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Center for Research Quality

Office of Research and Doctoral Services: Faculty:
Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership: Faculty

Don E. Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership

The Don E. Ackerman Grant in Educational Leadership supports research that advances leadership in education through better understanding or practice. The grant provides funding to support research that contributes either theoretical or applied knowledge that may potentially change education at the Pre-K through 12 educational levels, in any educational field or educational position. Research conducted by investigators in academic field outside of education, such as public health, science and technology, business, mental health, counseling and social work, that addresses a relevant to Pre-K through 12 education are encouraged to apply.

This grant opportunity, funded by the Walden Presidential Research Grant Program, is designed to encourage research conducted in the name of the university that contributes to the continuing improvement of teaching and learning through leadership. Grant funds are to be used to support the direct cost of research.

Past recipients of the Ackerman Fellowship in Educational Leadership (prior to 2020 this funding opportunity was considered a fellowship, not a research grant)

Please contact with questions about the Don E. Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership

Program Timeline

Deadline to submit Intent to Apply Using Walden Data: March 13, 2023

Final date for first-time requests for feedback on research proposals:  March 24, 2023

Application Deadline: April 1, 2023

Grant Recipients announced: May 13, 2023

Research must be completed: June 30, 2024


The Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership is open to Walden University faculty (core, contributing, and emeritus), academic administrators, and staff. Grant funds can only be used to support those activities included in the research proposal.   

  • Must be a Walden University employee in good standing for at least 2 years at the time the grant is awarded. 
  • Currently active in teaching and/or student-related activities.
  • Must not have been a recipient of the Research Fellowship in Distance Education or the Don E. Ackerman Fellowship in Educational Leadership (sponsored by Walden University) within the last 5 years.
  • If awarded, must not be engaged in other related research grants or fellowships sponsored by Walden University at the time of the grant period of performance. 

Grant Amount & Duration

This request for proposals (RFP) is for one-time, short-term (1 year, maximum) research studies. Research must be completed within 1 calendar year from the date the grant was awarded, as specified in the grant application. The grant funds cannot be used for tuition at Walden, or another institution.

For any grant funds to be disbursed to the recipient, proof of compliance with Walden University regulations regarding the protection of human subjects in research and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is required.

Although a funding ceiling is provided below, researchers are encouraged to request only the amount of funds needed to conduct their proposed research activities, rather than the maximum amount available. The number of grants awarded will be determined by the quality and size of the applicant pool as well as the availability of program funds. 

Total Funding

$8,000 funding ceiling for collaborative or single investigator authored research proposals. 

Note: Students may be included in the research team, but the team must be led by faculty or staff members. 

Criteria for Selection

The overall merit of the proposed research will be considered and evaluated by Walden’s Dean of Research, working with a review committee chaired by the Director of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. 

The final selection will be made based upon the following general criteria: 

  • Reflects theoretically sound and evidence-based research.
  • Indicates that the research will contribute to educational leadership in knowledge or practice.
  • Shows evidence of collaboration, or willingness to collaborate, with other Walden University schools/programs, as appropriate. (*this criterion does not apply to student applicants)

Grant Application Process

If the proposed research involves the collection of data from the Walden community or the use of existing institutional data from Walden, researchers must confirm with the university that the data are accessible and/or available before submitting their grant proposal. To do this the Principal Investigator (PI) must submit the online form linked below indicating his/her intent to apply for the Ackerman Research Grant using Walden data.  The online form gives the PI the opportunity to provide a concise summary of the proposed research methodology in addition to identifying the specific Walden data to be collected and/or requested for analysis in the proposed study.  This information will be reviewed by the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) in conjunction with university leaders to ensure that the proposed data collection is attainable and/or the requested existing data can be provided. By confirming the accessibility/availability of Walden data, the PI gains an assurance that their proposed research is both viable and in alignment with the Ackerman Research Grant program goals, which increases the chances that the research proposal will be funded.  

 Decision Matrix  
Intent to Apply Using Walden Data 

  • If the proposed research involves Walden data (to be collected and/or existing data requested), use the link below to complete and submit the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data online form before you submit your full grant proposal. 

  • If the proposed research does not involve any Walden data, skip this step and move directly to the section below about the Grant Proposal. 

Intent to Apply Using Walden Data  

The link below will take you to the online Intent to Apply Using Walden Data form. The online form will allow you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation.  

If the proposed research involves more than one PI, please designate one co-PI (not a research assistant) to be the Point of Contact (POC) for all correspondence related to the submission of the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data form.   


Intent to Apply Using Walden Data


Instructions about how to complete the Intent to Apply Using Walden Data are provided in the form itself. To make the process smoother, following is a list of information you should have on hand before you begin:   

  1. Name of PI/Point of Contact   

*If there is more than one PI, please designate one individual to be the Point of Contact (POC).  

  1. POC college/school affiliation at Walden  

  1. POC contact information (address, email, and phone number)  

  1. Title of proposed research project  

  1. A description of the proposed research, which includes the following:  

  • Description of the purpose of the research; indicating the goals and objectives.   

  • Research hypothesis or research questions.  

  • Concise description of the proposed research methodology.  

  • Description of the target population and the plans for analysis.  

  1. A description the specific Walden data to be used in the proposed research.  

  • If you plan to collect data from the Walden community explain from whom and where the data will be collected (students, faculty, alumni, classroom environments), how the data will be collected (survey, interview, observation, etc.), and the timing of data collection activities.  

  • If you plan to request existing data (classroom or operational data) from Walden explain what the data is, why it is needed, and include key variables.   

Upon submission the POC will receive a message confirming receipt of the form and can expect a response from the ORSP as the outcome of the review within 5 days of submission.  


Grant Proposal  

This grant opportunity uses an online submission process.  The link below will take you to an online form, which will allow you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation.


Apply for the Ackerman Research Grant


Instructions about how to complete the online grant application are provided in the form itself. To make the process smoother, following are elements of the proposal you should develop prior to starting the online application: 

  • C.V. for the PI and all Co-PIs
  • Research Abstract
  • Research Description
  • Research Timetable
  • Research Budget
  • Research Budget Justification
  • Plans for Disseminating Research Findings
  • Intent to Apply Using Walden Data Documentation, if applicable. 
  • Release Time/Compensation for Conducting Research Documentation, if applicable. 

Once the online form has been submitted you will receive an automatic reply confirming receipt of your grant application, which will include the tracking number for your application (Ackerman-2023-FS-XX). 

More Information

While links to the following documents are embedded within the Ackerman Research Grant application, the stand-alone documents are provided below for your reference. 

Examples of a: 

Application templates for your: 

Please contact with questions about the Don E. Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership. 


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