Opportunities in the Social Sciences
December 2015

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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

rsfRussell Sage Foundation
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (OSP review not required for LOI): March 30, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

This initiative will support innovative social science research on the social, economic and political effects of the Affordable Care Act. The foundation is especially interested in funding analyses that address important questions about the effects of the reform on outcomes such as financial security and family economic well-being, labor supply and demand, participation in other public programs, family and children's outcomes, and differential effects by age, race, ethnicity, nativity, or disability status. The foundation is also interested in research that examines the political effects of the implementation of the the new law, including changes in views about government, support for future government policy changes, or the impact on policy development outside of health care. Note: This program will not fund research on the effects of the ACA on health care delivery or health outcomes.

For more information, see here.

parisParis Institute for Advanced Studies
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): March 1, 2016
Award Amount: Paris IAS covers costs related to each resident's stay in France, with compensation varying based on the resident's personal situation. Residents can also receive financial support and materials for their work and research activities. 

The Paris Institute for Advanced Studies welcomes applications from high level international scholars and scientists in the fields of the humanities, the social sciences and related fields for periods of five or nine months, during the academic year 2016-2017.  Research at the Paris IAS takes place inside two types of programs: the non-thematic bottom-up program based on free individual initiatives, and the thematic program, presently related to building bridges between the humanities and social sciences on the one hand, and the cognitive and neuro-sciences, on the other.
This call for applications is open to:
  • Senior university professors or researchers holding a permanent position in a university or research institution and having a minimum of 10 years of full time research experience after their PhD (at the time of the application).
  • Junior scholars having the status of postdoctoral researcher or holding a position in a university or research institution, and having a minimum of 2 and maximum of 9 years of research experience after the PhD (at the time of the application).
Applicants who have spent more than a total of 12 months in France during the 3 years prior to the application are not eligible.

For more information, see here.

templetonLily Family School of Philanthropy/Templeton Foundation
The Science and Imagination of Living Generously
Harvard OSP Deadline: February 5, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: February 12, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $40,000 for one year

The goal of this program is to attract and capture bold ideas within the study of life-course generosity and to advance multi-disciplinary methods and approaches within the arts, humanities and social sciences.  The school will provide funding for research projects that address the following three big questions:
  1. Can virtuous habits be cultivated?
  2. How is generosity related to character, thrift, and creativity?
  3. Can cutting-edge scientific work and reflective expression promote individuals' practice of generosity?
Preference will be given to emerging scholars and innovators. Principal Investigators must have completed their Ph.D. between 2007 and 2015. Funding can be used for course release time, summer salary for a faculty member paid on a 10-month or 9-month schedule, wages paid to student assistants working directly on the proposed research project, travel for data collection or dissemination (e.g., conference and workshop presentations), experiments, and computer programs for analytical tools.
For more information, see here.

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.

spencerSpencer Foundation
Small Research Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: February 1, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

The Small Research Grants program is intended to support education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. In keeping with the Spencer Foundation's mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. 
Historically, the work funded through these grants has spanned, a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and they have employed a wide range of research methods. 

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.

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

neh_publicNational Endowment for the Humanities
Public Scholar Program
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): February 2, 2016
Award Amount: $4,200/month for up to 12 months

The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Funded projects might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship and adddress significant humanities themes likely to be of broad interest and must be written in a readily accessible style. 

For more information, see here.

germNSF Dear Colleague Letter: Germination of Research Ideas for Large Opportunities and Critical Societal Needs (GERMINATION)

OSP Deadline: January 11, 2016

Sponsor Deadline: January 19, 2016

Award Amount: Up to $100,000 for one year

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) seeks EAGER (EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) proposals with exploratory ideas to design learning frameworks, platforms and/or environments that will enable participants in science and engineering to develop research concepts and questions which are not only transformative, but also have the potential to address important societal needs.


Motivating Question: How can effective learning frameworks, platforms and/or nurturing experiential environments be designed in which early- and mid-career faculty, as well as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows can be stimulated to germinate transformative research ideas and questions to open large opportunities that address important societal needs?


This DCL aims to stimulate new approaches in cultivating a risk-taking and impact-driven research culture.  Proposers are strongly encouraged to design their exploratory approaches as creatively as possible, building on relevant knowledge from social/behavioral sciences and science of research organizations. A plan to pilot the approach and test the effectiveness of the approach must be included.


Interested investigators are encouraged to contact Mr. Garie Fordyce at gfordyce@nsf.gov  with a one-page concept paper explaining the core idea of their project before submission.


For the full Dear Colleague Letter, see here.  The slides from the December 10 GERMINATION webinar have been posted on ENG's Division of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) website.  


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

hgiHarvard Global Institute
Deadline for Expressions of Interest: February 1, 2016
Award Amount: $50,000-100,000 for small grants; $500,000-1,000,000 for large-scale grants.

The Harvard Global Institute funds projects that bring Harvard faculty and students together with scholars from outside the United States to investigate problems of universal consequence, produce findings, and advance them in ways that achieve significant impact, whether upon the University curriculum, individual research fields, theories, methodologies, policies, and/or broader public discourse here and abroad. HGI is currently funding proposals for interdisciplinary research in AY 2016-17 on issues that are of particular salience to China and of relevance to other parts of the world; that is, topics should be "China-inclusive" without being "China-exclusive."

Large-scale grants will support multi-faculty, cross-school, cross-discipline, integrative projects on problems or issues of global relevance that build on existing research and include significant collaboration with scholars in China (and potentially other countries and regions as well). The goal is to help innovative research "scale up" and "scale out." The range of funding for these larger projects will be $500,000 to $1 million annually, with the potential for up to two years of funding.
Please note that it is likely that there will be no more than one such grant awarded in the 2016-17 academic year.

Small grants will support innovative, interdisciplinary projects that, like the large grants, focus on issues of global significance with a clear China focus and that would be unlikely to find funding from other sources.  Smaller-scale grants will range from $50,000 to $100,000. There is the potential for such a grant to receive up to two years of funding.

For more information, see here.

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.

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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