Applied Research Track



The EF+Math program works directly with teachers to understand what they want and need to know about how their students learn. This may require innovations to make learning visible and actionable in real time. The goal is to help teachers provide personalized, differentiated instruction to individual students, especially in large classes. The goal of the Applied Research track is to develop these innovations for integration into the learning systems developed under the Prototyping track.

Making student learning visible and actionable. The EF+Math program aims to support students who have historically been underserved, with the goal of significantly increasing the number of students in grades 3-8 who are proficient or advanced in math. To achieve this breakthrough outcome, new approaches must help teachers understand where their students are and what they need to build math and executive function skills. Methods developed in the Applied Research track are meant to be modular solutions that can work across multiple technologies to be developed in the Prototyping track. Technology that makes student learning visible and actionable requires at least two main innovations:

  • Making student learning visible. To evoke powerful learning, it is critical to understand what a student knows, when their attention is focused on the task at hand, whether or not they are cognitively overloaded, whether distractions are keeping them from learning and more. Strong proposals will describe technologies that offer this visibility in a clear, simple format that is easy for students and teachers to consume.

  • Making student learning actionable. When learning is visible, the next step is to identify actions to advance the learner. Information about the shifting executive function states of the learner should be used to adapt the prototype so it allows for differentiated instruction, personalized to each learner. Proposals may draw from the fields of reinforcement learning, deep learning networks and more. 

All funded work will engage in privacy by design, in that they will adhere to the highest ethical standards and use rigorous privacy and security methods and practices to protect data. They will also strictly adhere to relevant federal privacy laws and regulations.


For detailed information on how to apply, see the Call for Proposals. A synopsis follows:

Concept Notes. A team must submit a Concept Note in order to receive an invitation to submit a Full Proposal. There is an open date and a due date for Concept Notes. By submitting a Concept Note before the due date, teams may gain more time to take advantage of feedback for their Full Proposal.

Full Proposals. Based on a review of Concept Notes, teams will be invited to submit a full proposal in October 2019 and will have approximately one month to submit their full proposal (see timeline). The Full Proposal will include a more fully articulated description of the objectives, rationale and approach described in the Concept Note as well as a project management plan.


Webinar recording


Concept Notes (due 10/3/19)


Key Dates

Concept Notes

  • Open date: August 29, 2019

  • Due date: October 3, 2019

Full Proposals

  • Invited by: October 2019 

  • Due date: November 14, 2019