FAS Research Development
Opportunities in the Social Sciences
March 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

Unless otherwise noted, full proposals for all external opportunities must be submitted to the Harvard Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) at least five business days in advance of the sponsor deadline.

Internal Opportunities 
External Opportunities

Foundation and Non-Federal:




Grantsmanship Tip of the Month: Broader Impacts Q&A

Are Broader Impacts the same as educational outreach? 


No. This is a common misconception. Educational outreach is one of many strategies that can be used by investigators to broaden the impact of research and share the results and societal benefits of discoveries with a wider audience. However, broader impacts can be far "broader" than just educational outreach and can include activities that are inherent and imbedded in the research itself, such as the transfer and scale-up of new technologies, the use of research results to inform policy, and the development of new technologies  or research tools that enhance the infrastructure for research or directly benefit society.


Should I include a request for funds in the budget to support Broader Impacts?  


Yes. If your proposal includes Broader Impact activities that are separate from, yet complementary to, the proposed research, then funds to support these activities should be requested in the budget. Reviewers may be critical of a proposal that includes a list of Broader Impact activities with no means or resources to implement them. However, some Broader Impacts may be inherent in the proposed research and therefore may not require additional budget requests. For example, your proposal may include unique training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students that can be considered broader impacts and the support for these activities might already be included in the budget as student support.

For more information on Broader Impacts and support provided by FAS Research Development, see here

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


Foundation and Non-Federal Opportunities

smith_richardsonSmith Richardson Foundation
Strategy and Policy Fellowship
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 8, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: June 15, 2015
Award Amount: $60,000 for one year

The Strategy and Policy Fellows grant program supports young scholars and policy thinkers on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, military policy, and diplomatic and military history.  The purpose of the program is to strengthen the U.S. community of scholars and researchers conducting policy analysis in these fields.  The Foundation will award at least three research grants of $60,000 each to enable the recipients to research and write a book. Within the academic community, this program supports junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and post-docs who are engaged in policy-relevant research and writing.


For more information, see here.  

rsfRussell Sage Foundation
Project and Presidential Awards
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): June 1, 2015 by 2:00PM
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): July 24, 2015
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): July 31, 2015 by 2PM
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

The Foundation's awards are restricted to support for social science research within the following five program areas:
  • Behavioral Economics - The program in Behavioral Economics focuses on research that incorporates insights of psychology and other social sciences into the study of economic behavior.
  • Cultural Contact - The program in Cultural Contact is focused on research that examines the effects of cultural difference on the ways in which different groups in the population understand and interact with one another, and with particular attention to the response of economic, social, and political institutions in the US to increasing diversity.
  • Future of Work - The program in the Future of Work is concerned primarily with examining the causes and consequences of the declining quality of jobs for less- and moderately-educated workers in the U.S. economy and the role of changes in employer practices. The program is also concerned with the nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and job quality of American workers.
  • Immigration - The program in Immigration focuses on research that examines social, economic, political, and community changes in the context of contemporary immigration and the role of race, nativity and legal status on the prospects for integration of immigrants and their children.
  • Social Inequality - The program in Social Inequality is focused on how rising economic inequality is related to social, political, and economic institutions in the U.S., and the extent to which increased inequality has affected equality of opportunity, social mobility, and the intergenerational transmission of advantage.
For more information, see here.

wtgrant_scholarWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Scholars Program
FAS Pre-Proposal Deadline: April 6, 2015 by 5:00PM
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 1, 2015
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: July 8, 2015
Award Amount: $350,000 over five years
Eligible Disciplines: Economics, Education, Health Sciences, Psychology, Public Policy, Sociology

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences in tackling important questions that will advance theory, policy, and practice for youth. Applicants identify new methods, disciplines, or content they want to learn, and propose five-year research plans that foster their growth in those areas.  The foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States and funds research that increases our understanding of:
  • programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes and
  • the use of research evidence in policy and practice.  

Applicants must have received their terminal degree on or after July 8, 2008 and be employed in a tenure-track position.  If awarded this grant, at least half of the Scholar's paid time must be spent conducting research. 


This is a limited submission opportunity and only one nomination may be put forward to the foundation from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  For a synopsis of the program and information on the FAS internal selection process, see here.

wtgrantWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Research Grants
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor 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.

wenner-grenWenner-Gren Foundation
Post-PhD Research Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 24, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: May 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $20,000

This program supports basic research in anthropology and to ensure that the discipline continues to be a source of vibrant and significant work that furthers our understanding of humanity's cultural and biological origins, development, and variation. The Foundation supports research that demonstrates a clear link to anthropological theory and debates, and promises to make a solid contribution to advancing these ideas. There is no preference for any methodology, research location, or subfield.

For more information, see here

open_societyOpen Society Foundation
Advancing Human Rights through Higher Education
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 23, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: April 30, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $25,000 for one year

The International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) of the Open Society Foundations invites proposals for projects that enhance the role of university communities in the advancement of human rights. Proposed projects shall address pressing, locally relevant human rights issues and offer creative responses to these issues, fostering supportive and engaged universities which serve their communities and shape public discourses and values towards the advancement of human rights. Projects shall approach human rights from more than a theoretical perspective and forge collaborations between university communities and civil society toward tackling pressing human rights issues.


HESP will consider support for projects that include, but are not limited to, at least two of the following areas of activities:

  • Action Research
  • Teaching & Public Education
  • Community Impact
Proposals from academic-community partnerships from any academic field and addressing any relevant human rights issue will be considered. The projects will be supported in the countries of HESP's current ongoing activities which include the following: Argentina, Belarus, Botswana, Burma (Myanmar), Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Peru, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

For more information, see here.

pmiProject Management Institute
Sponsored Research Program
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 18, 2015
Sponsor 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.

searleSearle Freedom Trust
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 9, 2015
Sponsor 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.

Federal Opportunities

nsf_careerNational Science Foundation
Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
Deadlines: July 21, 22 and 23, depending on directorate (see program synopsis)
Award Amount: Minimum award amount of $400,000

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

For a synopsis of the program and guidance for FAS faculty members, see here.

naraNational Archives and Records Administration
Access to Historical Records
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 10, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: June 17, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $200,000 for 1-2 years

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals that promote the preservation and use of the nation's most valuable archival resources. This grant program is designed to support archival repositories in preserving and processing primary source materials. The program emphasizes the creation of digital tools that facilitate the public discovery of historical records. Eligible activities include (but are not limited to):
  • Preservation, arrangement, and online description of historical records in all formats;
  • Digital preservation of electronic records and unstable audio or moving image formats.

The Commission funds projects that deal with the following kinds of historical source material: records of state, county, municipal, tribal, or other non-Federal units of government; manuscripts, personal and family papers, or organizational and business archives; and collections of photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, electronic records, and/or such visual materials as unpublished architectural, cartographic, and engineering drawings. 


For more information, see  here.


dos_egyptDepartment of State
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Egypt
FAS Notice of Intent Deadline: April 1, 2015
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 29, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: May 6, 2015
Award Amount: $350,000-1,000,000

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces this funding opportunity for organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that will have a direct and lasting impact toward an inclusive, stable democratic process that protects fundamental freedoms, stable democratic institutions, and the rule of law in Egypt.  Funds are available to support projects that have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources.

For more information, see here.

This is a limited submission opportunity and Harvard may submit no more than one application.  To determine if an internal competition is needed, applicants should email Erin Cromack in FAS Research Development at cromack@fas.harvard.edu no later than April 1, 2015 at noon.  Should the level of interest require an internal competition, further instructions will be provided.

nehNational Endowment for the Humanities
Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 23, 2015
Sponsor 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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