Opportunities in the Social Sciences
July 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.

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

aaasAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences
Visiting Scholars Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 20, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $65,000 for junior faculty members; up to $45,000 for postdoctoral students

The Academy's Visiting Scholars Program provides residential fellowships for junior faculty members and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. The fellowship program offers scholars a year for research and writing free from teaching and administrative duties, a collaborative work environment, and the opportunity to interact with Academy members. It also creates a national network for these scholars, assisting them in their research and professional development.  The Academy seeks proposals in the humanities and social sciences relating to American history, culture, and public policy from the founding period to the present.


For more information, see here.


walkerAlex C. Walker Foundation Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 24, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: October 1, 2015
Award Amount: No specified limit, but most awarded grants are less than $50,000

The Alex C. Walker Educational and Charitable Foundation funds projects that promote greater knowledge of economic, scientific, and environmental issues and their possible relationship to economic imbalances and the free enterprise system. They also support investigations on the effect of legislation and international agreement on the foregoing subjects.  The Foundation funds two categories of projects: traditional economics and ecological economics with a free-market orientation.

For more information, see here.

wilsonWoodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellowship
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 1, 2015
Award Amount: Varies.  The Center tries to ensure that the fellowship award, when combined with the recipient's other sources of income (e.g. other grants and sabbatical allowances), approximates an individual's current level of income.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars welcomes outstanding and award winning scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals to take part in its non-partisan dialogue.  Through an international competition, the Center offers 9-month residential fellowships. Fellows conduct research and write in their areas of expertise, while interacting with policymakers in Washington and Wilson Center staff.  The Center accepts non-advocacy, policy-relevant, fellowship proposals that address key policy challenges facing the United States and the world. 

For more information, see here.

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.

bantingBanting Postdoctoral Fellowships
Deadline to request institutional endorsement from Harvard: September 7, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: September 23, 2015
Award Amount: $70,000 per year (taxable) for two years

The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program is to attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally, to develop their leadership potential and to position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow, positively contributing to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth through a research-intensive career.  Candidates to be hosted by Harvard must fulfill all degree requirements for a PhD or equivalent between September 23, 2012 and August 15, 2016 and must be Canadian Citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have obtained/will obtain their PhD or equivalent from a Canadian university.  Applications are accepted from all fields in the humanities, social sciences, health research, natural sciences and engineering, and the sponsor has specifically expressed an interest in receiving more applications in the social sciences and humanities.  


Those who wish to apply for a fellowship hosted by Harvard University must include with their application an institutional letter of endorsement signed by the Vice Provost for Research.  To request this endorsement letter, candidates must submit their contact information and a copy of their proposed supervisor's statement online here by September 7, 2015.

For more information on the fellowship, 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.

For 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.

sloanAlfred P. Sloan Foundation
Sloan Research Fellowships
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 8, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: September 15, 2015
Award Amount: $55,000 over 2 years 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is accepting nominations for the Sloan Research Fellowships.  The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent in chemistry, computational or evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field and candidates' most recent Ph.D. or equivalent must have been awarded on or after September 1, 2009.  While Fellows are expected to be at an early stage of their research careers, there should be strong evidence of independent research accomplishments.  Candidates must be nominated by a department head or other senior researcher and no more than three candidates may be nominated from a department.


For a synopsis of the program, see here

kennanWoodrow Wilson Center Kennan Institute
George F. Kennan Fellowship
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 1, 2015
Award Amount: Monthly stipend of $3,200

The Kennan Institute seeks fellowship applicants from diverse, policy-oriented sectors such as media, business, local government, law, civil society, and academia to examine important political, social, economic, cultural, and historical issues in Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Among the aims of the new fellowships are to build bridges between traditional academia and the policy world, as well as to maintain and increase collaboration among researchers from Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S.  Fellows will be based at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. for three-month residencies.  Fellows will receive access to the Library of Congress, National Archives, and policy research centers in Washington, D.C., as well as the opportunity to meet with key experts and officials at the State Department, USAID, Department of Defense, and Congress.  U.S., Russian, and Ukrainian citizens are eligible to apply.

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


Federal Opportunities

nsf_ibssNational Science Foundation
Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS)
Harvard OSP Deadline: November 20, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $1,000,000 for an IBSS Large Research Project; Up to $300,000 for an IBSS Small Research Project

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS) competition seeks to support research conducted by integrated teams of researchers from two or more social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) disciplines. These teams should engage in integrated research that employs methods and techniques from multiple SBE disciplines, and the results of the team's research should be likely to significantly enhance theoretical understandings or have other stimulating and/or catalytic impacts across a range of SBE disciplinary fields. Although the IBSS competition will consider any proposal that addresses a topic for which the proposal makes a compelling case that the research will enhance broader theoretical understanding across multiple social and behavioral science fields, social and behavioral science researchers are especially encouraged to submit proposals for research on one of the following three general topics: Population Change; Sources and Consequences of Disparities; and Technology, New Media, and Social Networks.

