FAS Research Development
Opportunities in the Social Sciences
February 2015

We welcome and encourage your feedback and suggestions regarding this newsletter and the types of funding opportunities that would be most relevant to you.  Comments can be emailed to Erin Cromack at cromack@fas.harvard.edu

Current notable opportunities:

Internal Opportunities 
External Opportunities

Foundation and Non-Federal:



Grantsmanship Tip of the Month:
Using the Matchmaker function in NIH RePORTER 


Matchmaker allows you to enter abstracts or other scientific text to retrieve a list of similar projects from the NIH RePORTER database.  After you submit your text (up to 15,000 characters in length), Matchmaker will return a list of the 100 most-similar NIH-funded projects. Investigators can use this tool to learn about recently-funded projects in their research area and to identify the NIH Institutes and Centers that provide the best fit for their proposed research topic and the most relevant Study Sections.
Internal Opportunities

fhbFoundations of Human Behavior Initiative
Deadlines: Proposals are due on the last day of February, May, August, and November
Award Amount: Up to $40,000

These research funds provide seed grants for proposals that promise to advance understanding of the social, institutional and biological mechanisms shaping human beliefs and behavior. The funds will be used to support interdisciplinary social science research projects based on innovative experimental or observational designs that make use of sophisticated quantitative methods.  The Fund also supports seminars, conferences, and other research-related activities.


The Fund is especially interested in reviewing and supporting research on the foundations of human behavior of the following kinds:
    • Interdisciplinary projects
    • Innovative projects
    • Exploratory projects
    • Projects with the potential to have an enormous impact on social science, policy, or human well-being
    • Research conducted with the collaboration of new investigators (although investigators at all career stages are encouraged to apply)
    • Research requiring seed funding, possibly to explore the viability of ideas for larger-scale, externally funded efforts

For more information, see here


External Opportunities

templetonJohn Templeton Foundation

Core Funding Areas

Online Funding Inquiry Deadline: April 1, 2015
Award Amount: varies - grants have ranged from $5,000 - $10,500,000

The John Templeton Foundation is currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for its Core Funding Areas:

  • Science and the Big Questions:
    • Mathematical & Physical Sciences: Projects that focus on foundational questions in mathematics or that seek a deeper understanding of the nature of reality within the realm of physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, or other physical sciences.  
    • Life Sciences: Projects investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose.
    • Human Sciences: Projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.
    • Philosophy & Theology: Projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.
    • Science in Dialogue: Projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.
  • Character Development: Programs, publications, and studies focused on the universal truths of character development, from childhood through young adulthood and beyond.  
  • Freedom and Free Enterprise: Programs intended to liberate the initiative of individuals and nations and to establish the necessary conditions for the success of profitmaking enterprise.
  • Exceptional Talent and Genius: The Foundation supports accelerated learning for students capable of working well beyond their grade level and national studies of the issue.  

For more information, see here.

ahaAmerican Historical Association
J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Award Amount: $5,000 stipend over 2-3 months

The J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association to support significant scholarly research in the collections of the Library of Congress by scholars at an early stage in their careers in history.  At the time of application, applicants must hold the PhD or equivalent, must have received this degree within the past seven years, and must not have published or had accepted for publication a book-length historical work.  The applicant's project in American history must be one for which the general and special collections of the Library of Congress offer unique research support.  The fellowship will be awarded for at least two, but no more than three, months, as the Jameson Fellow desires, to spend in full-time residence at the Library of Congress. Working space will be provided by the Library of Congress.

For more information, see here.

apfAmerican Psychological Foundation
Visionary Grants
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Award Amount: $20,000

The APF Visionary Grants seek to seed innovation through supporting research, education and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in the following priority areas:

  • Understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and physical health to ensure well-being.
  • Reducing stigma and prejudice to promote unity and harmony.
  • Understanding and preventing violence to create a safer, more humane world.
  • Supporting programs that address the long-term psychological needs of individuals and communities in the aftermath of disaster.  

For more information, see here.  


spencerSpencer Foundation
New Civics Initiative Small Grants Program
Deadline: April 9, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

The New Civics initiative invites research proposals that ask critical questions about how education can more effectively contribute to the civic development of young people. The ultimate aim is to contribute to educational improvement by supporting high-quality research studies that can lead to better-designed, more effective programs, policies, practices, and settings that prepare young people to act and to do so in informed and reasoned ways.

For more information, see here.

searleSearle Freedom Trust
Deadline: April 16, 2015
Award Amount: Recent grants have ranged from $20,000 to $1,000,000, with the majority of grants under $100,000.

The Searle Freedom Trust fosters research and education on public policy issues that affect individual freedom and economic liberty. Through its grant-making, the foundation seeks to develop solutions to the country's most important and challenging domestic policy issues.  The foundation invests primarily in scholarship that results in the publication of books, journal articles, and policy papers. Funding is typically provided in the form of research grants, fellowships, and other types of targeted project support.  The Searle Freedom Trust also provides funding for public interest litigation and supports outreach to the public through a variety of forums, including sponsorship of research conferences and seminars, film and journalism projects, and new media initiatives.

For more information, see here.

pmiProject Management Institute
Sponsored Research Program
Deadline: April 25, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

The Project Management Institute provides support for proposals for research funding on any topic related to project, program or portfolio management, with particular interest in the following areas:
  • Organizational change management
  • Agility in non-IT projects
  • Requirements management
  • Strategic initiative management
  • Knowledge transfer and management
  • Talent Management
  • Governance

PMI seeks proposals from scholars both within and outside the field of project management, including management, organizational psychology, sociology, education, linguistics and others. Proposals on research involving multi-disciplinary teams of investigators or teams consisting of academics and practitioners who bring new ways of thinking and related bodies of literature to the field are encouraged.

For more information, see here.

wtgrantWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Research Grants
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 5, 2015
Award Amount: $100,000-$600,000 over 2-3 years

The William T. Grant Foundation invests in high-quality research to ensure that young people from diverse backgrounds reach their fullest potential.  Currently, the foundation is interested in research with the potential to improve the lives of young people between the ages of 5 and 25.  This grants program supports theory-building and empirical research projects on reducing inequality or understanding the use of research evidence.

For more information, see here.

nehNational Endowment for the Humanities
Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Deadline: April 30, 2015
Award Amount: Fellowships cover periods lasting from six to twelve months at a stipend of $4,200 per month. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period.
These awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan's international relations, and U.S.-Japan relations.  The program encourages innovative research that puts these subjects in wider regional and global contexts and is comparative and contemporary in nature.  Research should contribute to scholarly knowledge or to the general public's understanding of issues of concern to Japan and the United States. Appropriate disciplines for the research include anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, psychology, public administration, and sociology. Awards usually result in articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources.  The fellowships are designed for researchers with advanced language skills whose research will require use of data, sources, and documents in their original languages or whose research requires interviews onsite in direct one-on-one contact.  Fellows may undertake their projects in Japan, the United States, or both, and may include work in other countries for comparative purposes.  Projects may be at any stage of development.  


For more information, see here


 Other Federal Opportunities

nsfNational Science FoundationnijNational Institute of Justice
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