Opportunities in the Social Sciences
February 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

gbfGladys Brooks Foundation
Grants for Libraries or Educational Institutions
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 23, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: May 31, 2016
Award Amount: $50,000 to $100,000 (greater and lesser amounts in certain circumstances)

The Foundation considers major grant applications in the fields of libraries, education, hospitals and clinics.
Grants for Libraries: Applications will be considered for resource Endowments (print, film, electronic database, speakers/workshops), capital construction, and innovative equipment. Projects fostering broader public access to global information sources utilizing collaborative efforts, pioneering technologies, and equipment are encouraged.
Grants for Educational Institutions: Applications will be considered for: educational endowments to fund scholarships; endowments to support fellowships and teaching chairs; and erection or endowment of buildings and equipment for educational purposes.

For more information, see here.

henkelGerda Henkel Stiftung Foundation
Special Programme Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 20, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: May 27, 2016
Award Amount: Limit not specified.  Applicants may request costs for personnel, travel, materials and/or other costs.

The special programme "Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements" is aimed at researchers who, with an eye to current developments, are examining the emergence of political movements in the Islamic world at the national and/or transnational level. Historical studies are encouraged and supported, together with projects in the areas of religious, cultural or political science.  Proposals will be supported that address the particularities and contexts of cultural and historical environments and relationships. The projects' deliverables should be able to make a contribution to diverse and expert discussions in public and political circles.

For more information, see here.

wtgWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Research Grants
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required for LOI): May 5, 2016
Award Amount: $100,000 to $600,000 over 2-3 years for reducing inequality research grants; $100,000 to $1,000,000 over 2-4 years for improving the use of research evidence grants

The W.T. Grant Foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States, funding research that increases our understanding of
  • programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and
  • strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that beneit youth. 

The foundation seeks research that builds stronger theory and empirical evidence in these two areas and informs 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.

spencerSpencer Foundation
Small Research Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: May 2, 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 employ a wide range of research methods.

For more information, see here.

pmiProject Management Institute
Sponsored Research Program
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 18, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: April 25, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

The Project Management Institute provides support for proposals for research funding on any topic related to project, program or portfolio management, with particular interest in the following areas:
  • Organizational change management
  • Agility in non-IT projects
  • Requirements management
  • Strategic initiative management
  • Knowledge transfer and management
  • Talent Management
  • Governance

PMI seeks proposals from scholars both within and outside the field of project management, including management, organizational psychology, sociology, education, linguistics and others. Proposals on research involving multi-disciplinary teams of investigators or teams consisting of academics and practitioners who bring new ways of thinking and related bodies of literature to the field are encouraged.

For more information, see here.

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.

ibmIBM Center for the Business of Government
Research Stipends
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 8, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: April 15, 2016
Award Amount: $20,000

The aim of the IBM Center for The Business of Government is to tap into the best minds in academe and the nonprofit sector who can use rigorous public management research and analytic techniques to help public sector executives and managers improve the effectiveness of government.  We are looking for very practical findings and actionable recommendations - not just theory or concepts - in order to assist executives and managers to more effectively respond to mission and management challenges.  Individuals receiving a stipend should produce a 10,000- to 12,000-word report. The manuscript should be submitted no later than six months after the start of the project. Recipients will select the start and end dates. The report should be written for government leaders and public managers, providing very practical knowledge and insight.

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.

luceLuce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs
Grants for Universities
Harvard OSP Deadline: March 22, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: March 29, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $60,000 

The Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs (RJIA) aims to increase the presence of scholarship on religion in journalistic training and practice and to encourage greater interaction between scholars of religion and journalists covering international affairs.  Proposals are sought for projects hosted at US-based universities with research and curricular strengths in journalism and communication and the humanistic and social science fields concerned with the study of religion in international contexts (including, but not limited to, anthropology, area studies, history, literature, political science, religious studies, and sociology). The grants may support one or more of a broad range of objects for grant funding, including - but not limited to - topic-oriented research groups; curricular development or co-teaching opportunities; campus faculty working groups related to the program's theme; public programming; collaboration with media outlets interested in developing connections to scholars and scholarship; workshops led by organizations dedicated to training scholars to engage with journalists and media organizations; short-term residencies for journalists at universities, where they might actively engage with scholars; or other forms of programming that would promote interaction and socialization between scholars and journalists. In addition to pursuing their proposed projects, grantees also must be prepared to host one or more visiting research fellows funded by the RJIA program in the 2017-18 academic year.

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.

Federal Opportunities

naraNational Archives and Records Administration
Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions
Draft Deadline (optional): April 4, 2016
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 8, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: June 15, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $200,000 for one year

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to publish documentary editions of historical records. Projects may focus on the papers of major figures from American history or cover broad historical movements in politics, military, business, social reform, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience. The historical value of the records and their expected usefulness to broad audiences must justify the costs of the project.  The goal of this program is to provide access to, and editorial context for, the historical documents and records that tell the American story. Grants are awarded for collecting, describing, preserving, compiling, transcribing, annotating, editing, encoding, and publishing documentary source materials in print and online. 

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.


dppNational Endowment for the Humanities
Digital Projects for the Public
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 1, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: June 8, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $30,000 for discovery grants, up to $100,000 for prototyping grants and up to $400,000 for production grants

Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that significantly contribute to the public's engagement with the humanities.  Grants are available to support research, to design or create prototypes of digital projects, and to produce the actual projects. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work).  All projects should demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general, nonspecialist audience, either online or in person at venues such as museums, libraries or other cultural institutions.

For more information, see here.

nijvfNational Institute of Justice
Visiting Fellows Program
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 4, 2016 
Sponsor Deadline: May 11, 2016
Award Amount: The funding level for each fellowship will be largely determined by the salary requirements of the applicant, which must be fully documented in the budget and budget narrative.

NIJ seeks proposals for innovative research, scholarship, and/or knowledge-building projects addressing high-priority criminal justice issues as part of the 2016 NIJ Visiting Fellows Program. Awards made under the NIJ Visiting Fellows Program will bring leading researchers, practitioners, and/or others into residency at NIJ to make important scholarly and policy contributions with practical application to the criminal justice field, and to work with the NIJ Director, staff, and relevant NIJ stakeholders to help shape the direction of NIJ's research programs. During their fellowship at NIJ, visiting fellows will work on a significant piece of scholarship or evidence-based initiative that has the potential to advance significantly criminal justice research and practice, such as a major "capstone" effort culminating a new line of research or the development and socialization of an innovative, evidence-based initiative that has significant potential to advance criminal justice research and practice in the United States.  Fellowships will include a 6-18 month term of residency at NIJ and ordinarily will not exceed a total period of two years.

For more information, see here.

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.

includesNational Science Foundation
Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES)
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: March 31, 2016
Sponsor Pre-Proposal Deadline (if nominated): April 15, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: June 24, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $300,000 over two years

NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery and innovation by proactively seeking and effectively developing STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society.  The overarching goal of this program is to create a sustainable collaborative process for the inclusion in STEM of women, members of racial and ethnic groups that have been underrepresented in STEM, persons with low socio-economic status and people with disabilities.  The NSF INCLUDES initiative invites proposals for Design and Development Launch Pilots, which are pilot projects that represent bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation challenge in STEM.  Successful pilots will deliver models or prototypes for collective efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in all fields of STEM. 

This is a limited submission opportunity and only one proposal may be submitted from Harvard University.  More information on the program and information on the Harvard internal selection process administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research may be found 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.

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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