What types of projects are eligible for Roberts Award funding?
The Roberts Award was designed to address the “experience gap” that exists between students in low-income communities and their more advantaged peers. As such, projects that receive Roberts Award funding will be aimed at providing students with the type of enrichment activities that will accelerate students’ learning beyond the walls of the typical classroom experience. Successful applicants will identify a particular challenge or “experience gap” faced by their students and design a project to address that need within their school community. Capital requests for purchases of technology and equipment ARE eligible for Roberts Award funding as part of an enrichment project. We ask that applicants indicate on the application that the proposed project includes these allocations. In the event that an applicant is not awarded funding, this will allow us to track requests should other sources of in-kind donations become available.

What types of projects are NOT eligible?
Given the focus on enrichment beyond the classroom, proposals for projects such as professional development or curriculum design will not be scored as highly as those that involve more direct student engagement; however, we recognize that school leaders are the best authority on what will have the greatest impact for their own schools and students. As such, we encourage all applications and will consider the merit of each project on an individual basis.

Who is allowed to apply for the Roberts Award?
All New Leaders who have completed the Aspiring Principals program and who are currently serving in school leadership roles are eligible to apply. Emerging Leaders, Leading Instruction, and Transforming Teams participants, as well as current Residents in the Aspiring Principals program, can apply on behalf of their school if it is led by a New Leader principal who will be on staff during the implementation of the project. Similarly, New Leader principals may involve other members of their staff in completing the application on their behalf, but all applications should be submitted under the New Leader’s name and with their full approval.

It is not required that New Leaders still be serving in the district where they completed their Residency, provided they have not violated their program contract by moving to another district.

What is the timeline for receiving funding?
The Roberts Award represents a one-time grant of $25,000. Application season is currently closed and will reopen in spring 2018. Awards from the most recent cycle can be used to fund a project during the 2017-2018 school year, or during the summer of 2018. The precise timeline for the 2018-19 grant cycle has not been finalized, but based on past years, applications will likely be due by June 30, 2018, with awardees selected in July 2018, and funding distributed during August 2018.

Can previous recipients apply for a renewal of their funding?
As stated above, the Roberts Award is intended to be a one-time grant. Previous recipients are welcome to apply for a renewal for their current project or for a new project, but such applications will not receive special consideration over other applications.

What level of detail should be included in the project plan?
Successful applications will include enough detail to show forethought and planning, and will identify necessary supplies, partners, etc. Applications should include an overview of how the full award amount will be allocated to accomplish the project.

Because the Roberts Award typically represents a one-time grant, successful applications will also incorporate a plan for leveraging the Roberts Award to secure sustainable long-term funding. For example, a Roberts Award grant could be used to secure matching funding from other partners or as an opportunity to pilot a new program that can be built into future school budgets if successful. Please see the sample applications to reference winning Roberts Award applications from 2013.

What will be expected from recipients in terms of reporting during the project?
Roberts Award recipients will be required to participate in at least one interim check-in call with New Leaders staff, and to submit a 2-3 page final report upon the conclusion of the project. For both of these reports, recipients should be prepared to give an update on the successes and challenges of project implementation, funding allocations, the impact of the project on the school community, and where possible to share supplementary materials such as photos or videos (with required permissions, if any), samples of student work, photos, or other project artifacts.

What happens if an award recipient leaves their school?
We understand that staffing situations can change without advance notice; however, applicants should submit their proposals in good faith that they intend to be in their school for the duration of the planned project. Awards are subject to verification that this is still true as of the final decision date.

Should the New Leader leave their school after funds have been awarded, they agree to be accountable for notifying New Leaders of this change, providing contact information for the person who will take over project implementation and take on responsibility to comply with reporting requirements and participate in project check-ins with New Leaders staff.

If you have any additional questions about the Roberts Award or your application, please contact us at: robertsaward@newleaders.org