Have you ever looked through the Flashlight Evaluation Handbook on our web site? Did you notice section II.D on topics for grant proposals and dissertations?
My own time to do research is quite limited. We're a non-profit with a mission to improve education. So, when I have an idea for research or evaluation that someone ought to be doing, I put it here. Studies at the course level are near the top of the page, while ideas for research at the institutional and national level appear lower down.
The newest entry, for example, is to study the recent history of institutions collaborating in order to offer a degree or course of study that's better than any one of the partners could have offered alone. I've seen many such efforts. Some succeeded. Many failed. What factors affect their chances for success? By studying a number of such cases, and then looking for patterns across cases, one should be able to make some recommendations for policy, practice, and technology platforms, recommendations that would increase the chances for success. To see this note, just scroll down until you see the "NEW!" at the left hand margin. There's a brief paragraph, with a link to a page long discussion that includes a few links to programs.
I've put these ideas for grants and dissertations in the 'public domain.' If you'd like to talk about any of them, please let me know.