Learning & Leadership Grants

We have provided funding to thousands of educators, enabling them to develop their professional practice to improve student learning.

  • Learning & Leadership


Educators frequently need outside resources to engage in meaningful professional development due to limited district funding. Through our Learning & Leadership grants, we support the professional development of NEA members by providing grants to:

  • Individuals to participate in high-quality professional development like summer institutes, conferences, seminars, travel abroad programs, or action research
  • Groups to fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.

We give preference to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global competence in their projects.

“Through the generous support of the NEA Foundation Learning and Leading Grant, I attended the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) qualifying certification seminar. This inventory helps us understand the impact our work has on student learning and development.”

Anne M. Hornak, Associate Professor & Chair, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI


Two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award.

Who can apply?

Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. We especially encourage education support professionals* to apply.

We’re currently giving preference to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects.

* Education support professionals can be classified as: para-educators, school bus drivers, maintenance and custodial staff, food services staff, school nurses and student services workers, clerical and office assistants, school security officers, and technicians.

Who cannot apply?

Unfortunately, the following groups may not apply as either the lead or partner:

  • Educators who are not members of the National Education Association
  • Administrators
  • Employees, members of the board of directors, and immediate family members of the staff and board of the NEA Foundation
  • Employees of the National Education Association

How can grant funds be used?

Grant funds can be used for travel, room, meals, registration fees, materials, etc. for individual grants. For group grants, funds can be used for educator stipends, substitute fees, materials, travel, meals, etc.

Grant funds cannot be used to pay indirect costs, grant administration fees, salaries, conference fees for more than one person, or lobbying or religious purposes.

Deadlines & Notifications


2020 Application Deadlines

The first deadline for applications is February 1, 2020.

Applicants will be notified of their status by April 15, 2020.

Applications will temporarily close in February and reopen April 2020.

The second deadline for applications is August 31, 2020.

Applicants will be notified of their status by November 2020.

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