Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria.

Team Members

A team is composed of three to six members, with preference given to teams of at least four members.

  • At least three of the team members must be full-time classroom teachers (defined by spending at least 60% of time in the classroom).
  • A specialist and/or instructional coach may be included in a team as long as there is a minimum of three full-time classroom teachers on the team and the role of the additional member(s) is essential to the success of the project.
  • Teacher’s aides and part-time teachers are not eligible.
  • Administrators may not be team members unless the project cannot happen without their participation.
  • One team member must be identified as the Team Lead; the Team Lead does not have to be a full-time classroom teacher, but must spend a portion of his or her time in the classroom.
  • Current LIGHT Award grantees are not eligible.


Each team member has a minimum of two years of full-time, classroom teaching experience by the project start date, not including student teaching.

Location & Type of School(s)

  • Elementary, middle, high schools and cross K-12 projects are eligible.
  • Applications from teachers at brand-new schools (in their first year of operation) will not be considered.
  • Team members must teach in traditional public or charter schools OR in private schools that serve a majority (50% or above) free-and-reduced lunch qualifying students. While applications from all schools are encouraged, Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation prioritizes support for under-resourced schools.
  • Eligibility is limited to the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo.


Team members all teach at the same school in the same or varying grades/subjects OR team members can be at different schools but share a grade-level or subject-area commonality.


Project has support from the principal from each participating school. If invited to submit an application, teams will be required to provide each principal’s written support.

Project Restrictions

  • If you are applying for a grant to continue a professional development program in which you have already participated, please explain how a LIGHT Awards grant would enable you to do something different or innovative that builds on that previous training.
  • The LIGHT Awards does not fund one-time events, master’s program tuition, board certification costs nor travel outside of the U.S.
  • The LIGHT Awards does not award grants to solely purchase technology equipment and classroom supplies. Funds for equipment and classroom supplies can be requested as a component of a project, but must be justified based on their integration with the proposed project and must not exceed 25% of the total project budget.

Important Dates

April 2018 2018 grant decisions announced
August 2-3, 2018 2018 Awardee Convening
October 2018 New application cycle opens

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