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Center for Research Quality

Center for Research Quality: Faculty:
Ackerman Research 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 faculty or student research projects that contribute 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 topic relevant to Pre-K through 12 education are encouraged to apply.

The program is designed to encourage research conducted in the name of the university and contributing 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 8, 2021

Application Deadline: March 15, 2021

Grant Recipients announced: April 5, 2021

Research must be completed: December 31 of following year:


The Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership is open to Walden University faculty (core, contributing, and emeritus), 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 f grants awarded in each funding level 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)

Faculty and Staff Grant Application Process

To simplify the grant application, we have created an online submission process.  The link below will take you to an online grant application that will allow you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation.

We recognize that designing proposed research that involves active data collection is challenging in light of COVID-19. Under the current program guidelines if your grant proposal is awarded your proposed research would begin in mid-summer at the earliest. We fully recognize that this start date is ambiguous, which makes designing proposed research challenging due to the uncertainty of the proposed research timeline.  


When applying for this grant, please design your proposed research with the mid-summer start date in mind. If your grant is awarded, we will work with you to adjust the grant period of performance to support your revised research timetable accordingly. 


Apply for the Ackerman Research Grant


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

  • C.V. or NIH-formatted Bio-sketch for the PI and all Co-PIs
  • Research Abstract
  • Research Description
  • Research Timetable
  • Research Budget
  • Research Budget Justification
  • Plans for Disseminating Research Findings
  • Human Subjects Review Documentation
  • Institutional Approval (IA) for Use of Walden Data Documentation

Institutional Approval (IA) for Use of Walden Data Documenation Form

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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