Opportunities in the Social Sciences
June 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:



Harvard Internal Opportunities



Foundation and Non-Federal Opportunities

cullmanNew York Public Library
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
OSP Review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 25, 2015
Award Amount: Fellow receives a stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources.

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers offers fellowships to outstanding scholars and writers whose work will benefit directly from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library).  Renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its collections, the Library is one of the world's preeminent resources for study in anthropology, art, geography, history, languages and literature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, psychology, religion, sociology, and sports.  The Center appoints 15 Fellows a year for a nine-month term at the Library, from September through May.  In addition to working on their own projects, the Fellows engage in an ongoing exchange of ideas within the Center and in public forums throughout the Library.

For more information, see here.

Harvard OSP Deadline: September 24, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: October 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $15,000

These grants provide support for collaborative reading of texts in a workshop format that is interdisciplinary and crosses scholarly generations. Luce/ACLS-funded reading-workshops must bring together scholars who would not otherwise have the opportunity to work together.  Formats of workshops may vary, but each should be based on texts that illuminate a period, tradition, culture, location, or event. The primary objects of study should be written texts, but these may be supplemented by images and objects such as archaeological artifacts.  Awards for collaborative reading workshops may be used to support travel and lodging costs of participants, acquisition of materials, communications, and local arrangements. Funds may not be used for salary replacement, honoraria, or institutional indirect costs.

Fore more information, see here


acls_fellowAmerican Council of Learned Societies
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 23, 2015
Award Amount: up to $35,000 for Assistant Professors; up to $45,000 for Associate Professors; and up to $70,000 for full Professors.

The ACLS Fellowship program invites research applications in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects. The ACLS Fellowships are intended as salary replacement to help scholars devote six to twelve continuous months to full-time research and writing.  Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2015 and no later than February 1, 2016.

For more information, see here.

acls_collaborativeAmerican Council of Learned Societies
Collaborative Research Fellowships
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 16, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: September 23, 2015
Award Amount: Amount will depend on the number of collaborators and the duration of the research leaves but will not exceed $200,000 for any one project.


The aim of this fellowship program is to offer small teams of two or more scholars the opportunity to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project. The fellowship supports projects that produce a tangible research product (such as joint print or web publications) for which two or more collaborators will take credit.  The fellowships are for a total period of up to 24 months, to be initiated between July 1, 2015 and September 1, 2017, and provide up to $60,000 in salary replacement for each collaborator as well as up to $20,000 in collaboration funds which may be used for such purposes as travel, materials, or research assistance.


For more information, see here

acls_burkhardtAmerican Council of Learned Societies
Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 23, 2015
Award Amount: $75,000

The Burkhardt Fellowship Program is open to recently tenured humanists-scholars who will have begun their first tenured contracts by the application deadline but began their first tenured contracts no earlier than the fall 2011 semester or quarter.  These fellowships support long-term, unusually ambitious projects in the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects. Burkhardt Fellowships are intended to support an academic year (nine months) of residence at any one of the 13 national residential research centers participating in the program.

For more information, see here.

toyotaThe Toyota Foundation
Research Grants: Exploring New Values for Society
Harvard OSP Deadline: August 28, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: September 4, 2015
Award Amount: Up to 4 million yen (~$32,414) for Joint Research Grants; Up to 1 million yen (~$8,103) for individual research grants.

The 2015 Research Grant Program, titled "Exploring New Values for Society", provides two grant frameworks respectively for joint research projects and individual research projects that can be expected to lead to "creation of new values for society".  For both frameworks, the foundation solicits ambitious projects that are founded on creative concepts that reflect a youthful perspective and whose results can help change people's ways of thinking - regardless of their country or region of origin or their social position and circumstances - and can lead to actions that bring about solutions to the issues faced.

For more information, see here.

macarthurMacArthur Foundation
International Peace and Security Grants
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: September 1, 2015
Award Amount: No limit.  Recent grants have ranged from $35,000-2.5M.

MacArthur's goals in the area of international peace and security grantmaking are to prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthen stability in the Asia-Pacific region.  Supported nuclear security policy research projects aim to prevent the theft or diversion of fissile materials from military and civilian sites, ensure that the inevitable growth in nuclear power does not increase the availability of fissile materials for terrorist groups, and end reliance on weapon-usable material.  In addition, the foundation supports a limited number of innovative projects that: 1) seek to effectively address, in a stabilizing manner, the strategic implications of deeper reductions in nuclear arsenals; and, 2) provide new insights and approaches to security challenges arising from national efforts to acquire nuclear weapons (e.g. Iran and North Korea).

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.

mellonMellon Foundation
New Directions Fellowship
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: July 24, 2015 by 5:00PM
Harvard Office of Sponsored Programs Deadline: October 2, 2015
Mellon Foundation Full Proposal Deadline: October 9, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $300,000

The Mellon New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities, broadly understood to include the arts, history, languages, area studies, and zones of such fields as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences, who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest.  Fellows pursue systematic training and academic competencies outside their own special fields in order to advance a cross-disciplinary research agenda.  Candidates will be exceptional faculty in the humanities who received their doctorates between 2003 and 2009 and whose research interests call for formal training in a discipline other than the one in which they are expert.  Such training may consist of coursework or other programs of organized study.  It may take place either at fellows' home institutions or elsewhere, as appropriate.

Harvard has been invited to submit one proposal to the Mellon Foundation for consideration.  The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) will hold an internal competition to select one candidate to submit a full proposal to the foundation.  Harvard pre-proposals must be submitted online here by July 24, 2015 by 5:00pm.

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.

Federal Opportunities

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. 


 Other Federal Opportunities

dosDepartment of State

naraNational Archives and Records Administration

nsfNational Science Foundation
nijNational Institute of Justice

nehNational Endowment for the Humanities

agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
Internal Opportunities

radcliffeRadcliffe Institute Fellowship Program
Deadline: September 23, 2015 for individual applications in Humanities, Social Science, Creative Arts; October 15, 2015 for individual applications in Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Award Amount: Stipend of $75,000 for one year with additional funds for project expenses.

The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts. Radcliffe Institute fellowships are designed to support scholars, scientists, artists, and writers of exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishment who wish to pursue work in academic and professional fields and in the creative arts.

For more information, see here.

sparkHarvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching
Spark Grants
Deadline: July 17, 2015
Award Amount: $5,000-15,000

Through modest but meaningful support, these grants are designed to help "spark" promising teaching and learning projects from idea to reality and position innovations for future success. Through Spark Grants, awardees will receive resources, feedback, and community support to help them develop their ideas into prototypes, pilots, and small-scale innovations. HILT will also strive to support any future scaling-up of Spark Grant projects by increasing their visibility and connecting them with the broader Harvard community. Funding can be used, for example, to pay for a research assistant, hire a graduate student with academic technology expertise, and convene collaborative groups.  All Harvard University benefits-eligible faculty, students, staff, and postdoctoral researchers are eligible to apply for funding, individually or as groups.

For more information, see here.

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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