AERA Awards Grants Through New Education Research Service Projects Initiative
AERA Awards Grants Through New Education Research Service Projects Initiative
AERA Awards Grants Through New Education Research Service Projects Initiative
March 2013

In February, 12 projects were selected to receive awards through the Education Research Service Projects (ERSP) initiative. This new AERA initiative is designed to encourage education researchers to offer their pro bono expertise to educational organizations, institutions, or other community groups that have identified and expressed a need for such assistance. The ERSP program provides small grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to defray direct costs involved in the projects.


The ERSP initiative was unanimously approved by AERA Council in April 2012 for an initial three-year period. The concept was brought to Council by then president Arnetha Ball, who emphasized the importance of AERA’s signaling and reinforcing the value of pro bono service in the field of education research. Consonant with her original vision, ERSP projects are expected to be of direct benefit to educational organizations and entities and help shape a commitment among AERA members to serving the public good.


Executive Director Felice J. Levine noted the important of the ERSP initiative. “Through this new program, AERA aims to lead in supporting a culture of education research service using the skills and expertise that are so central to sound research. Ball brought the vision, and AERA is so pleased to be able to give it definition and voice.”

In response to the inaugural call for proposals, AERA received a large number of high-quality submissions that embraced the spirit of service that the ERSP initiative sought to engender. The ERSP selection committee chose the following 12 projects to receive awards:

Teachers and Parents Advocating for Diversity in Sexual Identity and Gender Expression in Schools: Scholars Supporting Research-Informed Action
Primary Investigators: Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Jill M. Smith (Ohio State University) Educational Entity: Pink TIGers

A Qualitative Project Investigating Teaching, Learning and Teacher Development for an eLearning Education Program in Rural Zambia
Primary Investigator: Heather Curl (Bryn Mawr/Haverford College)
Educational Entity: Impact Network

Understanding the Decline of the Hiring of Teachers of Color in New York City: Recommendations for Reversing the Decline
Primary Investigators: Michael Dumas (New York University), Natalie Havlin (La Guardia Community College), Lois Weiner (New Jersey City University)
Educational Entity: Teachers Unite

RU Connected? A Collaborative Project Between University Literacy Researchers and an Urban Afterschool Program (Racquet Up Detroit) to Investigate the Effects of a Summer Technology Camp for Middle School Youth
Primary Investigators: Susan Florio-Ruane, Paul Morsink, Maryl Randel (Michigan State University)
Educational Entity: Racquet Up Detroit

Engaging Urban Youth to Catalyze Cultural Change in Their Communities: Evaluative Inquiry Into Creative Possibilities and Pathways to STEM in Boston’s Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn
Primary Investigator: Jae-Eun Joo (University of Connecticut)
Educational Entity: Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn

Strengthening Supplemental Literacy Supports for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse English Language Learners
Primary Investigator: Michelle Knight (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Educational Entity: Sauti Yetu Girls Educational and Leadership Initiative

Initiating and Sustaining Educational Change: Implementing the FAIR Education Act and Seth’s Law
Primary Investigator: Elizabeth Meyer (California Polytechnic State University)
Educational Entity: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

The Effect of Research Experience-Based Professional Development on Teacher Efficacy, Motivation, Knowledge Calibration, and Perception of Inquiry Teaching
Primary Investigator: Erin E. Peters-Burton (George Mason University)
Educational Entity: Loudon County Public Schools

Evaluation and Assessment of the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program
Primary Investigator: Rick Sperling (St. Mary’s University)
Educational Entity: AVANCE

The Role of Mentoring in Broward County Public Schools Initiative to Foster Black Male Success
Primary Investigator: Gerene K. Starratt (Barry University)
Educational Entity: Broward County Public Schools

Power of Words: Exploring Storytelling Practices of Refugee Families
Primary Investigators: Ekaterina Strekalova-Hughes, X. Christine Wang (State University of New York at Buffalo)
Educational Entity: Journey’s End Refugee Services

My Brother My Sister: College Access and Retention Through Peer Mentoring and Leadership Development
Primary Investigator: V. Thandi Sulé (Oakland University)
Educational Entity: My Brother My Sister

After completion of the projects, results and findings will be disseminated at the AERA Annual Meeting and through the AERA website.

The call for proposals for the next ERSP submission and review cycle will be released later this year, with a December 2013 deadline.