Opportunities in the Social Sciences
March 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.

Harvard Internal Opportunities

webinarWebinar: National Institute of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Tuesday, March 29 from 1:00-2:00 PM ET

Dr. Howard Spivak, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the NIJ, will host a webinar that provides details and guidance for potential applicants to NIJ's New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences solicitation.  NIJ is committed to supporting new researchers in their development and in generating findings that inform criminal justice policy and practice.  Dr. Spivak will discuss NIJ's professional development opportunities for researchers, with a specific focus on the New Investigator solicitation, and answer questions from webinar attendees.

Can't make it? Sign up to receive notice when the webinar transcript is available.

Foundation and Non-Federal Opportunities

rsfRussell Sage Foundation
Visiting Scholars Program
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): June 30, 2016
Award Amount: Supplemental salary support of up to 50 percent of academic year salary when unavailable from other sources (up to a maximum of $110,000).  Scholars are also provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, and computer and library facilities

The Russell Sage Foundation's Visiting Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation's New York headquarters. Research carried out by Visiting Scholars constitutes an important part of the Foundation's ongoing effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social and economic life in the United States. While Visiting Scholars typically work on projects related to the Foundation's current programs, a few scholars whose research falls outside these areas are occasionally invited as well. 

For more information, see here.

srfSmith Richardson Foundation
Strategy and Policy Fellowship
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 10, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: June 17, 2016
Award Amount: $60,000

The Smith Richardson Foundation sponsors an annual Strategy and Policy Fellows grant competition to support young scholars and policy thinkers on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, military policy, and diplomatic and military history.  The purpose of the program is to strengthen the U.S. community of scholars and researchers conducting policy analysis in these fields.  Please note that the Fellowship program will only consider single-author book projects and will not consider collaborative projects.

For more information, see here.

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.

wtgrantWilliam T. Grant Foundation
Scholars Program
FAS Pre-Proposal Deadline: April 20, 2016 by 5:00PM
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) Deadline: June 28, 2016
W.T. Grant Full Proposal Deadline: July 6, 2016
Award Amount: $350,000 over five years
Eligible Disciplines: Economics, Education, Health Sciences, Psychology, Public Policy, Sociology

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences in tackling important questions that will advance theory, policy, and practice for youth.  Applicants identify new methods, disciplines, or content they want to learn, and propose five-year research plans that foster their growth in those areas.  The foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States and 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.  
Applicants must have received their terminal degree on or after July 6, 2009 and be employed in a tenure-track position.  If awarded this grant, at least half of the Scholar's paid time must be spent conducting research. 
This is a limited submission opportunity and only one nomination may be put forward to the foundation from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  For a synopsis of the program and information on the FAS internal selection process, 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.

Federal Opportunities

minervaU.S. Department of Defense
Minerva Initiative
Harvard OSP Deadline: 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.


darpaDARPA Next Generation Social Science (NGS2)
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 11, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: May 18, 2016
Award Amount:  TBD. The NGS2 program is divided into two phases, a 24-month base period (Phase 1) with one 18-month option period (Phase 2).
Target Disciplines: Social sciences including sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, and psychology, as well as information and computer sciences, physics, biology and math

The DARPA/Defense Sciences Office's Next Generation Social Science (NGS2) program is soliciting innovative research proposals to build a new capability (methods, models, tools, and a community of researchers) to perform rigorous, reproducible experimental research at scales necessary to understand emergent properties of human social systems. The program intends to engage a wide range of innovative organizations both within and outside of conventional social sciences, and to develop new tools, insights, and practices through multidisciplinary teams that enable rapid iteration of the entire research cycle, thereby accelerating the pace of scientific discovery.

DARPA highly encourages teaming before proposal submission and, as such, will facilitate the formation of teams with the necessary expertise.  Interested parties should submit profiles no later March 28, 2016.  Following the deadline, the consolidated teaming profiles will be sent via email to the proposers who submitted a valid profile.  Specific content, communications, networking, and team formation are the sole responsibility of the participants.  In addition, proposers are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract in advance of a full proposal.  Abstracts must be submitted by March 31, 2016.  DARPA will respond to abstracts with a statement as to whether DARPA is interested in the idea.

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.

nij_newNational Institute of Justice
New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: May 2, 2016
Award Amount: $150,000 over 2 years

NIJ's New Investigator/Early Career Program provides support for non-tenured assistant professors to conduct applied research on topics relevant to the Office of Research and Evaluation including justice systems, violence and victimization, and/or crime control and prevention. Applications must propose research led by a principal investigator who: 
  1. was awarded a terminal degree no more than four years prior to the application deadline;
  2. holds a non-tenured assistant professor position at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States; 
  3. and has not previously served as PI on an NIJ research grant or fellowship . 

NIJ encourages applications from diverse social and behavior sciences including but not limited to criminal justice, criminology, economics, law, psychology, public health, and sociology.


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.

dojDepartment of Justice

naraNational Archives and Records Administration
nihNational Institutes of Health
nsfNational Science Foundation
nehNational Endowment for the Humanities

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Internal Opportunities

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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