Investing in High Quality Early Childhood Education

Kjersti Ulvestad is Jumpstart’s former Associate Director of Research and Evaluation. Irene Chen is Jumpstart’s former Manager of Research and Development.

As President Obama reminded us all in his recent State of the Union address, “Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education.” With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2014-2015 Jumpstart Learning Collaborative Research Grant Competition!

At Jumpstart, we’re committed to investing in promising research on the young children we serve and our dedicated adult volunteers, known as Corps members, who implement our program. Through the support of Pitney Bowes, we’ve been given the opportunity to provide up to three small grants ranging from $7,500 and $10,000 to address research questions on the processes and impact of Jumpstart. Proposals are due by April 18, 2014.

We are interested in all kinds of proposals, but our top picks for this year focus on:

Jumpstart’s impact on:

  • Children’s Social Emotional and Executive functioning skills
  • Children’s Phonological awareness, oral language, and/or books and print knowledge
  • Dual language learners
  • Corps members, specifically our community member volunteers
  • Families and Family Involvement
  • Preschools

Jumpstart’s implementation fidelity

  • Fidelity to curriculum
  • Corps member training

So you may ask yourself, what makes a good research proposal? It all comes down to two important proposal elements: the significant research question(s) and the methodology.

Significant Research Question(s)

The significant research question should be relevant to Jumpstart and has supporting research literature to back it up. It should discuss why Jumpstart as a supplementary enrichment program working within existing preschool programs is important.


The methodology is also vitally important. A great idea without an action plan is just another idea. A great methodology includes your sample, research design, data collection process, and data analysis plan. Some multilevel models wouldn’t hurt either.

What have some of our studies included in the past? Two recent studies funded by our grants included: a study about Jumpstart’s impact on Corps members and a study about the impact of Jumpstart programming on children’s social-emotional development and reducing toxic stress.

Dr. Deborah Hecht, at The City University of New York’s Center for Advanced Studies in Education, found that participation with Jumpstart positively impacted Corps members’ service learning experience, workforce development, and civic engagement.

Additionally, Dr. Stacy Doan, at Boston University, found that Jumpstart positively impacts children’s self-regulation skills. Both studies asked significant questions about Jumpstart’s impact and revealed some very exciting preliminary research!

We hope you will get involved in Jumpstart’s Research Grant Competition! To learn more about the RFP or overall application process, please contact

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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