Opportunities in the Social Sciences
January 2016

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

searleSearle Freedom Trust
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 8, 2016
Deadline: April 16, 2016
Award Amount: Recent grants have ranged from $20,000 to $1,000,000, with the majority of grants under $100,000

The Searle Freedom Trust fosters research and education on public policy issues that affect individual freedom and economic liberty. Through its grant-making, the foundation seeks to develop solutions to the country's most important and challenging domestic policy issues.  The foundation invests primarily in scholarship that results in the publication of books, journal articles, and policy papers. Funding is typically provided in the form of research grants, fellowships, and other types of targeted project support.  The Searle Freedom Trust also provides funding for public interest litigation and supports outreach to the public through a variety of forums, including sponsorship of research conferences and seminars, film and journalism projects, and new media initiatives.

For more information, see here.

ahaAmerican Historical Association
J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): April 1, 2016
Award Amount: $5,000 stipend over 2-3 months

The J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association to support significant scholarly research in the collections of the Library of Congress by scholars at an early stage in their careers in history.  At the time of application, applicants must hold the PhD or equivalent, must have received this degree within the past seven years, and must not have published or had accepted for publication a book-length historical work.  The applicant's project in American history must be one for which the general and special collections of the Library of Congress offer unique research support.  The fellowship will be awarded for at least two, but no more than three, months, as the Jameson Fellow desires, to spend in full-time residence at the Library of Congress. Working space will be provided by the Library of Congress.

For more information, see here.

clirCouncil on Library and Information Resources
Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives
Harvard OSP Deadline: March 29, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: April 5, 2016
Award Amount: $50,000-$250,000 for single institution applications; $50,000-$500,000 for multi-institution applications

The purpose of this program is to digitize and provide access to non-digital collections of rare or unique content in cultural heritage institutions. Its aims are to enhance the emerging global digital research environment in ways that support new kinds of scholarship for the long term and to ensure that the full wealth of resources held by memory institutions becomes integrated with the open Web.  For the purposes of this program, special collections are any kind of rare or unique materials housed in secure, monitored environments and made available to researchers. Archives are unique, often unpublished materials associated with a specific individual, topic, or organization that is of interest to researchers. For the purposes of this program, applicants must convincingly argue that their collections are "hidden" in the sense that they cannot be exploited for important scholarly work until they are fully digitized, discoverable and accessible.

Important Dates:
For more information see here.

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.

apsAmerican Psychological Foundation
Visionary Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: March 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: April 1, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $20,000 for one year

The APF Visionary Grants seek to seed innovation through supporting research, education and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in the following priority areas:
  • Understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and physical health to ensure well-being.
  • Reducing stigma and prejudice to promote unity and harmony.
  • Understanding and preventing violence to create a safer, more humane world.
  • Supporting programs that address the long-term psychological needs of individuals and communities in the aftermath of disaster. 
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.

tempJohn Templeton Foundation
Core Funding Areas - Small Grants
Funding Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required for initial inquiry): February 29, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $217,400

The John Templeton Foundation is currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for its Core Funding Areas:
  • Science and the Big Questions:
    • Mathematical & Physical Sciences: Projects that focus on foundational questions in mathematics or that seek a deeper understanding of the nature of reality within the realm of physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, or other physical sciences.  
    • Life Sciences: Projects investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose.
    • Human Sciences: Projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.
    • Philosophy & Theology: Projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.
    • Science in Dialogue: Projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.
  • Character Development: Programs, publications, and studies focused on the universal truths of character development, from childhood through young adulthood and beyond.  
  • Freedom and Free Enterprise: Programs intended to liberate the initiative of individuals and nations and to establish the necessary conditions for the success of profitmaking enterprise.
  • Exceptional Talent and Genius: The Foundation supports accelerated learning for students capable of working well beyond their grade level and national studies of the issue.  

For more information, see here.

templetonLilly 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.

Federal Opportunities

neh_fellNational Endowment for the Humanities
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): April 28, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $4,200/month for 6-12 months

Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. Projects may be at any stage of development.  Fellowship recipients may begin their fellowship tenure as early as January 2017 or as late as September 2018.

For more information, see here.

japanNational Endowment for the Humanities
Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): April 28, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $4,200/month for 6-12 months

Fellowships support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan's international relations, and U.S.-Japan relations. The program encourages innovative research that puts these subjects in wider regional and global contexts and is comparative and contemporary in nature. Research should contribute to scholarly knowledge or to the general public's understanding of issues of concern to Japan and the United States. Appropriate disciplines for the research include anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, psychology, public administration, and sociology. Awards usually result in articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Fellowship recipients may begin their fellowship tenure as early as January 2017 or as late as September 2018.

For more information, see here.

minervaU.S. Department of Defense
Minerva Initiative
White Paper Deadline (Not required but strongly encouraged.  OSP review is not required for white paper): February 29, 2016
Harvard OSP Deadline (Full proposal only): June 10, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: June 17, 2016

The Minerva Research Initiative emphasizes questions of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. It seeks to increase the Department's intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the Department and the social science community. Minerva brings together universities and other research institutions around the world and supports multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific topic areas determined by the Department of Defense.

The Minerva Research Initiative competition is for research related to the five (5) topics and associated subtopics listed below:
  1. Identity, Influence, and Mobilization Culture, identity, and security 
    Influence and mobilization for change 
  2. Contributors to Societal Resilience and Change; Governance and rule of law; Migration and urbanization; Populations and demographics; Environment and natural resources; and 
  3. Power and Deterrence; Global order; Power projection and diffusion; Beyond conventional deterrence; and Area studies.
  4. Analytical methods and metrics for security research
  5. Innovations in National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation

For more information, see here.


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

nihNational Institutes of Health
nsfNational Science Foundation
nehNational Endowment for the Humanities

agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
Internal Opportunities

starStar Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research
Deadline: February 29, 2016
Award Amount: $20,000-200,000

The Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research is open to Harvard faculty in the natural or social sciences.  High-risk, high-impact projects with an interdisciplinary focus are sought, and joint submissions by researchers from the FAS and other parts of the University are welcome. 

For more information, see here.

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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