November 2018
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.

* Indicates opportunities new to the newsletter this month
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
Letter of Interest Deadline: December 19, 2018
Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): April 17, 2019
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 2019-20 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: January 22, 2019
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
Applications must be submitted online here by January 22, 2019.
Deadline: Last day of February, May, August and November
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, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: March 1, 2019
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 review not required
Sponsor Deadline: February 1, 2019
Award Amount: $15,000-$30,000

New America's Fellows Program invests in thinkers-journalists, scholars, filmmakers, and public policy analysts-who generate big, bold ideas that have an impact and spark new conversations about the most pressing issues of our day. Fellows advance ideas through research, reporting, analysis, and storytelling. Some projects focus on furthering a new public policy idea through either a domestic or international lens, while others illuminate longstanding dilemmas of American life from new angles. The goal is to find bold, impactful thinkers and to fund them for a year; long enough to make progress on a book, develop a series of articles, produce a documentary, or work on another project that is accessible.

Fellows typically remain in their jobs and home city, but come together for three cohort gatherings, each lasting ~3 days and held in Washington, DC or NYC.The fellowship will begin on September 1, 2019 and run until August 31, 2020.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: January 24, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $10,500

The CAORC Multi-Country Research Fellowship Program supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their PhD. Preference will be given to candidates examining comparative and/or cross-regional research. Applicants are eligible to apply as individuals or in teams. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who have resided in the U.S. for three years prior to the application deadline.

Scholars must carry out research in two or more countries outside the United States, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. The award is for a minimum of 90 days and Fellows may travel and carry out research between the period of May 2019 and November 2020. The 90 day travel minimum can be split into multiple trips and does not need to be consecutive.
Sponsor Deadline: January 15, 2019
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 Deadline: January 9, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: January 16, 2019
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 advance humanistic scholarship by enhancing established digital projects and extending their reach to new communities of users. This program aims to extend the opportunity to participate in the digital transformation of humanistic inquiry to a greater number of humanities scholars.

Funds support a range of project costs, including, where necessary, salary replacement for faculty or staff, software, equipment, travel, and consultant fees. A portion of each proposed grant budget must be devoted to funding collaborations with and/or building networks among scholars of all career stages from US higher education institutions of diverse profiles.
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: January 9, 2019
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.
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 7, 2019 by 12:00PM 
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 Deadline: January 4, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: January 11, 2019
Award Amount: Not specified. Last year the average award size was $5,286

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  at the link above. Applicants should submit all required materials along with the  candidate information form to the foundation via email. Additional information can be found in the foundation's FAQs.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 15, 2018
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 2019-20 in the following areas:
  • Gender and Conflict/Peacebuilding
  • Nuclear Disarmament, Sustainable Development and Climate Change
  • International Mediation
  • Peace Studies
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry 
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: December 15, 2018
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 6, 2018
Award Amount: $4,200 per month for up to 11 months

The Kluge Fellowship in Digital Studies provides an opportunity for scholars to examine the impact of the digital revolution on society, culture, and international relations using the Library's collections and resources. The Kluge Center seeks proposals from scholars worldwide that will generate deep, empirically-grounded understanding of the consequences of the digital revolution on how people think, how society functions, and how international relations shift. Proposals may also explore and analyze emerging trends and new phenomena that may generate consequential changes in the future. All proposals must state the importance of the research to fundamental thinking about the human condition. Scholars should include a discussion of how the resources of the Library of Congress will inform the intended research.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 6, 2018
Award Amount: $45,000
The postdoctoral fellowships provide one year of support for individuals engaged in postdoctoral study after the attainment of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree.  The awards will be made to individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. 

Eligible applicants are:
  • U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card), as well as individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, political asylees, and refugees, regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation,
  • Individuals with evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors or other designations), 
  • Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, and 
  • Individuals awarded a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree no earlier than December 6, 2011 and no later than December 6, 2018 in an eligible research-based field from a U.S. institution of higher education.
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.  Research-based fields of education are eligible if the major field of study is listed above and is used to describe the Ph.D. or Sc.D. program of the applicant (e.g., sociology of education, anthropology and education).
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2018 
Award Amount: $35,000 for long-term fellowships (6 months); $3,000/month for short-term fellowships (1-3 months)

The Scholars-in-Residence Program is intended for scholars and writers requiring extensive, on-site research with collections at the Schomburg Center, the pre-eminent repository for documentation on the history and cultures of peoples of African descent around the globe. Fellows are expected to be in full-time residency at the Center during the award period and to participate in scheduled seminars and colloquia. The Program is intended to support research in African diasporic studies undertaken from a humanistic perspective; projects in the social sciences, science and technology, psychology, education, and religion are eligible if they utilize a humanistic approach and contribute to humanistic knowledge.

