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Student Research Support:
Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership: Students

Don E. Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership

The Don E. Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership supports research that advances leadership in education through better understanding or practice. The grant provides funding to support research 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 fields 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.  

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 Fellowship in Educational Leadership.

Program Timeline

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 students. Grant funds cannot be used for tuition at Walden, or another institution.  Grant funds can only be used to support those activities included in the research proposal.

  • Must be a student currently enrolled in a Walden Ph.D. or professional doctorate program.
  • Must be a Walden student in good academic standing.
  • Must have a dissertation or doctoral study proposal that has been approved by the student’s committee.
  • Must have University Research Reviewer (URR) approval for the proposed research.
  • Must have research ethics (IRB) approval for the proposed research.
  • 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.

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

$1,000 funding ceiling for research conducted by a single student.

  • Research proposed by students must be based upon their doctoral capstone research.
  • While only research proposals that are determined to be of exceptional scholarly merit will be funded, in an effort to recognize newly emerging scholars, proposals submitted by students will be considered for funding from a pool separate from faculty and staff applicants. 
  • The total number of research grants awarded is dependent upon availability of program funds. 

Criteria for Selection

The overall merit of the proposed research will be considered and evaluated by 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.

Grant Application Process

The funding opportunity uses an online grant application, which allows you to select relevant fields from drop-down menus, enter individualized text responses, and upload supporting documentation.


Apply for Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership


Since this grant opportunity is intended to support capstone research, students must have a dissertation or doctoral study proposal that has been approved by their committee as well as both URR and IRB approval. In light of this, the content of the grant application draws heavily from the approved proposal rather than requiring the applicant to write a new grant proposal. 

Instructions about how to complete the online grant application are provided in the form itself. To make the process smoother, following are materials/information you might want to have ready to complete the online application: 

  • Student ID# 

  • Copy of your approved dissertation/doctoral study from which you will be able to cut and paste relevant information (such as the abstract, problem statement, research question, etc.). 

  • Anticipated date of graduation.

  • Dollar amount you plan to request (maximum is $1,000 but you are not required to request the full amount). 

  • A copy of the Walden IRB approval letter for your dissertation/doctoral study (to be uploaded as an attachment to the online application form). 

  • A copy of your resume or curriculum vitae (to be uploaded as an attachment to the online application form). 

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-S-XX). 


More Information

Although student applications for the Ackerman Research Grant in Educational Leadership are not accepted by email you are welcome to contact with questions about your grant application, and the Ackerman Research Grant program in general. If inquiring about a specific grant application that has already been submitted online, please reference your grant application tracking number in your email. 

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