Cross-disciplinary Research
on Equitable Advanced Technology
for Education

Morgridge Researcher/practitioner Partnership Accelerator Grant (MRPAG)

1. Goal

In line with the college research emphasis on research-practice partnerships, this fund will invest in a small team of faculty researchers (i.e., three to five members), who address the development of K-12 teachers and students through partnerships with teachers and other stakeholders in public schools and districts, as well as their students and parents. The fund intends to support research programs that have a substantial impact on schools and districts neighboring NIU and beyond.

Teacher and student development is interpreted broadly to include intellectual, social, emotional, and physical aspects. Potential research themes may range from directly improving teacher professional development and student learning to relevant impactful areas such as counseling and administration.

2. Prioritization

Prioritization for funding support will be based on the following:

  • Aligned with college and department-level missions and priorities;
  • Cross-departmental collaboration, involving two or more academic departments;
  • Collaboration between new faculty, junior and seasoned faculty researchers as well as graduate students;
  • Potential for impact in local schools and districts over short and long terms;
  • Potential for external grant opportunities.

3. Application and Selection

Applications will be reviewed by a review panel, and finalists may be invited to provide a 15-minute presentation of their project

The review panel consists of eight individuals at the rank of professor; one from each department and two ad hoc members and selects the finalists. Members will be recused when a COI presents itself (i.e., PI from the same department). Scores will be normalized and all scores will be presented to the panel to discuss the rank order.

Interested faculty researchers are recommended to consult their department chair in advance.

Exemplary proposal: Socio-emotional Learning in Physical Education (pdf)

4. Funding and timeline

The funding cycle starts in July 1st and ends in June 30 annually. Considering the COVID-19 situation, when necessary, it is subject to change and extension.

Every year, the timeline is expected as below:

  • Application due date: Feb 15, 11:50pm by local time
  • Application review period: Feb 16 – Mar 31
  • Announcing recipients: Apr 15

This year, two to three projects will be awarded up to $20,000 each. The funds can be used for the investigators’ course buyout(s) or summer compensation and other direct project-related expenses at the investigators’ discretion. Travel costs are allowed for local and regional travels.

5. Yearly Milestones and Reporting

    1) Mid-term reports due on Dec 31:
    • Researcher journal including written notes and photos of project activities
    2) Final reports due on June 30
    • Researcher journal
    • Outcome summary and a presentation at the college level.

For questions, please contact:

Yanghee Kim, LD and Ruth G. Morgridge Endowed Chair (

William Pitney, Associate Dean, Research, Resources and Innovation (