Are You Eligible for a Grant from NEFE?

We fund projects that are based on original research questions that necessitate rigorous, empirical and/or theoretical analysis. We also fund replication studies. To be eligible for funding from NEFE, the principal researcher must have the demonstrated ability to implement the methodology and analyze the results, and must be affiliated with a U.S. nonprofit college, university, research organization, or other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For a graduate student, this could mean having a co-principal investigator heavily involved in supporting the research study.

Before applying, we encourage you to review our Eligibility Requirements Checklist.

We also encourage prospective applicants to reach out to us to review their project ideas prior to LOI submission. If you are interested in meeting with the NEFE research team to discuss your project, please email [email protected] and we will be in touch.

Your project should:

  • Generate new data or utilize existing datasets; original data is not required
  • Involve the direct study of U.S. households and individuals or issues and trends pertaining to them (i.e., the scope is domestic)
  • Investigate direct impacts of financial education or propose research that results in findings impactful to the field
  • Align with our research funding priorities

We do not fund projects that:

  • Have commercial or proprietary elements
  • Are related to the pilot, development, execution, evaluation, expansion or administration of specific programs, courses or curricula

Although we do not fund program, course or curricular projects, or the evaluation of specific programs or curricula, we do provide a free program evaluation tool. NEFE's Financial Education Evaluation Toolkit® is a free, online resource that guides you through the design of an effective evaluation strategy.

6 Guidelines for Successful Grant Proposals

NEFE-funded research informs the work of financial educators, practitioners, policymakers and the academic community. The characteristics listed below are not requirements; they should help you formulate a strong research question that aligns with our goals and priorities. We prioritize proactive inquiries initiated from any of the scholarly disciplines—not just finance or economics—whose findings may cultivate critical thinking in financial education.

We look for the following methodological attributes when selecting our funding recipients:

  1. Projects should tie back to financial education or, at a minimum, consider and articulate where the project fits within NEFE’s Personal Finance Ecosystem.
  2. Projects that directly incorporate financial education interventions should adhere to NEFE’s Five Key Factors for Effective Financial Education.
  3. Researchers should demonstrate the ability to implement their methodology and analyze their results. For graduate students, this could mean having a co-principal investigator heavily involved in supporting the research study.
  4. Projects should demonstrate the synergy between the research question, the stated theoretical framework and the research design.
  5. All measures used or designed during the project should be rigorous in origin and sensitive to the study’s population(s).
  6. Projects should democratize information, providing other researchers opportunities to utilize any data produced as part of the research study.

Eligible Grant Expenses

For approved projects, NEFE funds eligible expenses such as:

  • The research team’s time (e.g., principal researcher course buyout, graduate assistant compensation).
  • Direct costs related to the research project (e.g., incentives for research participation, conference travel to present the research).
  • Indirect costs up to 15 percent.

For research projects that otherwise meet eligibility criteria, NEFE does not fund the following ineligible expenses:

  • Expenses not directly related to the funded project, such as salaries of permanent staff or operating and administrative expenses.
  • Material and capital costs, such as building and construction; or basic infrastructure and equipment, such as computer hardware and software.
  • Lobbying, political contributions or similar activities designed to influence legislation.
  • Re-grants or pass-throughs.
  • Donations, endowments, challenge grants, matching funds or sponsorships.
  • Direct or matching payments to members of the public.

If you are unsure whether an expense is eligible, please contact us at [email protected].

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