Research grants open call 2017



Update: all queries to please. Answers will be posted to the FAQs page


Please see our standard Deed of Grant under uploads below. Applicants should not that this is non-negotiable.



Funds available

  1. The Froebel Trust has allocated £150k for new research grants to be awarded in the period to 31 October 2017. Grants will be inclusive of any VAT that may be applicable.
  2. We actively encourage applicants who are new to the Trust.

The Froebel Trust Five Year Strategy

  1. Applicants should indicate how the proposal will support the Trust’s strategy. There are four elements to this:
  • Froebelian principles
  • Cross-cutting themes
  • Research objectives
  • Research priorities
  1. Please note that the Trust will only fund research that relates to early childhood – i.e. up to the age of 8.
  2. All applications will need to map their proposal against our Five Year Strategy, which is downloadable from our website ( The Froebelian principles to which we are committed are:
  • The integrity of childhood in its own right
  • The relationship of every child to family, community and to nature, culture and society
  • The uniqueness of every child's capacity and potential
  • The holistic nature of the development of every child
  • The role of play and creativity as central integrating elements in development and learning
  • The right of children to protection from harm or abuse and to the promotion of their overall well-being
  1. The strategy identifies three cross cutting themes that reflect our vision and priorities. These will provide an additional focus for our grant giving and will be reviewed at the end of a three year period. Applicants are invited to consider how their research will address at least one of the themes. The themes are:
  2. Addressing disadvantage and valuing diversity
  3. Childhood under stress (focusing on those environments in which young children cannot play freely or with agency)
  4. Adult (staff and parental) engagement with young children

Research priorities

  1. Applications should address at least one of the objectives below:.

a. Contribute to deepening understanding of:

i.  The theoretical underpinning of froebelian principles

ii. How Froebelian principles may contribute to high quality      early childhood development, care and education 

​b. Provide evidence of how effective practice that follows those      principles can be developed and supported for children in care and  education settings

  1. The Trust has five major research priorities. They are:
  • a. Access to high quality early years provision for families in disadvantaged areas What are the particular difficulties faced by families in disadvantaged areas in accessing provision and in what ways may Froebelian Principles inform the strengthening of the capacity of provision to work in partnership with families
  • b..Transition to primary school What are the challenges facing children and families in the transition from early years to primary school? What models are there of how these challenges have been mitigated? What evidence is there of the impact of these models on children’s well-being and attainment? 
  • c. Nurturing high quality, stable and sensitive interactions between staff and children/families What models of continuing professional development (CPD) are being used to promote stability and sensitivity of interaction between staff and children and what is the contribution of a distinctly Froebelian approach here? What evidence is there of the effectiveness of different models of CPD? If the importance of ‘competent’ systems as well as ‘competent’ practitioners is accepted, what evidence is there of the key features of a competent system to facilitate effective CPD? What are the key features of a successful key person approach?
  • d. Developing playful pedagogy and resourcing for play
  • e. Finding pedagogies that are inclusive of and celebrate diversity    (including white children from lower income backgrounds, and  ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic status)

What we will fund

  1. Applicants should set realistic budgets within the parameters outlined in paragraph 1 above. Costs requested can include:
  • Personnel costs directly incurred exclusively in relation to the project, including salary/visiting lecturer replacement or cover e.g. teaching staff, consultancy costs, project management fees
  • Direct activity and production costs including venue costs, equipment and materials, project travel costs, including costs of attendance at relevant UK conferences
  • Project administration costs where these are not already covered by other funding
  • Project publicity costs, including launch event costs
  • Disclosure and Barring Service checks for applications in the UK & NI
  • VAT on fees where the VAT cannot be reclaimed
  1. Costs that we will not cover:
  • Full economic costs
  • Salary costs of staff who are already funded by their organisation
  • Core overheads of the applying organisation not related to the project, e.g. heating, rent, etc
  • Expenses incurred in submitting an application (including attending interviews)
  • Bursaries or other costs for Masters degrees or PhDs
  • Costs arising prior to the start date of the project
  1. Froebel Research Grants are open to research and educational institutions and individuals that share our goal of increasing and advancing the knowledge and application of Froebelian principles in the teaching of children from 0 to 8. Partnership projects are welcome, but in this case, a lead institution should be identified.
  2. In all cases, one named person should act as Principal Investigator. This is the individual with whom the Trust will correspond about the application. The Principal Investigator is normally considered by the Trust to be the ‘Holder’ of the award, i.e. the grant holder. 
  3. These guidance notes should be read by everyone concerned with the application, including the Principal Investigator, any other applicants, any other key people involved in the project as well as the head of the organisation or department in which the work will be undertaken.
  4. The application should be submitted on the Trust’s open call application form.

