Opportunities in the Social Sciences
October 2015

An archive of previous funding newsletters and links to sign up for all of our funding listservs 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

wtgrantW.T. Grant Foundation
Research Grants
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): January 12, 2016
Award Amount: $100,000-600,000 for 2-3 years

The W.T. Grant Foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States. This grants program 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. 
The foundation seeks research that builds stronger theory and empirical evidence in these two areas and intends for the research we support to inform change. While it is not expected that any one study will create that change, the research should contribute to a body of useful knowledge to improve the lives of young people.

For more information, see here.

grantfellowW.T. Grant Foundation
Distinguished Fellows Program
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): January 12, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $175,000 for 6 months - 2 years. 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 is designed to increase the supply of, demand for, and use of high-quality research in the service of improved youth outcomes. To accomplish its goals, the program gives influential mid-career researchers the opportunity to immerse themselves in practice or policy settings and gives influential practitioners and policy makers the opportunity to work in research settings. To that end, the program encourages mid-career researchers to submit proposals that are designed to deepen their understanding of policy processes and practice settings. Proposed Fellowships must fit the Foundation's focus areas of youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States. The Foundation funds 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.

rsfRussell Sage Foundation
Project and Presidential Awards
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): January 5, 2016 by 2:00PM
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): March 7, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): March 14, 2016 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.

asaAmerican Sociological Association
Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline
Harvard OSP Deadline: December 8, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: December 15, 2015
Award Amount: $8,000 

Supported by the American Sociological Association through a matching grant from the National Science Foundation, the goal of this project is to nurture the development of scientific knowledge by funding small, groundbreaking research initiatives and other important scientific research activities such as conferences. FAD awards provide scholars with "seed money" for innovative research that has the potential for challenging the discipline, stimulating new lines of research, and creating new networks of scientific collaboration. The award is intended to provide opportunities for substantive and methodological breakthroughs, broaden the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and provide leverage for acquisition of additional research funds.

For more information, see here.

smithsonianSmithsonian Institution
Fellowship Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $48,000 for up to 12 months plus up to $4,000 for research expenses

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program  is the Smithsonian Institution's centrally-funded flagship fellowship program. SI Fellowships are awarded annually to scholars wishing to conduct independent study or research at one or more of the Smithsonian's 19 units and research centers. 
The Fellowship Program is open to graduate students, predoctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and senior researchers.

For more information, see here.

schomburgNew York Public Library
Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $30,000

The Schomburg Center's  residency program assists scholars and professionals whose research on the black experience can benefit from extended access to the Center's resources.  The Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to (1) encourage research and writing on the history, literature, and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, (2) to promote and facilitate interaction among the participants including fellows funded by other sources, and (3) to facilitate the dissemination of the researchers' findings through lectures, publications, and the ongoing Schomburg Center Colloquium and Seminar Series.  Fellowships funded by the Center will allow recipients to spend six months in residence with access to resources at the Schomburg Center and other research units of The New York Public Library.

For more information, see here.

apsAmerican Political Science Association
Congressional Fellowships
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2015
Award Amount: $50,000 stipend, plus a small travel allowance.

The American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program is a highly selective, nonpartisan program devoted to expanding knowledge and awareness of Congress. Since 1953, it has brought select political scientists, journalists, federal employees, health policy specialists, and international scholars to Capitol Hill to experience Congress at work.  The program lasts nine months, beginning in November and ending in mid-August. 

For more information, see here.

bellagioRockefeller Foundation
Bellagio Residency Program 
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2015
Award Amount: Room and board are provided to all conferences participants at no cost, and limited travel assistance is available.

The Bellagio Center Residency Program is committed to creating an environment that fosters rich cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchanges, which arise from bringing highly diverse and international cohorts of artists, academics, practitioners, and policymakers together.  The Bellagio Center typically offers residencies of two to four weeks at the Belagio Center in northern Italy on Lake Como for no more than 15 residents at a time. The Foundation seeks applicants with projects that contribute to discourse and progress related to its dual goals: 1) advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and 2) building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four related focus areas: Advance HealthRevalue EcosystemsSecure Livelihoods, and Transform Cities. Applicants with projects that may help shape thinking or catalyze action in these areas are also strongly encouraged to apply.  The Bellagio Center also encourages collaborative residencies for up to four people working on the same project.

For more information, see here.

ghfGerda Henkel Foundation
Security, Society and the State
Harvard OSP Deadline: November 25, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: December 4, 2015
Award Amount: No specified limit for research projects

This program targets new security-related issues that are prime examples of the post-Cold-War era but have been largely neglected in mainstream research. The program is intended to encourage junior scholars to pursue unconventional research agendas that are nonetheless crucial, while providing senior scholars with the opportunity to focus intensively on work in progress for a limited period. Moreover, the objective is to combine basic theoretical research with concepts that are applicable to present-day political issues of security policy.  The grants for research projects involve, depending on the type of project, the assumption of costs for personnel, travel, materials and/or other costs. 

