November 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 or 617-496-5252.
Internal Opportunities
For a more comprehensive list of Harvard internal funding opportunities, please see  here .
External Opportunities
Non-Federal Opportunities:
Federal Opportunities:
Internal Funding Opportunities
Deadline: January 22, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 payable over one or two years
Target Applicants: Applications are invited from individuals who hold a faculty appointment at a Harvard school and who have principal investigator rights at that school.
Applications are invited from researchers across disciplines proposing research projects relating to Brazil. Proposals are sought for projects that address education management and administration; social science and its applications; public administration and policy; technological advances in education; and evidence-based research. Consideration will also be given to projects that propose collaboration between Harvard faculty and Brazilian academics in the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and basic and applied sciences.
Proposed projects must meet at least one of the following three criteria:
  1. Include collaboration with Brazilian academics
  2. Be undertaken in Brazil in whole or in part
  3. Focus on Brazil
Letter of Interest Deadline: December 15, 2017
Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): March 30, 2018
Award Amount for Small Grants: $50,000-$100,000 annually for 1-2 years
Award Amount for Large Grants: $500,000-$1M annually for 1-2 years
Target Applicants: The principal investigator must be an active tenure-track faculty member. Students and postdoctoral scholars may participate in a grant under the supervisory auspices of the faculty member who applies for an award.
In the 2018-19 academic year, HGI will fund research projects in China and India that have the potential for impact both locally and globally. Project activities are not limited to the Harvard campus but also include work that happens in China and/or India. Faculty conducting research in China have access to space at the  Harvard Center Shanghai, and HGI encourages project teams to make use of the Center as a convening site. Faculty from across the Schools who are already working on China and/or India-related topics, as well as those who wish to begin doing so, are invited to apply for funding by submitting preliminary expressions of interest (EOIs).
Funding will be provided at two levels:
  • Large grants will support multi-faculty, cross-School, cross-discipline, integrative projects on problems or issues of global relevance that build on existing research and include significant collaboration with scholars in China. The goal is to help innovative research "scale up" and "scale out." There should thus be a substantial track record of prior work upon which a more ambitious project would be developed. Ideally, such a project should represent not just quantitative enhancement of previous research, but qualitative transformation of that research through heightened collaboration with colleagues in other Schools, disciplines, and countries
  • Small grants will support innovative, interdisciplinary projects that, like the large grants, focus on issues of global significance that would be unlikely to find funding from other sources. Funding is available at this level for projects with a focus on China and/or on India, or for comparative work. The majority of the funding, however, is available for projects that are related to China. 
Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: No specified funding limit

The Canada Program at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs invites proposals from Harvard faculty, departments, and schools across the University, for research funding, or for supporting the hosting of short-term visiting scholars, policy practitioners, and public figures who are engaged in Canadian comparative topics. Visiting Canadianists are welcome to present at Harvard faculty workshops and conferences, or to offer guest lectures for Harvard undergraduate and graduate students. 

Requests for funding should include a proposal with a brief description of the intellectual goals of the short-term visit, and a budget, and should be submitted to:
Deadline: Last day of November, February, May, and August
Award Amount: $40,000 for ladder faculty; $5,000 for doctoral students and post-docs
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: February 22, 2018
Sponsor Deadline: March 1, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $15,000

Furthermore grants assist nonfiction books having to do with art, architecture, and design; cultural history, the city, and related public issues; and conservation and preservation. The fund looks for work that appeals to an informed general audience, gives evidence of high standards in editing, design, and production, and promises a reasonable shelf life.  Funds apply to such specific publication components as writing, research, editing, indexing, design, illustration, photography, and printing and binding.  Book projects to which a university press, nonprofit or trade publisher is already committed and for which there is a feasible distribution plan are usually preferred.  
OSP Deadline: Five days prior to full proposal deadline. OSP review not required for letters of intent.
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: January 21, 2018
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: TBD Fall 2018
Award Amount: Not specified. CIFAR determines the necessary funding for the given team, based on the size of the team and the planned interactions. 
Target Applicants: The proponents of an LOI should include at least one researcher currently living and working in Canada (with or without Canadian citizenship).
CIFAR invites research leaders from around the world to identify important global research challenges that would benefit from CIFAR's approach to sustained research interactions that include diverse perspectives. Submissions must address global, complex questions and identify an interdisciplinary research approach. Proposals will be accepted from all areas of research.
CIFAR supports research in two ways: (1) Two to three times per year, CIFAR brings researchers from across the world together for face-to-face interactions and to maintain active collaboration. (2) CIFAR Fellows receive support on an individual basis, which is intended to enable researchers to have more time and space to work on the goals of the research program. This can be used quite flexibly - for teaching load adjustments, student stipends and postdoctoral fellow support, among other uses.
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 16, 2017 by 12:00PM
Sponsor Deadline: March 23, 2018
Award Amount: $10,000 stipend
Target Applicants: Applicants should be at an advanced stage of their doctoral candidacies, preferably at the point of preparing their dissertations. 

The Eisenhower Institute seeks to support study and education dealing with the role of government in a free society, citizen public service, public policy, and improved understanding of America's role in world affairs. The Institute desires to encourage and assist promising individuals to pursue studies and research in fields such as: history, government, economics, business administration, and international affairs, so they may provide informed leadership in the conduct of our national life.

Harvard University is limited to nominating only two candidates for this opportunity. Information on the internal selection process, administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, can be found at the link above.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: January 15, 2018
Award Amount: Past predoctoral fellows have received stipends in the range of $25,000 to $30,500; past postdoctoral fellows have received stipends in the range of $48,000 to $71,200.

