Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund


All lead applicants have been emailed about the status of their grant application.

If you did not receive an email, please check your spam box. Otherwise, please feel free to email to inquire after the status of your application. Awarded projects will be formally announced on this page in the coming weeks.


NoVo Foundation, in partnership with Education First and supported by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, aims to seed teacher-led projects and district-wide projects that foster social and emotional (SEL) skills in students in grades PK-12. Whether you have an idea for a new initiative or want to expand or continue an existing project, we want to hear from you.

We are offering up to $5,000 grant awards for teacher-led SEL projects for the 2018-19 school year. We are also offering up to $25,000 grant awards for district projects that span multiple schools in the 2018-19 school year. The teacher and district applications will be evaluated separately. A district applying for a district award is also eligible to have one or more of its teachers apply for a teacher award, and vice versa.

All recipients will have the opportunity to present your work to and connect with a group of national SEL practitioners, experts and advocates at a convening during the 2018-19 school year.

We are looking for proposals from individual teachers, teams of educators, and district leaders seeking to improve students’ social-emotional skills in fresh, inventive or innovative ways. Examples can include novel interventions or instructional practices focused on improving competencies such as resilience, academic tenacity, learning mindsets, self-management, sense of belonging, and other social and emotional skills.

Though all proposals are welcome, we are also seeking proposals that specifically serve one of the following student populations:

  • Students from indigenous communities
  • New arrivals (such as refugees) or immigrants
  • English learners
  • LGBTQI students

A complete list of eligibility requirements and selection criteria are available on the RFP and FAQ documents at the bottom of this page.

No applications will be accepted after 5:00pm Pacific time on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Please send any questions about the RFP or application process to

2017 Summary: In our second year, we received over 800 applications from more than 40 states. 2017 was the first year we awarded district-level grants. Through a competitive process, 12% of applicants were selected, 67 teachers and 30 districts, with the complete list of selected awardees available here. Some awardees authored blog posts about their work. Read more here.

2016 Summary: In our first year, we received a total of 430 teacher applications from 164 districts in 34 states. In August 2016, Education First announced 25 innovation awards to individual teachers and teams of teachers in 14 states. Find the list of 2016 recipients and descriptions of their projects here.

For more information about our support of SEL, see our SEL Teacher Practice website and publications Social and Emotional Learning: Looking Back, Aiming Forward and Social and Emotional Learning: Why Students Need It. What Districts are Doing About It.