Grantmaking is a core component of WorkRise’s vision and strategy for creating a more equitable and resilient labor market. We invest in foundational research to generate actionable evidence on challenges and barriers to economic security and mobility faced by workers earning low wages. We also fund pilot studies on innovative policies or programs to yield potentially scalable solutions for strengthening workers’ economic security and mobility and expanding opportunity in the labor market.

Funded Projects

WorkRise engages a diverse group of labor market stakeholders—employers, researchers, labor advocates, policymakers, and philanthropy—to shape our research and grantmaking agenda. Our multidisciplinary Leadership Board acts as a close advisor as we build a rich and balanced portfolio of funded projects. Broadly speaking, WorkRise aims to invest across six core research pillars:

  • macroeconomic and labor market trends and policies
  • employer practices
  • worker power, voice, and representation
  • skills and training
  • job search and matching
  • social determinants of work/360° perspective on workers

Our grantmaking program strives to foster unique collaborations and partnerships between the stakeholder groups mentioned above. We seek to pair researchers with practitioners, employers, and policy innovators to generate the data and evidence changemakers need to create meaningful, durable progress for workers.

In addition, our grantmaking program seeks to diversify the pipeline of researchers participating in our network, including emerging scholars and those with strong ties to local communities. We also aim to build bridges between well-resourced institutions and researchers with those who are underrepresented in economic mobility and labor market research because of historical patterns of exclusion and underinvestment. We actively seek to support researchers at minority-serving institutions (historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions, and tribal colleges and universities).

Request for Proposals

Click on the links below to learn more about our open and closed requests for proposals (RFPs).


Stay tuned for future RFPs by subscribing to our newsletter

2021 Bold Ideas for Transforming the Labor Market RFP

2022 Pilot Projects for Advancing Economic Mobility RFP

2023 Building Actionable Insights to Advance Worker Mobility