Opportunities in the Social Sciences
May 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.  An archive of previous funding newsletters can be found here.

New Funding Opportunity Distribution List: Big Data

A new funding newsletter with opportunities relating to Big Data will be sent out on a monthly basis beginning in June.  FAS faculty and administrators may sign up to receive this newsletter here.

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.

External Opportunities

Foundation and Non-Federal:


Internal Opportunities

Foundation and Non-Federal Opportunities

luceLuce Foundation
Asia Responsive Grants
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: rolling
Award Amount: No specified limit.  Recent grants have ranged from $15,000 to $1,500,000

These grants provide opportunities to improve understanding between the United States and the Asia-Pacific region. They typically support research, create new scholarly and public resources, or promote the exchange of ideas and information between Americans and Asians. These grants are limited to work in the humanities and social sciences concerned with Northeast and Southeast Asia, typically for longer-term programs or projects that respond to the needs and priorities of the Asian studies field and benefit a wide range of scholars and institutions. Requests for funding may be submitted at any time during the year, beginning with a brief letter of inquiry.

For more information, see here

sifSociological Initiatives Foundation
OSP review not required for concept proposal
Concept Proposal Deadline: August 15, 2015
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): 5 business days in advance of the sponsor full proposal deadline
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): TBD
Award Amount: $10,000-20,000

The Sociological Initiatives Foundation is dedicated to the belief that research and action are intrinsically inseparable.  The foundation invites concept proposals for projects that link an explicit research design to a concrete social action strategy.  Projects should also have clear social change goals.  SIF has funded projects in the areas of civic participation, community organizing, crime and law, education, health, housing, immigration, labor organizing, and language/literacy.


For more information, see here


sorosOpen Society Foundation
Open Society Fellowships
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 3, 2015
Award Amount: Stipend of $80,000 or $100,000, depending on work experience, seniority, and current income.

The Open Society Fellowship supports individuals seeking innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges. The fellowship funds work that will enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world.  Among the Foundations' core areas of concern are human rights, government transparency, access to information, access to justice, the promotion of civil society and social inclusion. Project themes should cut across these areas of interest. A fellowship project might identify a problem that has not previously been recognized, develop new policy ideas to address familiar problems, or offer a new advocacy strategy.

For more information, see here.

wtgrantWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Distinguished Fellows Program
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 28, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: August 4, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $175,000 for 6 months-two years. In addition, fellowship sites may request up to $25,000 to defray costs associated with hosting a Fellow.

The William T. Grant Foundation's Distinguished Fellows Program creates bridges between the research, practice, and policy communities by encouraging mid-career researchers to submit proposals that offer experiences working within policy and practice settings. The program is designed to increase the supply of, demand for, and use of high-quality research to improve the lives of youth.  During the Fellowship, researchers are immersed in a practice or policy setting, and policymakers and practitioners in a research organization.  Proposed Fellowships must fit the Foundation's focus areas on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States. The foundation focuses on research that increases our understanding of:
  • programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes; and
  • the use of research in policy and practice.
For more information, see here.

arcaArca Foundation Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 27, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: August 3, 2015
Award Amount: Unspecified - average grant is approximately $50,000

In order to promote greater social equity and justice at home and abroad, the Arca Foundation supports organizations and projects that work to advance transparent, accountable, and just policies.  The foundation supports strategic initiatives that work to directly affect policies by:

  • Developing and advocating for innovative ideas;
  • Promoting transparency and access to information;
  • Fostering greater public debate on critical issues;
  • Educating key stakeholders;
  • Engaging citizens in strategic organizing and advocacy that builds power and drives change.
For more information, see here.

guggenheimHarry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Research Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 24, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2015
Award Amount: $15,000 to $40,000 per year for one or two years

The foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence and aggression in the modern world. Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects.

For more information, see here.

usjpnUnited States-Japan Foundation
US-Japan Policy Studies
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: July 15, 2015
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): August 24, 2015
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): August 31, 2015
Award Amount: Not specified.  Recent grants have ranged from $5,000-$150,000.

