Pre-Applicants Identified for 2012 ‘i3’ Competition

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced 124 highly-rated Development pre-applicants for the Investing in Innovation (i3) fund, all of which are invited to apply for a share of the nearly $150 million 2012 competition.

“Every year, i3 brings in hundreds of applications with groundbreaking ideas on how to accelerate student achievement,” said Assistant Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton. “The 2012 pre-application process significantly reduced the time required and difficulty of applying to this highly competitive program, easing the burden on most applicants and giving them timely feedback about the competitiveness of their applications.”

In February 2012, the Department invited potential Development applicants to submit pre-applications in an effort to simplify the application process and to allow a broader range of organizations to participate. The Department received more than 650 pre-applications, almost 40% more than last year, each of which was scored by peer reviewers. Based on the highest scores within each of the competition’s five absolute priorities, the Department invited 124 pre-applications to submit a full application. Of these highly-rated pre-applications, 23 focus on teacher and principal effectiveness; 39 focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education; 32 focus on parent and family engagement, a new priority in the 2012 i3 Development competition; 20 focus on school turnarounds; and 10 focus on rural education.

The 124 applicants announced today are eligible to apply for individual awards of up to $3 million that will fund new education programs that exhibit strong potential to improve student achievement and merit further exploration and research.

Applications in all three grant categories will be peer reviewed during the coming months and the highest-rated applicants will be announced later this year. Following the announcement, each potential grantee will be required to secure a private sector match of 15% for Development grants, 10% for Validation grants, and 5% for Scale-up grants in order to receive an i3 award.  Awards will be announced no later than December 31, 2012.

To learn more about the Investing in Innovation Fund, and to view the list of the 124 highly-rated Development pre-applications, please visit