Opportunities in the Social Sciences
November 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

aclsAmerican Council of Learned Societies
Digital Extension Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 26, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: February 2, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 for 12-18 months

This program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance the digital transformation of humanities scholarship by extending the reach of existing digital projects to new communities of users.  ACLS Digital Extension Grants will support teams of scholars as they enhance existing digital projects in ways that engage new audiences across a range of academic communities and institutions.  Funds may support a range of project costs, including, where necessary, salary replacement for faculty or staff; software; equipment; travel; or consultant fees.

For more information, see here.

bairdSmithsonian Libraries
Baird Society Resident Scholars Program
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): January 15, 2016
Award Amount: $3,500/month for up to 6 months

The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program supports the study of the Smithsonian Libraries' rare books and Special Collections, located in Washington, DC and New York City. The residency must occur between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017, but does not have to be taken all at one time. Scholars are expected to be in residence at the Smithsonian full-time during their award tenures, to devote full-time effort to the research proposed, and to be regular users of Smithsonian Libraries special collections. Detailed descriptions of collections eligible for Baird funding can be found here.

For more information, see here.

dibnerSmithsonian Libraries
Dibner Library Resident Scholars Program
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): January 15, 2016
Award Amount: $3,500/month for up to 6 months

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program supports individuals working on a topic relating to the history of science and technology who can make substantial use of the Dibner Library's Special Collections. The residency must occur between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017, but does not have to be taken all at one time. Scholars are expected to be in residence at the Smithsonian full-time during their award tenures, to devote full-time effort to the research proposed, and to be regular users of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. 

For more information, see here.

mhsMassachusetts Historical Society
MHS-NEH Long Term Fellowships
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): January 15, 2016
Award Amount: $4,200 per month for 4-12 months and up to $500/month housing allowance

The Massachusetts Historical Society supports scholars who need to use its library and archival collections to produce cutting-edge historical scholarship.  During their residence, MHS Research Fellows become part of a scholarly community that includes other current fellows, MHS staff, Boston-area scholars, and former fellows.  Prospective fellows must have completed their training for the terminal degree in their field (ordinarily the Ph.D.) by the application deadline. The awards committee will pay special attention both to the quality of proposed projects and to their relationship to the Society's collections. It will give preference to candidates who have not held a long-term grant during the three years prior to the proposed fellowship term.

For more information, see here.

aasAmerican Antiquarian Society
AAS-NEH Long Term Fellowships
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): January 15, 2016
Award Amount: $4,200/month for 4-12 months

The American Antiquarian Society offers fellowships designed to enable academic and independent scholars to spend an uninterrupted block of time doing research in the AAS library.  AAS Fellows are selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the scholarly significance or importance of the project, and the appropriateness of the proposed study to the Society's collections.  Degree candidates and persons seeking support for work in pursuit of a degree are not eligible to hold AAS-NEH fellowships. Foreign nationals who have been residents in the United States for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline for the fellowship are eligible. Preference will be given to individuals who have not held long-term fellowships during the three years preceding the period for which the application is being made.

For more information, see here.

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.

cckChiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
Conference, Seminar, Workshop & Publication Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 8, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: January 15, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $25,000 (conferences, etc.); up to $10,000 (publication)

The Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation supports research on Chinese Studies in the humanities and social sciences. The Foundation offers funding for conferences, workshops, seminars, and publication subsidies for specific subjects related to Chinese Studies. Grants should be used July-December, 2016.

For more information, see here for conference/workshop grants and here for publication grants.

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.

osfOpen Society Fellowship
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): January 4, 2016
Award Amount: $80,000-$100,000

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.
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. Project themes should cut across at least two areas of interest to the Open Society Foundations. Among these are human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion.

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.

Federal Opportunities

naraNational Archives and Records Administration
Institutes for Historical Editing
Harvard OSP Deadline: February 4, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: February 11, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $265,000 over one to three years

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to improve the training and education of historical documentary editors. The goal of the program is to both provide technical training in necessary skills and inspire documentary editors to think about how they can contribute to the advancement of the field in the 21st century.
For more information, see here

edaEconomic Development Adminstration
Integrating Economic Development Across the Federal Government
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 6, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: January 13, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $300,000 for one year

EDA is seeking applications for a one year cooperative agreement to conduct research and analysis that results in tools for better aligning and integrating federal economic development programs.  A core piece of this work will involve the creation and delivery of comprehensive, useable economic development program content that will facilitate access to and maximize the efficiency of such programs.  Ultimately, such tools will permit communities seeking federal and other assistance to achieve their economic development objectives. Applicants should describe how they would develop and deliver comprehensive information, including an inventory of federal economic development programs and related content that identifies and clearly delineates the parameters for all economic development programs administered by all federal agencies. 

For more information, see here.

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.

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.

mbbMind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative
Faculty Awards
Deadline: December 18, 2015
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

These awards are intended to support faculty members who want to examine MBB-related issues through interdisciplinary research, education, or experiences.  MBB encourages applicants who are combining elements of their own field with methods or insights from another field, especially if those methods and insights have not already been appropriated by the faculty member's original field, and so long as it advances the agenda of the MBB initiative.  All proposals must be explicitly cross-disciplinary, involving at least two principals, each from a different discipline.
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.

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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