The Postsecondary Success (PS) team is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to engage a research partner that will collect data on the implementation of evidence-based solutions in digital learning, advising and developmental education. The partner will collect information that helps funders, service providers, and institutions better understand the barriers and opportunities to implementing and scaling evidence-based solutions. Specifically, the partner will collect data to illustrate the opportunities and challenges for each strategy in providing equitable value and success for Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds in higher education.
The Postsecondary Success strategy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to increasing student success in education after high school and eliminating race and income as predictors of student success. For over a decade, we and our partners have been working closely with a diverse set of colleges and universities seeking to transform themselves to dramatically improve outcomes for today’s students – especially Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds.
The Postsecondary Success strategy is specifically interested in illustrating the potential for partners, institutions and other networks to both develop and deliver strategies for Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds to be successful. This focus involves the development and refinement of affordable and evidence-based solutions that institutions can adopt as well as the study of solution providers’ capacity to enable institutions to implement and scale these solutions.
Over the next four years, the research partner will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to develop and execute an annual research agenda and to share these findings with foundation staff, service providers and institutions. This research will identify opportunities for scaling these solutions as well as challenges that require further interrogation and investment.
We will identify the research partner through an open request for concepts (RFP). The RFP will be released on May 16, 2022; the deadline for proposal submission will be May 30, 2022. Promising applicants will be invited to submit a full application on June 16, 2022, with full applications due by July 1, 2022. The selected organization/partnership will be named in August 2022. The selected partner will begin a four-year grant engagement starting in October 1, 2022.
The selected partner (a single organization or a collaborative of researchers) will have the following qualifications:
- Deep understanding of the U.S. higher education landscape. A focus on developmental education, digital learning and advising is helpful.
- Racial and socioeconomic equity expertise within the context of U.S. higher education landscape.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as evidenced by representative leadership, project staffing, and other organizational leadership (i.e., board or an advisory group).
- Comfort with ambiguity and ability to be agile as the solutions continues to evolve.
- An understanding of market measurement data.
- Experience collecting qualitative and survey data.
- Experience with probability and non-probability sampling.
- The ability to create a culture of, and structures to support, continuous learning for solutions providers and Foundation staff.
- Facilitation in support of productive and learning-forward dialogue.
- Experience developing a learning agenda.
- Ability to build insights that inform grantmaking.
- Highly effective skills as a communicator, listener, negotiator, problem solver, advocator, and relationship and consensus builder.
For additional information about this opportunity, please review:
- Concept paper guidance
- Frequently asked questions
- Informational webinar slides
- Webinar recording
- Backgrounder on Solution Network Intermediaries