NEFE Announces Nearly $500,000 in New Grants

NEFE announces nearly $500,000 in New Grants

Next Grant Cycle to Open Sept. 15

At NEFE, we’re excited to report two significant announcements tied to our research priorities. Our latest grant funding recipients—Saint Louis University and The RAND Corporation—have been awarded nearly $500,000 collectively to pursue scholarly research projects aimed at improving financial well-being. In addition, we’re announcing the kickoff date for our next grant cycle, which will open Sept. 15.

“With evidence of distinct needs for rigorous research in financial education, NEFE remains profoundly committed to helping meet this demand. There are many meaningful opportunities for the research community to explore in the study of financial well-being, and these two projects exemplify that range,” says Billy Hensley, Ph.D., president and CEO. “We look forward to our partnership with the research teams from Saint Louis University and RAND Corporation, and I am confident that these projects will serve as great examples of the type of work future grantees should strive to accomplish.”

The Saint Louis University School of Social Work received a grant for their project, Developing a Valid Measure of Financial Access: From Conceptualization to Empirical Testing. The university’s professors making up the research team—Julie Birkenmaier, Ph.D., Jin Huang, Ph.D., and Steven Rigdon, Ph.D.—have conceptualized an individual financial access scale to help understand the impact of environmental factors on financial well-being. This scale will have applications for use in practice, research and policymaking by providing a uniform way of measuring financial access that will allow for comparisons across time and studies.

“NEFE's early and continual assistance and support for our project has been instrumental in shaping our successful proposal,” says Birkenmaier. “Their encouragement and feedback were essential to crafting our proposal, and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration throughout the project.”

The RAND Corporation will use their grant to evaluate the efficacy of Nevada’s statewide financial education mandate, which was installed in 2017 for grades 3-12. The RAND Corporation research team of Christine Mulhern, Ph.D., Zhan Okuda-Lim and Katherine Carman, Ph.D., is partnering with Jayne Malorni, Nevada Department of Education’s educational program consultant, to build foundational knowledge on the implementation process and best practices for educators and leaders in other states to consider.

“NEFE funding will allow RAND to engage with key stakeholders in Nevada to understand the implementation of the financial education mandate and identify ways to make financial education more impactful in the future,” says Mulhern. “We are grateful for the funding from NEFE and look forward to beginning this work.”

Eligible organizations interested in pursuing grant funding for a current or future project can apply here starting Sept. 15. Our organization began awarding research grant funding in 2006 and has funded 40 projects, allocating over $5.9 million for rigorous, innovative and actionable research that increases the field’s body of knowledge, provides insight into financial behavior and contributes to a better understanding of effective educational practices.

“This research will deepen our understanding and definitional base for financial education implementation and financial access. There continues to be a growing demand for high-quality research in our field that will help inform decision-makers and others develop strategies and policies,” says Jill Jones, Ph.D., managing director of Research at NEFE.

Read more on our research funding priorities and strategy.

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