The AEFP New Scholars Grant Program supports promising research by master’s and doctoral students whose research addresses education finance and policy. The program also aims to promote new scholars’ participation in the AEFP community.


Individuals who are enrolled in a doctoral or terminal master’s degree program as of December 31, 2020.

New Scholar Award

  • A $500 award to recognize promising research.
  • Plaque presented at the AEFP Annual Conference.


A successful application will describe a research project that is:

  • Relevant for the research or practice of education finance and policy
  • Using appropriate methodology
  • Clearly explained
  • Feasible
  • Innovative

Submission Process and Nominations

We encourage eligible candidates to apply directly by submitting the application materials listed below before the deadline. It is not necessary to be nominated by someone else.

AEFP members, senior scholars, and others may nominate students or colleagues for a new scholars grant by clicking this link. Nominations require only the nominee’s name and institution. The awards committee will follow-up by email to encourage the nominee and adviser to submit the required application materials. To the extent possible, nominators will remain anonymous to the nominee.

Submission Requirements

Applications must include:

  1. A cover page with the applicant’s name and contact information, title of project, source of data, and the date and institution of master’s or doctoral degree expected.
  2. A concise proposal (not to exceed 1,800 words including any appendices) providing sufficient detail for reviewers to judge the merits of the project. The proposal should address:
    • Issue to be investigated
    • Research methodology
    • Data sources to be used
    • Importance and relevance of the issue to education finance and policy
  3. Applications must include a letter of support from someone familiar with the student’s ability to complete the proposed research project (e.g., dissertation chair, faculty member, or supervisor). Letters can be emailed to the Awards Committee Chair separately from the application.

Application Information

  • All applications should be submitted to the AEFP Awards Committee Chair Cassie Hart at with “New Scholars Grant Application” in the subject heading.
  • Deadline: December 21, 2020.