Despite the need for strong, evidence-based innovation in education, the research and entrepreneurial expertise required to accelerate solutions grounded in research is often inaccessible to education ventures. Financial constraints can put this type of support out of reach for organizations, and dedicated opportunities for researchers and practitioners to come together and achieve the collaboration needed to advance effective education practices are scarce.
In May 2022, the Jacobs Foundation and MIT Solve joined forces to launch LEAP (Leveraging Evidence for Action to Promote change), a global initiative that reduces these barriers and brings together researchers and social entrepreneurs to support education organizations in strengthening the evidence base of their learning solutions. By fostering this collaboration, LEAP aims to positively impact educational innovation and provide children with the tools they need to thrive.
The 2022 LEAP Challenge put out a call for two types of participants:
Project Hosts: LEAP sought project proposals from global education organizations focused on bridging learning gaps for underserved children ages 2-12 that were interested in strengthening the evidence base of their product, program, or business model.
Fellows: LEAP asked for applications from experienced education researchers and social entrepreneurs from around the world with a passion for supporting education organizations and advancing evidence-based education solutions across the globe.
In the inaugural LEAP Challenge, we received 120 Project Host proposals and 212 Fellow applications. LEAP’s esteemed panel of judges reviewed Project Host proposals and invited 20 Finalists to pitch their LEAP Project and answer questions live from the panel. After much deliberation, 10 extraordinary Project Host teams were selected to participate in LEAP! They will receive expertise from research and social entrepreneur Fellows over the course of a 12-week project sprint, strategies and deliverables designed to strengthen their evidence base, and a $5,000 stipend.
Joining the 10 Project Host teams in the cohort are the 40 selected LEAP Research and Social Entrepreneur Fellows who will pair with the organizations to provide them with the expertise needed to accelerate their solution’s impact.
Follow LEAP developments throughout the year as projects kick off this fall!
If you are interested in learning how to create a custom challenge that addresses global issues concerning you or your organization, learn more now!