The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) is an interdisciplinary community of scholars dedicated to producing policy-relevant research on international security topics. It is devoted to research, teaching, and training the next generation of security specialists, to influencing policymaking in international security, and to developing a more informed public discussion. CISAC Fellows spend the academic year engaged in research and writing, and are encouraged to participate in seminars and to interact and collaborate with leading faculty and researchers. CISAC fellows may focus on any of the following topics: nuclear weapons policy and nonproliferation; nuclear energy; cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, and the future of the Internet; biosecurity and global health; implications of geostrategic shifts; insurgency, terrorism, and homeland security; war and civil conflict; consolidating peace after conflict; as well as global governance, migration, transnational flows, from norms to criminal trafficking, and other international security topics.
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: January 10, 2018
Award Amount: Research grants on reducing inequality typically range from $100,000 to $600,000 over 2-3 years. Improving the use of research evidence grants range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 over 2-4 years. 

Research Grants support high-quality research that is relevant to policies and practices that affect the lives of young people ages 5 to 25 in the United States. These grants fund research that increases our understanding of programs, policies, and practices that  reduce inequality  in youth outcomes, and research that identifies, builds, and tests strategies to  improve the use of research evidence  in ways that benefit youth.
OSP Deadline: January 5, 2018
Sponsor Deadline: January 12, 2018
Award Amount: Varies ; in 2017 35 awards were made totaling $178,409, or approximately $5,097 per fellowship

These annual fellowships support scholars of all disciplines to study at a location or locations--either national or international--other than their home institution. The aim is to stimulate and broaden the minds of teachers so as to improve and enhance the quality of their instruction. Grants are primarily for travel and related expenses and not as salary substitutes, scholarships or grants in aid. While there is a preference toward teachers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Foundation awards fellowships across the New England area.

The Foundation does not maintain a website but application guidelines can be found here. Applicants should submit all required materials along with the candidate information form to the foundation via email.
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 3, 2018
Sponsor Deadline: January 10, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

This program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance humanistic scholarship by enhancing established digital projects, extending their reach to new communities of users, and supporting teams of scholars at all career stages as they participate in digital research projects. 

This program aims to extend the opportunity to participate in the digital transformation of humanistic inquiry to a greater number of humanities scholars. To this end, projects supported by ACLS Digital Extension Grants may:
  • Develop new systems of making existing digital resources available to broader audiences and/or scholars from diverse institutions
  • Extend existing digital projects and resources with content that adds diversity or interdisciplinary reach
  • Foster new team-based collaborations between scholars at all career stages. Projects that convene, train, and empower communities of humanities faculty and/or graduate students around established digital research projects, as well as projects that allow scholars from institutions with limited digital infrastructure to exploit digital resources or to participate in existing labs or working groups, are especially welcome
  • Create new forms and sites for scholarly engagement with the digital humanities. Projects that document and recognize participant engagement are strongly encouraged.
Grants support a range of project costs, including, where necessary, salary replacement for faculty or staff, software, equipment, travel, project related convenings, and consultant fees.
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: December 15, 2017
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 is therefore open to innovative projects.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 11, 2017
Award Amount:  Junior (untenured) fellows receive a stipend of $25,000 per semester; senior (tenured) fellows receive $30,000 per semester.

Each year, the Kroc Institute's Visiting Research Fellows Program brings outstanding scholars focused on peace research to the University of Notre Dame for a semester or a full academic year. The Institute particularly seeks scholars who will actively integrate their research with ongoing Kroc research initiatives. The Kroc Institute seeks applications for Visiting Research Fellows for 2017-18 in the following areas:
  • Gender and Conflict/Peacebuilding
  • Conflict-related Migration and Diaspora Communities 
  • Peace Studies (open)
Harvard OSP Deadline: December 8, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: December 15, 2017 
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.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 7, 2017
Award Amount: $45,000
Target Applicants: Individuals awarded a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree no earlier than December 7, 2010 and no later than December 7, 2017
Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Awards will be made for study in the following major disciplines and related interdisciplinary fields: American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, cultural studies, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, urban planning, and women's studies. Also eligible are interdisciplinary ethnic studies programs, such as African American studies and Native American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs, such as area studies, peace studies, and social justice. 
Federal Funding Opportunities
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: February 7, 2018
Award Amount: $4,200 per full-time month. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period.

The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Although humanities scholarship can be specialized, the humanities also strive to engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. They seek to deepen our understanding of the human condition as well as current conditions and contemporary problems. The Public Scholar Program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact. Such scholarship might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. 
Harvard OSP Deadline: January 10, 2018
Preliminary Proposal Deadline: January 18, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $350,000 for 1-3 years. NARA will provide no more than 50 per cent of total project costs

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will significantly improve public discovery and use of major historical records collections. All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images. Projects may:
  • Digitize historical records collections, or related collections, held by a single institution and make them freely available online
  • Provide access to born-digital records
  • Create new freely-available virtual collections drawn from historical records held by multiple institutions
  • Create new tools and methods for users to access records
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 8, 2018
Sponsor Deadline: February 15, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $600,000 for 5-year awards and up to $400,000 for 3-year awards
Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) funds research projects that identify factors that are efficacious in the formation of ethical STEM researchers in all the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports. CCE STEM solicits proposals for research that explore the following: What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice, and which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why? Do certain labs have a "culture of academic integrity"? What practices contribute to the establishment and maintenance of ethical cultures and how can these practices be transferred, extended to, and integrated into other research and learning settings?
Successful proposals typically have a comparative dimension, either between or within institutional settings that differ along these or other factors. Projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes responsible or irresponsible, just or unjust scientific practices and sociotechnical systems, and how to best instill students with this knowledge.
Harvard University, as one institution, is limited to nominating one proposal to this opportunity and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is facilitating an internal application process for interested applicants. Internal applications may be submitted online at the link above. 

Agency for International Development (USAID)
Department of State
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 | 617-496-5252
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