About the Young Scholars Program

The Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports scholarship for early-career researchers. The program funds implementation research that is policy- and practice-relevant and that examines the preparation, competency, compensation, well-being, and ongoing professional learning of the early care and education (ECE) workforce.

The Foundation regards diversity as an asset for building a strong and productive society and is committed to diversity and equity in scholarship and through our grantees. To increase the diversity of research perspectives, the Foundation encourages applications from:

  • Scholars who are from underrepresented groups that have historically experienced poverty, racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Such groups include, but are not limited to, researchers of color, first-generation college graduates, culturally and linguistically diverse scholars, and researchers from low-income communities
  • Scholars who represent a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches

For more information, please download the complete 2023 YSP Guidelines and review the YSP FAQs and view prior YSP webinars.

Research Focus 

The Foundation believes that a deeper understanding of the role of ECE professionals in enhancing young children’s early learning experiences can ultimately improve the chances for all children to reach their full potential. Scholars will become part of a growing network of the next generation of researchers whose work has the potential to strengthen the ECE workforce and improve the quality of services provided to young children and their families.

All proposed research must have primary questions that are relevant to the ECE workforce. With a particular focus on the ECE workforce, all supported research questions must support scientific inquiry into the implementation of specific ECE programs, policies, or practices. Implementation research provides the opportunity to engage in meaningful exploration of what works (or not), for whom, and under what conditions. Finally, all supported research must have a clear connection to policies and practices that have the potential to result in a positive impact on the ECE workforce and on the young children in YSP’s priority populations.

For more information on YSP’s research focus, please reference Section III. Research Focus in the 2023 YSP Guidelines.


Eligible researchers must have received their doctoral degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., J.D., etc.) between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2021. Physician applicants must have received their M.D. degrees between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2021.

The affiliated nonprofit institution/organization must have a minimum operating budget of $2.5 million and a minimum three-year track record in conducting multi-year research projects (at least three over the last three years).

Please review Section IV. Eligibility of the 2023 YSP Guidelines for additional eligibility criteria and more information about applying to YSP.

How to Apply

The fist step in submitting the Letter of Intent (LOI) is to create an account through the grants management system. Once logged into the system, the Principal Investigator (PI), as the applicant, should use their name and email address to set up an account. Use the access code “2023YSP” to complete and submit the 2023 YSP LOI form. YSP is an open competition; applicants need not be nominated to apply.

Additional resources to assist with the application process include:

  • Applicant Checklist
    A reference guide for the LOI and Full Application requirements
  • Mentor/Mentee Checklist
    A resource to help applicants and mentors develop clear parameters regarding the roles and responsibilities of the mentor/mentee during the application process


April 7, 2022
Call for Proposals for 2023 YSP opens

May 3, 2022
2023 LOI Review Process webinar

June 9, 2022
LOI Deadline: Online LOI closes at 8 PM EDT | 7 PM CDT | 6 PM MDT | 5 PM PDT

August 2022
Latest notification of LOI status and invitations to submit a Full Application

October 13, 2022
Full Application Deadline: Online Full Application closes at 8 PM EDT | 7 PM CDT | 6 PM MDT | 5 PM PDT for applicants with an approved LOI who have been invited to apply

Early April 2023
Latest notification of Full Application status

Please note: An additional webinar is planned for applicants with approved LOIs who have been invited to submit a Full Application.

Contact us via email at ysp@​fcd-​us.​org.