For more information, see here

neh_dialogueNational Endowment for the Humanities
Dialogues on the Experience of War
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 8, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: September 15, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $100,000

NEW PROGRAM - This new program supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war, in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others to think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. The humanities sources can be drawn from history, philosophy, literature, and film-and they may and should be supplemented by testimonials from those who have served. The discussions are intended to promote serious exploration of important questions about the nature of duty, heroism, suffering, loyalty, and patriotism.  The program awards grants that will support the recruitment and training of discussion leaders and, following the training program, the convening of at least two discussion programs.

For more information, see here.

natoU.S. Department of State - U.S. Mission to NATO
The Future of NATO: From Wales to Warsaw
Harvard OSP Deadline: August 24, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: August 31, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $60,000 for up to 2 years

The U.S. Mission to NATO invites project proposals that will encourage public discussion and creative public engagement in Europe on the major theme of "The Future of NATO: From Wales to Warsaw". Projects should promote one or more of the following themes:
  • Implementation of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP);
  • The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF);
  • The NATO-Russia relationship;
  • NATO and the Southern Flank;
  • Defense spending;
  • Interoperability and collaboration with partners;
  • NATO capabilities;
  • Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD);
  • Joint Intelligence Reconnaissance and Surveillance (JISR);
  • Maritime cooperation;
  • Women in peace and security; and,
  • NATO and emerging global threats.

Additional goals include combating misinformation and delivering clear messages about the importance of the NATO Alliance and its mission to a broad audience including the general public, youth and future leaders, the security and defense community, policy makers and opinion shapers in European countries. The activities funded might embrace (but should not be limited to):

  • Public debates, conferences, round tables and discussions;
  • Seminars, trainings, workshops; public awareness campaigns;
  • Informational/educational interactive activities;
  • Public education projects; and competitions.

Please note: all activities should be targeted at European audience and should take place in Europe. For more information, see here


 Other Federal Opportunities

dosDepartment of State

naraNational Archives and Records Administration


nihNational Institutes of Health

nsfNational Science Foundation

nehNational Endowment for the Humanities

agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
Internal Opportunities

climateClimate Change Solutions Fund
Deadline: November 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 over 1-2 years

Information Session: September 25 2015 9:00-11:00am in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center 


The Climate Change Solutions Fund supports research and policy initiatives intended to hasten the transition from carbon-based energy systems to those that rely on renewable energy sources, to develop methods for diminishing the impact of existing carbon-based energy systems on the climate, and to propel scientific, technological, legal, policy and artistic innovations needed to accelerate progress toward cleaner energy and a greener world.  Full-time assistant, associate, or full professors in all disciplines from any Harvard School may apply for an award.  Students and postdoctoral scholars may apply for an award provided they have an identified faculty mentor who will supervise their research.

For more information on the fund, see here.  To access the online application, see here.

radcliffe_esExploratory Seminars at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Deadline: October 26, 2015 for one- to two-day seminars hosted by the Radcliffe Institute during the 2016-2017 academic year
Award Amount: Up to $18,000

Exploratory seminars provide funding to bring together scholars, practitioners, and artists from Harvard University and around the world to develop early-stage ideas and research across the disciplines. The seminars support risk-taking inquiry into new ideas and research.  These seminars have led to new scholarly research, publications, cross-disciplinary partnerships, and successful grant applications. Proposals are welcome from all academic fields, and proposals advancing innovation in learning and teaching and those considering issues connected to the wider field of urban studies are welcome.  All Harvard faculty and past and present Radcliffe fellows are eligible.

For more information, see here.

pifiePresident's Innovation Fund for International Experiences
Deadline: October 26, 2015
Award Amount: $5,000-60,000

The President's Innovation Fund for International Experiences (PIFIE) provides seed funding to faculty members at any Harvard school to support the development of creative and significant academic experiences abroad for Harvard College students. This may mean involving undergraduates in an ongoing overseas project sponsored by a Harvard graduate or professional school, department, center, or other academic unit; developing experience-based courses for students overseas, including courses prior to and/or following their international experience; or other innovative opportunities.  Applications will fall into three categories: 1) requests for funding to develop and implement a new international program, 2) requests for funding to make exploratory or planning site visits, or 3) requests from prior award recipients for renewal funding.

For more information, see here.

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.

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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