April 2017
Funding Opportunities in the Social Sciences

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Unless otherwise noted, all proposals to funders outside of Harvard must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) five business days prior to the sponsor deadline. We can help you navigate the routing process for your proposal.

Questions? Please contact Erin Hale, Senior Research Development Officer at erin_hale@fas.harvard.edu or 617-496-5252
Click on the links below to see additional information
Internal Opportunities
For a more comprehensive list of Harvard internal funding opportunities, please see  here .
External Opportunities
Non-Federal Opportunities:
Federal Opportunities:
Deadlines: Rolling
Award Amount: Varies by program

This newly launched program is aimed at pulling together diverse, emerging research efforts on the topic of Solar Geoengineering. SGRP will support a diverse range of research in the social sciences. Examples include:
  • Research public perceptions and risk attitudes; e.g., use survey methods to explore how knowledge about solar geoengineering influences people's willingness to commit to emissions reduction.
  • Address concerns that solar geoengineering could reduce incentives to mitigate; e.g., explore the possibility of novel "Climate Clubs," in which a coalition of nations requires members to commit to major emissions reductions as a condition of participating in the decision-making process regarding whether and how much solar geoengineering should be deployed.
  • Fund at least two country studies to engage scientists and decision-makers in the Philippines and one other developing country in research on the risks, benefits, and governance of solar geoengineering.

There are three funding initiatives under this program:

  1. The Fellowship Program invites applications for post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellowships, under the direct supervision of Harvard faculty. Fellowship awards will be for one to two years with possibility of renewal and graduate fellowships may, in some cases, have longer initial durations. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with their potential Harvard faculty sponsor before applying. Faculty who are interested in hosting a postdoctoral fellow or recruiting a graduate student are also encouraged to submit a brief letter of interest to SGRP's Advisory Committee. This program is open to early-career scientists within three years of earning their doctorate (for post-doctoral fellowships) or those admitted to or pursuing a Ph.D. (for pre-doctoral fellowships). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the first round of reviews will take place on June 1, 2017. Applicants who wish to be considered in the initial review should submit before June 1. 
  2. Harvard Faculty Research Grants will provide direct research support for activities that cannot be effectively supported with individual students or fellows. That could involve multi-investigator collaborations, field or laboratory work in the sciences, or field or survey work in the social sciences. 
  3. The Residency Program will accept a small number of researchers focused on solar geoengineering to spend between 1 and 3 weeks at Harvard University, working directly with researchers at SGRP and other members of the Harvard community. The main purpose of this program is to enable visitors to work in collaboration with Harvard researchers and each other on discrete research projects. 
Deadline: May 31, 2017
Award Amount: up to $25,000
The PFIC was developed to promote engagement and collaboration on topics and activities of mutual intellectual interest that connect faculty with other faculty members and/or students across multiple Harvard Schools. The fund supports a variety of projects, including but not limited to cross-School interdisciplinary course support, working groups, and small-scale conferences. The designated faculty leader(s) must hold primary Harvard faculty appointments at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor, and the project must engage faculty and/or students from at least two Harvard Schools. Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received funding from the grant. Colleagues from outside Harvard may be included as well.
Deadline: last day of August, November, February, and May
Award Amount: $40,000 for ladder faculty; $5,000 for doctoral students and postdocs
Eligible Applicants: Harvard University  full time doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and ladder faculty.

The FHBI provides seed grants to support transformative research in the social and behavioral sciences. Successful proposals will be those that promise to advance understanding of the social, institutional and biological mechanisms shaping human beliefs and behavior. 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.
External Funding Opportunities
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 8, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: September 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $10,000

The Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants are designed to open a robust research field that explores various dimensions of political negotiation in Congress by charting new avenues of understanding and methodological directions. They seek to inspire a cohort of researchers with diverse backgrounds and sets of expertise to address the challenges of political negotiation through scholarship drawn from and/or relevant to multiple disciplines and approaches. Successful applicants will submit innovative proposals within fields that include, but are not limited to: political science, political theory, political economy, race and ethnic politics, law, history, gender studies, behavioral economics, social psychology, cognitive psychology, emotion and political judgment, anthropology, sociology, and communications. 
OSP review not require for concept papers
Sponsor Concept Paper Deadline: August 15, 2017
Award Amount: $10,000-$20,000

The Sociological Initiatives Foundation was established to support research that furthers social change, including language learning and behavior and its intersection with social and policy questions.