Long-term fellowships support postdoctoral scholars and independent researchers who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of six months. Short-term fellowships are open to postdoctoral scholars, independent researchers, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets) who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of one to three months. Fellows are expected to devote their full time to their research and writing. They are expected to work regularly at the Schomburg Center and to participate in the intellectual life of the Scholars-in-Residence Program. 
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: November 30, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $175,000

The Russell Sage Foundation dedicates itself exclusively to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies. For the November 30 deadline, the Foundation is soliciting letters of inquiry for the following programs:

The Behavioral Economics program supports research that uses behavioral insights from psychology, economics, sociology, political science and other social sciences to examine and improve social and living conditions in the United States. 

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.

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.

The Social Inequality program 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.

Computational Social Science supports innovative social science research that brings new data and methods to bear on questions of interest in its core programs in Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Social Inequality.

The Russell Sage Foundation/Carnegie Corporation Initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration seeks to support innovative research on the effects of race, citizenship, legal status and politics, political culture and public policy on outcomes for immigrants and for the native-born of different racial and ethnic groups and generations.

The Russell Sage Foundation/Kellogg Foundation's Initiative on Non-Standard Employment seeks to support innovative social science research on the causes and consequences of the increased incidence of alternative work arrangements in the United States.  
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 30, 2018
Prize Amount: $1 million

The Dan David Prize recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It aims to foster universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy, and progress and to promote the scientific, technological and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our world. 

The Dan David Prize covers three time dimensions - Past, Present, and Future - that represent realms of human achievement. Each year the International Board chooses one field within each time dimension. The fields for 2019 are:

Past: The 2019 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization whose ongoing, groundbreaking research is making a significant contribution to the field of

Present: The 2019 Dan David Prize in the Present Time Dimension will be focused on 
Defending Democracy and calls for nominations of individuals, organizations and institutions that are engaged in a political and intellectual struggle against anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies. 

Future: The 2019 Dan David Prize in the Future Time Dimension will be awarded for
Combatting Climate Change, awarded to a visionary and innovator who has made outstanding achievements in research or technology to combat climate change by avoiding or reducing GHG abundances or their climate impact.

Nominees for the Dan David Prize may be individuals or organizations. The individual or institution being nominated has made a singular achievement or a series of achievements and continues to make a unique, profound contribution to humanity, on a global scale, in one of the selected fields for the year in which the nomination is being made.
Federal Funding Opportunities
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: February 6, 2019
Award Amount: $5,000 per month for 6-12 months

The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Some humanities scholarship is necessarily specialized, but the humanities can also engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. 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. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources. They must also be written in a readily accessible style, addressing significant humanities themes in a way that will appeal to a large audience of general readers. Applications to write books directed primarily to scholars are not appropriate for this program.
Sponsor Preliminary Proposal Deadline: January 17, 2019
OSP Deadline: April 9, 2019
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: April 16, 2019
Award Amount: $100,000-$350,000 for 1-3 years

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will significantly improve public discovery and use of major historical records collections. The Commission is especially interested in collections of America's early legal records, such as the records of colonial, territorial, county, and early statehood and tribal proceedings that document the evolution of the nation's legal history.  All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images.  
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 7, 2019
OSP Deadline: February 14, 2019
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): February 22, 2019
Award Amount: $600,000 maximum for 5-year awards; $400,000 maximum for 3-year awards
The Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) program accepts proposals for innovative research projects that both foster and substantially contribute to understanding what it takes to foster ethical STEM research in all of the fields of science and engineering that the NSF supports. Proposed research should seek to provide answers to the following:
  • What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice?
  • Which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why?
Projects can include qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Successful proposals typically have a comparative dimension, either between or within institutional settings that differ along these or among other factors, and they specify plans for developing interventions that promote the effectiveness of identified factors. The CCE STEM program will not consider proposals focused on ethics for medical students or in medical education. Proposals that address medical informatics, biomedical engineering, systems engineering and social scientific studies in health and medicine will be considered. 
This is a limited submission opportunity and Harvard may put forward only one nominee to submit a proposal. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will conduct the internal competition to select the Harvard nominee. To be considered for the Harvard nomination, potential applicants must submit an internal pre-proposal via the link above.

Agency for International Development (USAID)
Department of State
National Institutes of Health

National Endowment for the Humanities
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For assistance, please contact:
Erin Hale
Senior Research Development Officer | 617-496-5252
To see previous Social Science Funding Newsletters, please visit our email archive.

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