January 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 Cromack, Senior Research Development Officer at cromack@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:
Lemann Brazil Research Fund
Deadline: March 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 payable over one or two years
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty
The Lemann Brazil Research Fund supports cross-disciplinary 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
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Award Amount: $20,000-$200,000
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty members in FAS and SEAS are eligible to apply. Joint proposals by researchers from the FAS or SEAS and other parts of the University are welcome.
The Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research provides seed funding to interdisciplinary high-risk, high-impact projects in the natural or social sciences. Early stage projects which are unlikely to receive funding from traditional grant-making agencies are encouraged. Award recipients will present and discuss their projects with a range of scholars in multiple disciplines at a Challenge event, April 11, 2017 at 3pm, prior to receipt of funding.

Deadline: Rolling until all positions are filled.  Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 3, 2017
Award Amount: $80,000/year for two years plus  $10,000/year for research and travel expenses.

The Harvard Data Science Initiative is seeking researchers whose interests are in data science, broadly construed, including researchers with both a methodological and applications focus. Fellows will be provided with the opportunity to pursue their research agenda in an intellectually vibrant environment with ample mentorship. The Data Science Postdoctoral Fellows Program will support outstanding researchers whose interests relate to the following themes:
  1. Methodological foundations, including for example, causal inference, data systems design, deep learning, experimental design, modeling of structured data, random matrix theory, non-parametric Bayesian methods, scalable inference, statistical computation, and visualization.
  2. Development of data science approaches tailored to analytical challenges in substantive fields that span the full intellectual breadth of Harvard's faculties.  To give some purely illustrative examples, these fields include health sciences (e.g. life and population sciences), earth systems (e.g. climate change research); society (e.g. data that can affect the experience of individuals, or policy and ethical questions); and the economy (e.g. automation, Internet of Things, digital economy). This list is by no means exhaustive.
Successful applicants will be expected to lead their own research agenda, but also work collaboratively with others including with members of the Harvard faculty, and to contribute to building the data science intellectual community. 
Expression of Interest Deadline: February 1, 2017
Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): May 31, 2017
Award Amount: $500,000-$1,000,000 per year for 1-2 years for large grants; $50,000-$100,000 per year for 1-2 years for small grants
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty only.  Postdocs and graduate students may participate in a grant under the supervisory auspices of the faculty member who applies for an award.
Funding is available for work that has particular salience to China and or India that examines topics with local import and the potential for global impact. Projects with a China-India comparative component will also be welcome. It is expected that project activities will not be limited to the Harvard campus but will also include work that happens in China and/or India. Faculty with interest in conducting research in China will have access to space at the Harvard Center Shanghai, and HGI will encourage project teams to make use of the Center as a convening site. Funding will be provided at two levels, in the form of large grants and small grants. 
Large Grants: One large grant will be awarded that 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: Smaller 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, on India, or for comparative work. The majority of the funding, however, is available for projects that are related to China. 

Deadline: February 1, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $50,000 payable over one year
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty and junior fellows of the Harvard Society of Fellows
Funding research projects in the fields of medicine, geography, history and science, the winning projects must either promote the physical and material welfare and prosperity of the human race, or investigate and determine the value and importance of any discovery or invention, or assist in the discovery and perfecting of any special means of alleviating or curing human disease. Reviewers will evaluate applications on intellectual merit, interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and likely impact on all fields of medicine, geography, history and science.  Funds awarded through the Milton Fund support research to explore new ideas, to act as the catalyst between ideas and more definitive directions, and to consider new methods of approaching global solutions. Preference will be given to junior investigators. 

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
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OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: April 3, 2017
Award Amount: $20,000

The aim of the IBM Center for the Business of Government is to tap into the best minds in academe and the nonprofit sector who can use rigorous public management research and analytic techniques to help public sector executives and managers improve the effectiveness of government.  The  Center is looking for very practical findings and actionable recommendations - not just theory or concepts - in order to assist executives and managers to more effectively respond to mission and management challenges.  Individuals receiving a stipend should produce a 10,000- to 12,000-word report written for government leaders and public managers, providing very practical knowledge and insight.

Harvard OSP Deadline: March 27, 2017
Sponsor Initial Proposal Deadline: April 3, 2017
Harvard OSP Full Proposal Deadline: September 20, 2017
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): September 27, 2017
Award Amount: $50,000-$250,000 for single institution applications; $50,000-$500,000 for multi-institution applications

The purpose of this program is to digitize and provide access to non-digital collections of rare or unique content in cultural heritage institutions. Its aims are to enhance the emerging global digital research environment in ways that support new kinds of scholarship for the long term and to ensure that the full wealth of resources held by memory institutions becomes integrated with the open Web.

Other important dates:
  • Thursday, February 2, 2017, 2:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR will host an informational webinar for prospective applicants in Adobe Connect.
  • Thursday, March 2, 2017, 2:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR will host an informational Q & A webinar for prospective applicants in Adobe Connect.
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR will host an office hours session for prospective applicants in Adobe Connect via chat.
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR will host an office hours session for prospective applicants in Adobe Connect via chat.
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern time: CLIR will host an office hours session for prospective applicants in Adobe Connect via chat.
Harvard OSP Deadline: March 16, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: March 23, 2017
Award Amount: $60,000

The Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs (RJIA) aims to increase the presence of scholarship on religion in journalistic training and practice and to encourage greater interaction between scholars of religion and journalists covering international affairs.  Grants for universities will support efforts to catalyze collaborations at universities with strengths in the study of religion, journalism and media, and international affairs. ACLS seeks proposals for projects hosted at US-based universities with research and curricular strengths in journalism and communication and in the humanistic and social science fields concerned with the study of religion in international contexts (including, but not limited to, anthropology, area studies, history, literature, political science, religious studies, and sociology). In addition to pursuing their proposed projects, grantees also must be prepared to host up to two visiting research fellows funded by the RJIA program in the 2018-19 academic year.

