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Kingsbury Center Data Award

We are committed to supporting the next generation of researchers and scholars with the Kingsbury Center Data Award. These awards are designed to help graduate students and university researchers without project funding use our Growth Research Database (GRD) to further their research goals and projects. The purpose of the award is to make this resource available to graduate students and university researchers without financial support.

The GRD houses demographic information and highly reliable, longitudinal student achievement information for approximately 10% of the United States student population. Please click here for more information about what data are available.  The data awards will be offered to a limited number of applicants each year. Applications may be submitted at any time.

You can see examples of previous data awards projects here and here.

What is the value of the award?

Data Award recipients will receive, at no cost, a dataset comprised of data relevant to their research needs. In addition, the recipient will receive a set amount of technical assistance from the Kingsbury Center research staff in using the data.

Who is eligible?

At the time of application, students must be enrolled in a masters or doctoral program at a U.S. college or university; unfunded researchers must be affiliated with a U.S. college or university.

Data Award recipients will be chosen on a competitive basis by a selection committee at NWEA. Selection will be based on the suitability and the technical strength of the applicant's proposed research project. Criteria that will be considered include importance of the problem; clarity of the proposal; and the degree to which the proposed research requires the longitudinal achievement data contained in the GRD.

How do interested graduate students and researchers apply?

To apply for the award, please submit the following information to kingsburycenter@nwea.org:

  • A 1-2 page abstract of your study that defines the purpose, research question or hypothesis, study design, and data fields needed for your research.  The data fields available in the GRD can be found here.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae
  • If you are a student, a letter of endorsement from your advisor
  • Contact Information:  Name, Email Address, Mailing Address, Phone Number, Institution  (Students, please also include Advisor Name and contact information, degree, and program)


Please note that graduate student award recipients are required to have a graduate advisor as the institutional representative for research projects.  If you receive the award, we will need an agreement between your host organization and NWEA that is designed to assure proper handling of the data, permissions from participants if those are needed, and confidentiality protections.   

Common Questions

For more information about the Growth Research Database, see Our Data, FAQ - Available Data, and FAQ - Using the Data for Research.

What types of projects have been awarded in the recent past? May I access those?

  • Some examples of past awarded projects include analyses of student mobility patterns, summer growth patterns, achievement gaps, and the academic growth patterns of gifted students. You can see profiles of past data award recipients and their work here. 

What is your definition of an unfunded faculty researcher?

  • One of our goals in establishing the Data Award program was to make the resources of the Kingsbury Center available to researchers who do not have grant funding.  We like grants (who doesn’t), but the fact is education research today is heavily driven by the agenda of external funders, in particular foundations and the federal government.  The fact that funding is available from these groups is a good thing, but we also believe there are researchers who do excellent work who haven’t been funded by grants.    So, “unfunded faculty researcher” is a faculty researcher who has a research project that does not have grant funding or designated departmental funds supporting it. 

If I am awarded, what happens next?

  • If you are awarded, a Kingsbury Center researcher will work with you to develop a scope of work that includes your data specifications and a timeline for your project.  If you are a student, you and your advisor will need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines your responsibilities around confidentiality and data handling.  If you are a faculty member, your institutional representative will need to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.  Once those steps are completed, it will take us about two weeks to compile your data.

If I have a question that is specific to my topic, who may I contact before applying?

  • Please email us with additional questions