For more information, see here.

aauwAmerican Association of University Women
American Fellowships
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 15, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $30,000 for research leave fellowships, $20,000 for dissertation fellowships, and $6,000 for short-term publication grants

American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.

For more information, see here.

fordFord Foundation Fellowships
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 13, 2015
Award Amount: One year stipend of $45,000

Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.  Eligibility is limited to individuals who have been awarded a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree no earlier than November 30, 2008 and no later than November 13, 2015 in an eligible research-based field from a U.S. institution of higher education.  Eligible fields include American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, cultural studies, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, urban planning, and women's studies. Also eligible are interdisciplinary ethnic studies programs, such as African American studies and Native American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs, such as area studies, peace studies, and social justice.

For more information, see here.

Federal Opportunities

ich_apsUS Agency for International Development
Integrating Community Health APS
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: December 1, 2015
USAID Concept Paper Deadline: February 5, 2016

USAID, in collaboration with UNICEF, is requesting concept papers from qualified local and international organizations with the goal of supporting governments and their key partners to achieve and sustain effective coverage of high impact health and nutrition technical interventions at scale.  USAID seeks to make awards to organizations and/or partnerships that have concrete assets for advancing community health with national and local policies and implementation plans. Applicants must propose a minimum cost of 25% of the projected USAID funded amount.

Harvard University, as one institution, may put forward only one concept paper for each USAID review window. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is facilitating the internal selection process for the sponsor's February 5, 2016 review deadline. Information on the Harvard internal application process can be found here.

The full announcement from USAID may be viewed here.

dos_instituteDepartment of State
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Secondary Educators
Harvard OSP Deadline: November 25, 2015
Sponsor Deadline: December 4, 2015

The Study of the U.S. Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), invites proposal submissions for the design and implementation of five different Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Secondary Educators to take place over the course of five to six weeks at U.S. academic institutions beginning in June 2016. These Institutes should provide multinational groups of experienced foreign university educators, scholars, teachers, and other professionals with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. Four of these Institutes will be for groups of 18 foreign university level faculty, focusing on the themes of Journalism and Media, U.S. Culture and Society, U.S. Foreign Policy, and U.S. National Security Policymaking, each with a total duration of six weeks. One additional Institute for a group of 20 foreign secondary educators will be a five-week general survey course on secondary education and the United States. 

This is a limited submission opportunity and only one application may be submitted from Harvard University.  If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please contact Erin Cromack at cromack@fas.harvard.edu by November 4, 2015 for information on securing the Harvard nomination.

For more information, see here.

usaidAgency for International Development

dosDepartment of State
nihNational Institutes of Health
nsfNational Science Foundation
nehNational Endowment for the Humanities
agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
Internal Opportunities

miltonThe Milton Fund
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $40,000

The purpose of the Milton Fund is to provide funding to facilitate new approaches, initiate new projects, and in particular, assist junior members of Harvard schools in establishing their research programs.  The Milton Fund supports studies of a medical, geographical, historical, or scientific nature, which must be either in the interests of promoting the physical and material welfare of the human race, or of investigating and determining the value and importance of a discovery or invention.  Preference is given to new and original projects, especially independent work of recently appointed young faculty members.

For more information, see here.

hiltHarvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching
Spark Grants
Deadline: December 2, 2015
Award Amount: $5,000-$15,000

Spark 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.

For more information, see here.

kuwaitMiddle East Initiative
Kuwait Program Faculty Research Fund
Deadline: November 19, 2015
Award Amount: One-year grants (up to $80,000) or multi-year grants (up to $120,000 per year)

The Kuwait Program at Harvard Kennedy School awards research grants to Harvard faculty to conduct research on issues of critical importance to Kuwait and the Gulf. The awards are granted once a year and cover a range of research topics, such as water security, climate change, technology transfer and education reform. Harvard faculty are encouraged to collaborate with Kuwaiti academics and educational institutions in the region.

For more information, see here.

emiratesMiddle East Initiative
Emirates Leadership Initiative Faculty Research Fund
Deadline: November 19, 2015
Award Amount: One-year grants (up to $80,000) and multi-year grants (up to $120,000 per year)

The Emirates Leadership Initiative will consider research proposals on a wide range of countries in the region, but focused on the following topics:
  • Democratizing Politics: Establishing durable, accountable democracies not only by focusing on political institutions, but also by empowering the region's citizens
  • Revitalizing the State: Reforming the Middle East's social service delivery systems with a special emphasis on health, education and social protection
  • Democratizing Financial and Labor Markets: Working to ensure that the Middle East's financial and labor markets benefit the entire population, not merely the elite
  • Science and Emerging Technologies: Aligning science and technology missions to promote regional development goals

For more information, see here.

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.

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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