This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to the Department of Education (ED) for the First in the World (FITW) grant competition, with $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing.
The purpose of the FITW grant competition is to incentivize institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations to collaborate and help spur the development of innovative approaches and strategies that will improve educational access and outcomes. To help grow the evidence base of effective educational practices, FITW is structured as an evidence-based grant competition that offers up to three tiers of grants – development, validation, and scale up. Each tier requires a specific level of evidence underlying the proposed approach, and rigorous evaluation of each funded intervention.
ED expects to announce priorities for this competition in May; proposed priorities for the overall program were open for public comment in February-March.
The First in the World competition is run out of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) office, at ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education.