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Request for Proposals: Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Student Learning in North Carolina

Open Opportunity

The North Carolina Collaboratory, headquartered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), is partnering with the Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to request research and evaluation proposals addressing the impact of COVID-19 on student learning across North Carolina as well as the effectiveness of State and local policies and programs implemented during the pandemic.

The program is supported by a $6 million appropriation from the North Carolina General Assembly to monitor, assess and address the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 across the State. Institutions of higher learning in North Carolina will be able to request a minimum of $150,000 and a maximum of $500,000 using tiers listed in the application instructions.

Important Update

The application templates provided below have been corrected as follows:

  • For the cover page, the signature of an Authorized Organizational Representative is not mandatory for UNC-Chapel Hill applicants. Instead, a department-level signature is sufficient.

Application Package

Priority Areas

The goal of this RFP is to generate information that will guide evidence-based decisions for combating the impact of lost instructional time and accelerating learning for all students affected by COVID-19.

Applications are sought in the following priority areas:

  1. Research: The longitudinal impact of COVID-19 on student learning in North Carolina.
  2. Evaluation: The effectiveness of ESSER III Fund policies/programs during the pandemic.

More information about each priority area is provided in the full application instructions.

  • Application deadline: Aug. 31, 2022.
  • Award announcements: On or before Oct. 1, 2022.
  • Earliest project start date: Oct. 1, 2022.
  • Latest project end date: Oct. 31, 2024.
  • Anticipated project duration: Up to 24 months.
  • Maximum funding request: Up to $500,000 per project.
  • Estimated number of awards: Dependent on application budgets received.
Who is eligible to apply?
Any institution of higher education in North Carolina. As per NCGS 116-255(c)(1) and NCGS 116-255(b)(3), the Collaboratory encourages applications from UNC System campuses and historically minority-serving institutions, namely Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University.
Is this a limited submission opportunity?
No, there are no limitations on the number of applications that may be submitted from any institution.
Are indirect costs allowed?
No. As set forth in NCGS 116-255(c)(2) and Section 8.12.(a) of Session Law 2021-180, requests for indirect (F&A) costs are not permitted. If written documentation is required for this indirect cost restriction, please email for a copy of the relevant legislation.
Is it OK to submit a proposal that is built on a prior/ongoing partnership?
Yes, building on pre-existing work and partnerships is acceptable as long as the proposal fits within the priority areas specified in the RFP.
Do you prefer qualitative or quantitative focus, or use of academic administrative data versus primary data?
No, there is no preference for either – simply provide a clear justification for your chosen approach.
Can a subaward be designated for an entity based outside of North Carolina?
Yes, a subaward entity outside North Carolina can be included, but clear justification must be provided to explain their proposed role and why you have not selected an in-state entity. The prime institution must also declare their ability to ensure Uniform Guidance compliance for this subaward.
Do you have a list of low-performing schools and districts?
A list of low-performing schools and districts is available on the DPI website, as well as definitions for this categorization. Please note that lists for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years are still being compiled and will likely be released in October this year. For this reason, we recommend utilizing the 2018-2019 list for funding applications.