The child voice

  1. The Froebel Trust is committed to an approach to research which sees children as participants rather than subjects, and acknowledges their rights to express their views freely and to have these taken into account, consistent with the UNCRC (1989).
  2. The following questions may be helpful in reflecting on the place of children in your project (please note that it is not necessary to address each of them in your application):
    1. Is it appropriate for children to be involved in thinking about the topic and content of your project? If so, how can this be done?
    2. Is it appropriate for children to be involved in thinking about the design of your project? If so, how can this be done?
    3. How will you explain your project to potential child participants? – e.g. verbally, using video, play, drawings, posters etc.
    4. How will you gain the children’s consent? (this does not replace the consent of parents/carers/guardians) – e.g. verbally, mark-making, a signature, smiley face etc.
    5. How will you know that children continue to consent, or are withdrawing consent during the project? – e.g. verbally, through gesture, body language, facial expression etc.
    6. How will you ensure children’s anonymity and protect their confidentiality?
    7. How can you ensure children have feedback about their involvement?
    8. Can children be involved in disseminating findings?

Assessment criteria

  1. Research funding should be used for projects where the intention is to make a difference to policy or practice – the impact factors need to be high. All eligible applications will be considered via our scrutiny and grants process based on the criteria set out below.
    1. The potential of the project to develop understanding, interest, and/or debate about Froebelian principles
    2. The extent to which it supports delivery of the Trust’s strategic priorities
    3. The originality of the project – i.e. the extent to which it brings something new to the understanding and application of Froebelian principles
    4. The feasibility of the project and the quality of its management
    5. The value of the project’s planned outcomes and the extent to which it has been planned realistically in order to achieve them
    6. The evaluation plans and the plans to disseminate any learning to peers
    7. Whether the budget has been sufficiently justified and whether the project offers value for money
  2. Applicants will wish to note that the reason for applications failing last year included:
    1. Poor mapping against Froebelian principles, including projects in which they had been tacked onto a pre-existing project idea (This was the chief reason for applications being turned down)
    2. Where the project built on earlier work, poor explanation for why the Trust would want to fund a continuation
    3. Unnamed researchers
    4. Budgets that were poorly thought through or included excessive costings for some items

Submitting your application

  1. Applications should be submitted to by 5pm Saturday 1 July.
  2. The application must be written in Calibri 12 point. In addition to a scanned signed copy, a version in Microsoft Word or equivalent must be submitted.
  3. We aim to communicate the outcome of applications in October 2017. The decision of the Froebel Trust will be final. Every effort has been made to develop a thorough and informed assessment process. The Trust reserves the right not to enter into any correspondence about the assessment process and/or any subsequent monitoring procedures.
  4. The Trust uses a standard Deed of Grant. The wording of this will be available on the website by June. This Deed is non-negotiable and applicants should ensure that they have obtained any clearance that is required from their institution before submitting their application.
  5. Successful applicants will be required to submit interim and final reports, to be agreed with the Trust.
  6. It will be a condition of grants that open access to anonymised data must be offered.  



Froebel Trust Specification for Open Cal[...]
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Froebel Trust Open Call Research Grant A[...]
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