K12 Education Research

K12 Education Research

All students should have access to a quality education that allows them to discover their unique talents and develop the knowledge and skills to be successful and find fulfillment in their lives.

A better understanding of the barriers to achieving a quality education for every student and the catalysts for positive, inclusive change will help identify opportunities to improve education outcomes.

Research on educational delivery systems, transformative schooling options, and the conditions impacting student performance contribute to the growing body of knowledge necessary to understand how we can remove barriers to help each student unleash her potential.

The Charles Koch Foundation invites scholars and subject matter experts to submit proposals on issues related to K-12 education.

Grant Description

We are especially interested in research that:

  • Explores new approaches to next-generation accountability, including consideration of multiple measures for assessing performance.
  • Analyzes pathways that increase education options to best meet the individual needs of diverse students.
  • Examines teacher training and incentive structures that support effective practice and gives teachers access to diverse employment opportunities and the flexibility to best meet students’ needs.
  • Studies K-12 innovations happening outside of traditional schooling from education start-ups and other education delivery trends to homeschooling and micro-schools that offer new opportunities for individualized education.
  • Examines student-based funding, school finance reform, and spending transparency.
  • Assesses long-term debt obligations in the current K-12 system and other financial barriers to student success.
  • Evaluates the economic, environmental, and social impact that open educational opportunities have on their communities.

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university or college. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.*
  • A CV or résumé.*
  • A brief, itemized budget.*
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.

*Items are required in application.


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.

Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

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