By Michele McNeil
For the second year in a row, the U.S. Department of Education decided not to award any of the largest “scale-up” grants as part of its 2013 Investing in Innovation grant competition. But this time around, it’s not saying who the passed-over almost-winner was. And at stake was a grand prize worth up to $20 million.
Scale-up is the largest award category for the i3 contest. This year, the department elected to make awards to the highest-rated applicants in the other two smaller categories: “validation” grants, worth up to $12 million, and “development” grants, worth up to $3 million. (In case you’re wondering, the categories are divvied up by breadth of proposal and track record of past success. The largest awards go the biggest ideas that have the strongest evidence base. The smaller awards go to promising, more-experimental ideas.)