The United States-Japan Foundation supports US-Japan policy-related studies, initiatives and exchanges that help address issues of significant mutual concern to the United States and Japan. The Foundation seeks to respond to policy-relevant needs as identified by experts and practitioners in US-Japan policy studies field and we are therefore open to innovative projects.

For more information, see here.

rsf_vsRussell Sage Foundation
Visiting Scholars Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: June 30, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $110,000

The Russell Sage Foundation's Visiting Scholar Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation's New York headquarters.  Fellowships are awarded to scholars in the social sciences who are at least several years beyond the Ph.D.  While Visiting Scholars typically work on projects related to the Foundation's current initiatives to contribute to "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States," a few scholars whose research falls outside the Foundation's active programs are also invited each year.  Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1st and ordinarily run through June 30th.  Scholars are provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, computer and library facilities, and supplemental salary support of up to 50 percent of their academic year salary when unavailable from other sources (up to a maximum of $110,000). Scholars who reside outside the greater New York City area are also provided with a partially-subsidized apartment near the Foundation offices.

For more information, see here.

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.  

Federal Opportunities

armyU.S. Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Science
Broad Agency Announcement for Basic, Applied and Advanced Scientific Research (FY13-18)
Sponsor Deadline: rolling through February 5, 2018
Award Amount: no specified limit

The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences is the Army's lead agency for the conduct of research, development, and analyses for the improvement of Army readiness and performance via research advances and applications of the behavioral and social sciences that address personnel, organization, training, and leader development issues. This funding opportunity announcement is divided into two sections: 1) Basic Research and 2) Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development. Basic Research is defined as systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific application of processes or products in mind. The Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development Section is divided into four subsections: 1) Training; 2) Leader Development; 3) Team and Inter-Organizational Performance in Complex Environments; and 4) Solider/Personnel Issues.

For more information, see here.

fulbrightCouncil for International Exchange of Scholars
Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 3, 2015
Award Amount: Grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents.  A salary supplement is available in some countries for teaching and eligible teaching/research awards.

The core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program provides approximately 800 teaching and/or research grants to U.S. faculty and experienced professionals in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Nearly 600 grants are available in 46 disciplines in over 125 countries worldwide. Grant lengths vary in duration: applicants can propose projects for a period of two to 12 months, as specified in individual award descriptions. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a grant through the core U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program.

For more information and to view the 2016-2017 catalog of awards, see here.

Fulbright_ChairCouncil for International Exchange of Scholars
Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 3, 2015
Award Amount: Grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents.  A salary supplement is available in some countries for teaching and eligible teaching/research awards.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately forty distinguished lecturing, distinguished research and distinguished lecturing/research awards ranging from three to 12 months. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.

For more information and a list of 2016-2017 Chair Awards, see here.

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.

neh_stipendsNational Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Stipends

Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: July 20, 2015

OSP review not required for nominees 

Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): October 1, 2015

Award Amount: $6,000 for two months

The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends provide $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing.  Summer Stipends normally support work carried out during the summer months, but arrangements can be made for other times of the year.  The stipends support projects at any stage of development and recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources.  A number of disciplines related to the social sciences are funded by NEH, including: history; jurisprudence; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the "study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life." 


Only two proposals may be submitted from Harvard-affiliated individuals and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will run an internal competition to select two applicants to submit proposals to NEH for funding in 2016.  More information on the award and the Harvard internal selection process can be found here. 


klugeLibrary of Congress
Kluge Fellowships
OSP review not required
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: July 15, 2015
Award Amount: $4,200 per month stipend

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to conduct research at the Kluge Center using the Library of Congress collections and resources for a period of four to eleven months.  The Kluge Center especially encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library's large and varied collections.  Among the collections available to researchers are the world's largest law library and outstanding multi-lingual collections of books and periodicals. Deep special collections of manuscripts, maps, music, films, recorded sound, prints and photographs are also available. 

For more information, 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.


 Other Federal Opportunities

dosDepartment of StatensfNational Science Foundation
nijNational Institute of Justice

nehNational Endowment for the Humanities

agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
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


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