Opportunities in the Social Sciences
May 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

jtfJohn Templeton Foundation
Core Funding Areas
Funding Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required for initial inquiry): August 31, 2016
Award Amount: Not specified.  Recent grants have ranged from $100,000 to over $10M.  

The John Templeton Foundation is currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for its Core Funding Areas:
  • Science and the Big Questions: Science and the Big Questions is the largest of the Core Funding Areas and is divided into several subfields:
    • Mathematical and Physical Sciences
    • Life Sciences
    • Human Sciences
    • Philosophy and Theology
    • Science in Dialogue
  • Character Virtue Development: Supports programs focused on the universal truths of character development and on the roots of good character in human nature, whether understood from a scientific, philosophical, or religious point of view.
  • Individual Freedom and Free Markets: Encourages research and education intended to liberate the initiative of individuals and nations and to establish the necessary conditions for the success of profit-making enterprise.
  • Exceptional Cognitive Talent and Genius: Identifying and nurturing young people who demonstrate exceptional talent in mathematics and science.
  • Genetics: The Foundation takes a particular interest in how major advances in genetics might serve to empower individuals, leading to spiritually beneficial social and cultural changes.
For more information, see here.

sftSearle Freedom Trust
Harvard OSP Deadline: August 15, 2016
Deadline: August 22, 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.

sifSociological Initiatives Foundation
OSP review not required for concept proposal
Concept Proposal Deadline: August 15, 2016
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): 5 business days in advance of the sponsor full proposal deadline
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): TBD
Award Amount: $10,000-20,000

The Sociological Initiatives Foundation is dedicated to the belief that research and action are intrinsically inseparable.  The foundation invites concept proposals for projects that link an explicit research design to a concrete social action strategy.  Projects should also have clear social change goals.  SIF has funded projects in the areas of civic participation, community organizing, crime and law, education, health, housing, immigration, labor organizing, and language/literacy.
For more information, see here

hfgHarry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Research Grants
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 24, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2016
Award Amount: $15,000 to $40,000 per year for one or two years

The foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence and aggression in the modern world. Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects.

For more information, see here.

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.

Federal Opportunities

fulbrightCouncil for International Exchange of Scholars
Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2016
Award Amount: Grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents.  A salary supplement is available in some countries for teaching and eligible teaching/research awards.

The core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program provides approximately 800 teaching and/or research grants to U.S. faculty and experienced professionals in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Nearly 600 grants are available in 46 disciplines in over 125 countries worldwide. Grant lengths vary in duration: applicants can propose projects for a period of two to 12 months, as specified in individual award descriptions. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a grant through the core U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program.

For more information and to view the 2017-2018 catalog of awards, see here.

fdcpCouncil for International Exchange of Scholars
Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2016
Award Amount: Grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents.  A salary supplement is available in some countries for teaching and eligible teaching/research awards.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately forty distinguished lecturing, distinguished research and distinguished lecturing/research awards ranging from three to 12 months. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.

For more information and a list of 2017-2018 Chair Awards, see here.

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.


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


If you don't see what you are looking for in these emails...
  • Try one of the funding opportunity databases available to Harvard faculty and staff.  You can sign up to receive customized, weekly funding alerts via COS Pivot.
  • Sign up for one of our other funding opportunity distribution lists.  FAS Research Development offers funding opportunity distribution for the Arts, Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences and The Brain Initiative.  You can also sign up to receive announcements in the Sciences via our Science Division Funding Spotlight RSS feed.
  • Members of the Research Development team are available to meet with you to strategize a funding search or provide grantsmanship advice. To set up a meeting to discuss funding opportunities or proposal development, please contact us at research_development@fas.harvard.edu or one of the emails below.
Contact Us: