The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is often overlooked by grantseekers despite its relatively large award sizes and broad scope. Opportunities for education research range from early childhood to postdoctoral education, and the diversity of funding categories within each opportunity offers something for just about any applicant.

Responses were due yesterday for several of the FY11 RFAs, but most of the programs accept a second round of submissions September 16th. The full list of opportunities is available here.

Notably, the Education Research Grants bear a striking resemblance to the i3 program and would be a good fit for some of the smaller i3 Development proposals or for applicants looking to conduct a rigorous (and funded!) evaluation of current programs prior to applying for Validation or Scale-up award under a future i3 opportunity. Awards range from $200,000 over two years to almost $5 million over four years.

The best thing about IES funding: fewer applicants means less competition, and less competition means better odds of funding for solid proposals.