Randomized Controlled Trials to Evaluate Social Programs

January 12, 2021

Due Date: 12/31/21
Funder: Arnold Ventures

About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. The organization invests in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. They drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy. With a team of more than 90 subject-matter experts, Arnold Ventures works in four key issue areas: Criminal Justice, Education, Health, and Public Finance. Their work is guided by evidence-based policy, research, and advocacy.

About the Opportunity

Arnold Ventures’ (AV) Evidence-Based Policy team invites grant applications to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of social programs in any area of U.S. policy for which AV will fund the RCT and program delivery will be funded by another entity. The main goal in funding such RCTs is to build the body of programs rigorously shown to produce sizable, sustained effects on important life outcomes.


The applicant’s team must include at least one researcher in a key substantive role who has led or played a key role in a prior well-conducted RCT. Such individuals who do not meet the “experienced researcher” criterion themselves may still serve as a study’s lead researcher as long as they partner with a colleague who does meet the criterion and will play a key substantive role in the study.

How To Submit a Proposal

Applicants must first submit a letter of interest (maximum three pages) to RCTopportunity@arnoldventures.org. Applicants whose letters are reviewed favorably will be invited to submit a full proposal (maximum six pages). The full proposal should provide more detail (e.g., on the study design) than the letter of interest, and also address any questions or issues identified by AV in its invitation to submit a full proposal.

Applicants are asked to address the following four criteria in both the letter of interest and the full proposal:

Also included in the letter of interest and the full proposal:

For additional questions, please contact David Anderson at danderson@arnoldventures.org or (202) 239-1248.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.