NCFR Innovation Grants

Please note: Innovation Grants are no longer offered. The information below refers to when the initiative was active, through 2016.

Beginning in 2020, NCFR is offering another grant opportunity: the NCFR Olson Grant, which awards $10,000 annually to an NCFR member bridging research, theory, and practice in their work.


Learn more about the grants initiative and submission requirements in the submission guidelines document at the bottom of this page. A list of frequently asked questions is also available.

The Innovation Grants initiative builds upon the rich heritage and ongoing commitment of NCFR to promoting innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to research, theory, and practice to support the well-being of families. The grant initiative represents NCFR's investment in facilitating the NCFR Global Ends, which include:

  1. To provide opportunities for professional development and knowledge development in the areas of family research, theory, education, policy and practice.
  2. To support the dissemination and application of research- and theory-based information about the well-being of families.
  3. To represent professionals in the field of family science by establishing standards for research, education, and practice and by advocating for the development and advancement of the profession.

To advance these ends, a range of activities could be supported by these funds such as: a) research pilot projects; b) theory development and enhancement; c) policy initiatives; or d) outreach, engagement, and training opportunities. We encourage innovative and groundbreaking proposals that will further the goals of NCFR and, in so doing, strengthen and support families.


NCFR has supported up to two $10,000 innovation grants over the past four years. The grants program was designed to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations around issues of importance to family well-being. To that end, applicants had to make a strong case that their proposed activities foster interdisciplinary collaborations, preferably among NCFR members, and support the Global Ends of NCFR. Proposals should explicitly describe how the project promotes collaborations across disciplines including but not limited to: family science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, child development, religious studies, economics, policital science, and health. We encouraged projects that aimed to bridge the areas of research and practice and that were buildt on a stong theoretical framework or advance theory. The call for proposals was intentionally broad to encourage a variety of innovative proposals that meet these objectives. Note, however, that funding was not be granted for supporting conferences or workshops.


Proposals were to meet the following requirements:

  1. The proposal must involve significant interdisciplinary collaboration and demonstrate how the proposed activities and contributions will be strengthened by the interdisciplinary approach.
  2. The proposal must demonstrate how it meets the NCFR Global Ends.
  3. The primary applicant (or applicants, in the case of co-PIs) must be an NCFR member who is an academic scholar or other family professional. Postdoctoral fellows may apply as PIs. Students may be involved in the proposed project as collaborators but not as PIs. Applicants may be included on more than one proposal but should be listed as the PI on only on proposal. Priority will be given to proposals with NCFR members from two or more different disciplines.
  4. All products (e.g., written papers, publications, websites) emerging from funding provided by the NCFR Innovation Grant Program are required to include this disclaimer: "This project was supported by a grant from the National Council on Family Relations Innovation Grant Program. Opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within this work do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Council on Family Relations."

Learn more about past Innovation Grant recipients and their projects: