Opportunities in the Social Sciences
April 2016

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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

usjapanUnited States-Japan Foundation
US-Japan Policy Studies
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not require): July 15, 2016
Award Amount: Not specified.  Recent grants have ranged from $5,000-$150,000.

The United States-Japan Foundation supports US-Japan policy-related studies, initiatives and exchanges that help address issues of significant mutual concern to the United States and Japan. The Foundation seeks to respond to policy-relevant needs as identified by experts and practitioners in US-Japan policy studies field and are therefore open to innovative projects.

For more information, see here.

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.

rsppRussell Sage Foundation
Project and Presidential Awards 
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required): June 15, 2016 by 2:00PM
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): August 8, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): August 15, 2016 by 2PM
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

The Foundation's awards are restricted to support for social science research within the following four program areas:
  • Behavioral Economics - Focuses on research that incorporates insights of psychology and other social sciences into the study of economic behavior.
  • Future of Work - 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.
  • Social Inequality - 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.
  • Race, Ethnicity and Immigration - Encourages multi-disciplinary perspectives on questions stemming from the significant changes in the racial, ethnic, and immigrant-origin composition of the U.S. population.
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.

fdcFoundation for Child Development
Young Scholars Program 
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (OSP review not required): June 1, 2016
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited): October 12, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): October 19, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $225,000 over 2 years

The FCD Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports policy and practice-relevant research that is focused on the early learning and development needs of the nation's children who are growing up under conditions of economic insecurity and social exclusion. YSP encourages applications from scholars who are: 
  • Themselves from historically disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, e.g., first-generation college graduates, and those from low-income communities. 
  • Scholars who represent a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches. 
All proposed research should focus on the ways in which the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the early care and education workforce (ECE workforce) can support young children's growth and development across the birth through age eight continuum.  Eligible researchers must have received their doctoral degrees within one to seven years of application submission (i.e., January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2015).

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.

Federal Opportunities

klugeLibrary of Congress
Kluge Fellowships
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (OSP review not required): July 15, 2016
Award Amount: $4,200 per month stipend

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to conduct research at the Kluge Center using the Library of Congress collections and resources for a period of four to eleven months.  The Kluge Center especially encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library's large and varied collections.  Among the collections available to researchers are the world's largest law library and outstanding multi-lingual collections of books and periodicals. Deep special collections of manuscripts, maps, music, films, recorded sound, prints and photographs are also available.  

For more information, see here.

neh_stipendNational Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Stipends
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: July 11, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: September 29, 2016
Award Amount: $6,000 for two months

The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends provide $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing.  Summer Stipends normally support work carried out during the summer months, but arrangements can be made for other times of the year.  The stipends support projects at any stage of development and recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources.  A number of disciplines related to the social sciences are funded by NEH, including: history; jurisprudence; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the "study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life." Note: Individuals who have either held or been awarded a major fellowship or research grant or its equivalent within the three academic years prior to the deadline are ineligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdictions or at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.
Only two proposals may be submitted from Harvard-affiliated individuals and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will run an internal competition to select two applicants to submit proposals to NEH for funding in 2016.  

More information on the award and the Harvard internal selection process can be found here.

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.

title8Department of State
Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII)
Harvard Expression of Interest Deadline: May 2, 2016
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: June 3, 2016

This program invites organizations with substantial and wide-reaching experience in administration of research and training programs to apply for funding to conduct nationwide competitive programs supporting U.S. scholars, students, and institutions in advanced research and language training on the countries of Eastern Europe and the independent states of the former Soviet Union.  U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and educational institutions may submit proposals for the Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII) that 1) support and sustain American expertise on the countries of Eastern Europe and the independent states of the former Soviet Union, 2) bring American expertise to the service of the U.S. government, and 3) further U.S. foreign policy goals.  All proposals must make an explicit connection to U.S. foreign or national security policy, and demonstrate how the proposed program will contribute to U.S. knowledge, expertise, and national capability.

This is a limited submission opportunity and only one application may be submitted by Harvard.  If interested in applying, please send a brief email expressing interest to Erin Cromack at cromack@fas.harvard.edu by May 2, 2016.

For more information on the program, see here.

dojDepartment of Justice

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

agency_alertsSign up for agency-specific funding alerts:
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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