The Foundation specifically supports research that focuses on impacting:
  • Social policy
  • Institutional and educational practices
  • Linguistic issues (e.g. literacy, language loss and maintenance, language policy, language and national security, bilingualism, language and gender, language and law, language disabilities, language and health, language and education, different language cultures)
  • Community capacity and the organization of previously unorganized groups
The Foundation supports projects that address institutional rather than individual or behavioral change. It seeks to fund research and initiatives that provide insight into sociological and linguistic issues that can be useful to specific groups and or communities.
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 24, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2017
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.
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 28, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: July 6, 2017
Award Amount: $350,000 over five years

Note: This is a limited submission opportunity and only one nomination may be submitted from FAS.  Interested applicants should contact Erin Hale at erin_hale@fas.harvard.edu to express interest in securing the FAS nomination. An internal application may be required.

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand junior researchers' expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas. 
The program supports research that increases understanding in one of two focus areas:
  • programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and
  • strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth.
To be eligible, an applicant must have received his/her terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D.) within seven years of the submission deadline.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: June 28, 2017
Award Amount:  Scholars are provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, computer and library facilities, and supplemental salary support of up to 50 percent of their academic year salary when unavailable from other sources (up to a maximum of $125,000)

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. 

OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: June 23, 2017
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.  Within the academic community, this program supports junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and post-docs who are engaged in policy-relevant research and writing.

Harvard OSP Deadline: June 8, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: June 15, 2017
Award Amount: $8,000

The goal of this program is to nurture the development of scientific knowledge by funding small, groundbreaking research initiatives and other important scientific research activities such as conferences. FAD awards provide scholars with "seed money" for innovative research that has the potential for challenging the discipline, stimulating new lines of research, and creating new networks of scientific collaboration. The award is intended to provide opportunities for substantive and methodological breakthroughs, broaden the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and provide leverage for acquisition of additional research funds. 
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (OSP review not required): June 5, 2017
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited): October 3, 2017
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): October 10, 2017
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, 2009 through June 30, 2016).
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 31, 2017
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): August 8, 2017
Sponsor  Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation): August 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $150,000
These awards are restricted to support for social science research within the following five program areas:
  • Behavioral Economics: The program on Behavioral Economics focuses on research that incorporates insights of psychology and other social sciences into the study of economic behavior.
  • Future of Work: The Future of Work program is 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 nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and the quality of jobs of American workers.
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration: The Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration program is concerned with the social, economic, and political effects of the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population, including the transformation of communities and ideas about what it means to be American.
  • Social Inequality: The program in Social Inequality focuses on whether rising economic inequality has affected 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.
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Harvard OSP Deadline: May 17, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: May 24, 2017
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.

Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline (OSP review not required for LOI): May 3, 2017
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.

OSP review not required for white papers
White Paper Deadline (encouraged but not required): May 7, 2017
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 23, 2017
Full Proposal Deadline: June 30, 2017

This Broad Agency Announcement for the Foundational Science Research Unit of the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences solicits new proposals for its fiscal year 2017 program of basic research in behavioral science.  The basic research program supports research projects that are designed to expand fundamental knowledge and discover general principles in the behavioral and social sciences. In addition to looking for proposals that provide for programmatic efforts to develop and evaluate psychological and behavioral theory, applicants are strongly encouraged to propose novel, state-of-the-art, and multidisciplinary approaches that address difficult problems. A key consideration in the decision to support a research proposal is that its findings are likely to stimulate new, basic behavioral research, which in turn, will lead to improved performance of Army personnel and their units. Proposals may address both traditional behavioral issues as well as psychophysiological (to include neuroscience) and network science approaches to social phenomena, memory, cognition, and personality. 
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 7, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: June 14, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $200,000 for  one year.  The sponsor will provide no more  than 50 per cent of total direct project costs

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. 

Agency for International Development (USAID)
Department of State
National Institute of Justice
National Institutes of Health
National Science Foundation
National Endowment for the Humanities
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For assistance, please contact:
Erin Hale
Senior Research Development Officer
erin_hale@fas.harvard.edu | 617-496-5252

To see previous Social Science Funding Newsletters, please visit our email archive.

Research Development | RAS | research.fas.harvard.edu