engineering. In addition to the prize funds, winners will have the opportunity to connect with prominent education researchers, edtech leaders, and representatives of large philanthropic organizations to scale their work. They will also have access to a panel of educators to test solutions.

COVID-19 has sparked a global education crisis, and highlighted the need for continued innovation in how online and blended education can support effective learning.

Solutions should aim to address one of the problem areas:

  • Increase the number of students who are reading by 3rd grade
  • Increase the number of students on track in middle-school math
  • Expand the number of students gaining data and computer science skills in high school
  • Driving more students into college through academic and nonacademic supports
  • Another pressing learning goal identified by the team that is related to COVID-19.

Types of Awards Available:

  • Catalyst Awards: These awards are aimed at new entrants, including students, teachers, civic technologists, or those who need that initial spark of support to get started.
    • To be competitive for a small prize, Entrants must have:
      • A detailed description of the tool or technology
      • Plan for execution
  • Mid-Range Awards: These prizes will be aimed at smaller platforms or new entrants with a strong pre-identified team and clear plan for execution.
    • To be competitive for a mid-range prize, Entrants must have:
      • Everything for a small prize
      • An existing technology or tool that has a demonstrated infrastructure and robust group of active users. 
  • Large Awards: This lane is aimed at large-scale, existing platforms who have an idea that could impact a large number of their users.
    • To be competitive for a large prize, Entrants must have:
      • Everything for a mid-range prize
      • Existing platform or tool with at least 25,000 active users 
      • A plan or idea that will positively impact multiple regions and a large population
      • Proof of success producing a tool, technology or dataset of a similar scale in education or another field. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 191877

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$2,000,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

To encourage new entrants and established platforms, participants can request an award in one of three tracks based on the applicant’s existing user base and technical infrastructure.

- Catalyst Awards: Up to $25,000
- Mid-Range Awards: $25,000- $100,000
- Large Awards: $100,000- $250,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Individuals:
To be eligible to participate in the Competition and win an award as an individual, you must (a) be at least eighteen 18 years old, (b) be able to receive payments legally from the United States in US dollars, (c) be competing in a jurisdiction in which the Competition is not prohibited by applicable law; (d) have a bank account into which funds can legally be deposited from the United States in US dollars (or if part of a Team, the Team or a participant on the Team has a bank account); (e) not have withdrawn, been terminated, or disqualified from the Competition; and (fi) be fully in compliance with these Rules.

Entity:
To be eligible to participate in the Competition and win an award as an Entrant that is an entity, you must (a) be validly existing, duly organized, and in good standing in the jurisdiction of your organization, (b) be able to receive payments legally from the United States in US dollars, (c) be competing in a jurisdiction in which the Competition is not prohibited by applicable law; (d) have a bank account into which funds can legally be deposited from the United States in US dollars; (e) not have withdrawn, been terminated, or disqualified from the Competition; and (f) be in full compliance with these Rules.

Teams:
Individuals and entities, otherwise eligible to participate in the Competition and win an award, may form and submit a team entry (a “Team”). Each team member must be clearly identified on the team’s submission form for the team to be eligible and must identify the single point of contract for the team (the “Team Lead”). Team winnings, as determined by the Sponsor, will be distributed to the designated Team Lead for further distribution to team members. In the event a dispute regarding the identity of the Entrant who actually submitted the entry cannot be resolved to the Sponsor’s satisfaction, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible.

Ineligible:
Employees of the Sponsor and each of the Financial Supporters, Competition and fulfillment agencies, directors, and officers, and each of their respective immediate family members and persons living in their same household (whether legally related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Competition or win an award.

It will be the Funding Source's sole decision as to whether any eligibility requirement has or has not been met. It may require evidence or confirmation from Entrants at any time, including before granting awards.

Solutions not tied to use of data and instrumentation to improve learning technologies will likely not be competitive. For example, while laudable and important, efforts to provide devices or expand broadband access would be out of scope.

Pre-Application Information:

The Tools Competition will have a phased evaluation process in order to give participants the time and feedback to strengthen their potential solution and build an effective team.

Phase 1: Submit a one-page concept
- Due Sept. 18, 2020: Participants will submit a one-page description of their tool or technology that includes the award request and a description of you and your team. The Funding Source encourages interested individuals or platforms to complete an eligibility quiz to guide the development of effective proposals.

Phase 2: Submit a detailed proposal with budget
- Due Oct. 26, 2020: Columbia and the Learning Agency will review concepts and invite competitive proposals to submit a detailed description. Participants will revise and expand on their proposals, including adding a budget and a plan for execution.

Phase 3: Pitch with a panel of judges.
- Mid-November, 2020: The organizers will then select finalists, who will be given the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

Winners announced
- Week of December 3, 2020: Winners will then be announced and receive the first installment of their award. Winners will be provided coaching, the opportunity to connect with leaders in the field, and the ability to present their idea to a panel of educators for further refinement.

Product Review Day
- Early 2021: Winners will present on their progress to date, and open challenges, to the other winners and engage with leaders in the field. Winners making sufficient progress by Product Review Day will receive the second installment of their prize. Approximately six months after Product Review Day, winners will convene again to present their progress in a Demo Day.

All awards will be paid in two (2) installments. 50% will be paid within thirty (30) days of the date winners are announced. The remaining 50% may be paid within thirty (30) days of the date of Product Review Day depending on whether the winner has made sufficient progress based on their plan for execution by the Product Review Day as determined by Sponsor in its discretion.

Eligibility Quiz:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/5455b9cac2f648a0acf0eb57f9f263c4

Official Rules:
https://futuresforumonlearning.org/official-rules/

FAQs:
https://futuresforumonlearning.org/faqs/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/ae5530aff80a4c41bff10ed1facf50fc

If you have any questions, please email Aly@the-learning-agency.com.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Israel

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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