Sponsor Concept Paper Deadline: March 13, 2017
Harvard OSP Deadline: May 8, 2017
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): May 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $50,000 for standard research grants; up to $30,000 for postdoctoral resaerch awards; and up to $15,000 for dissertation research grants

The Tufts/UConn RIDGE Center seeks to support innovative economic research on domestic nutrition assistance programs and to broaden a network of researchers applying their expertise to USDA topics. The RIDGE Center seeks applications from a diverse community of experienced nutrition assistance researchers, graduate students, early career scholars, and established researchers who bring expertise in another research area.

Additional information will be provided during the RIDGE Center Informational Webinar for Applicants on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 2PM EST.

OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline (OSP review not required): March 1, 2017
Award Amount: Paris IAS covers costs related to each resident's stay in France, with compensation varying based on the resident's personal situation. Residents can also receive financial support and materials for their work and research activities. 

The Paris Institute for Advanced Study (Paris IAS) is a research center in the field of the humanities and social sciences, and related disciplines. It offers globally-recognized senior and junior researchers a chance to carry out five- to nine-month research stays in Paris.  Paris IAS is launching three calls for applications for research fellowships open to researchers of all nationalities:
  • Blue Sky Research Program: 5 or 9-month fellowships in 2018-2019 open to all disciplines and themes in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Brain, Culture and Society Program: 5 or 9-month fellowships in 2018-2019 for researchers willing to conduct a project at the interface between neuroscience, cognitive science and the humanities and social sciences.
  • Paris-Saclay - Paris IAS "Jean d'Alembert" Research Chair in 2017-2018. This 6-month chair in 2017-2018 enables a researcher to work in close collaboration with a research team of Université Paris-Saclay on one of the following themes: "Markets, businesses, work and innovation", "Heritage, culture and  knowledge", or "Sciences and society".
Harvard OSP Deadline: February 24, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: March 3, 2017
Award Amount: $5,000-$25,000

Recordings at Risk  is a national regranting program administered by CLIR to support the preservation of rare and unique audio and audiovisual content of high scholarly value.  The pilot call will focus only on the reformatting of magnetic audio media to be digitized through the Northeast Document Conservation Center's newly implemented audio preservation service. Pr ospective applicants to the pilot program must first solicit confirmation from NEDCC that their proposed audio reformatting project merits  NEDCC's high-touch, high-quality technical approach . NEDCC will then work closely with prospective applicants on a detailed quote, which must be submitted with the application package.
The magnetic audio media formats applicable to the pilot phase are:
  • cassette tapes,
  • digital audio tapes (DAT), and
  • open-reel 1/4" tapes.
OSP review not required
White Paper Deadline: February 15, 2017
Award Amount: N/A - Call for white papers is to solicit input from the scientific community

The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences is leading an unclassified decadal survey sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to identify opportunities in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) that are poised to contribute significantly to the analytic responsibilities of the intelligence community (IC).  A key aspect of the decadal survey is the outreach to and input gathered from the scientific and, in this study, the intelligence communities. 

The present call for white papers is being issued to provide direct input from the scientific community into the initial work of the committee and workshop panels. Toward that end, input is being sought from SBS academics and researchers with IC experience and/or knowledge to provide insights into the IC's needs and challenges with respect to the use of SBS research for analytic capabilities. White papers should address the following questions:
  1. What are some of the key challenges, questions and needs facing the intelligence community regarding social and behavioral developments (see below)?
  2. What makes these challenges and questions important at this time and in the foreseeable future?
  3. What are the anticipated national security benefits for addressing these challenges and questions?
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: February 6, 2017
Award Amount: $10,000
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. Applicants should be at an advanced stage of their doctoral candidacies, preferably at the point of preparing their dissertations. This is a limited submission opportunity and only two proposals may be put forward by Harvard University.  The Office of teh Vice Provost for Research will select two nominees through an internal competition.

Harvard OSP Deadline: January 25, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: February 1, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $50,000

The Small Research Grants program is intended to support education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. In keeping with the Spencer Foundation's mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. 
Historically, the work funded through these grants has spanned, a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and they have employed a wide range of research methods. 

Harvard OSP Deadline: March 20, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: March 27, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $200,000 for a period of up to 24 months. 3 additional awards of up to $40,000 will be made for projects solely engaging in secondary data analysis.

NIJ's New Investigator/Early Career Program provides support for non-tenured assistant professors to conduct applied research on topics relevant to NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) and/or Office of Science and Technology (OST). ORE's primary areas of interest include but are not limited to: social science research on criminal justice systems (e.g., courts, policing, corrections); violence and victimization (e.g., victims of crime, human trafficking, bias crime); and crime control and prevention (e.g., school safety, firearms, gangs). OST's primary areas of interest include but are not limited to: the development and application of technology to criminal justice issues, understanding technology's impact in the field, and exploring policy-related research questions with regards to technology use and impact.

Eligible applicants are assistant professors awarded a terminal degree in their field within the four years prior to September 30, 2017 who have not previously served as PI on an NIJ research grant or fellowship. Those who have held Graduate Research Fellowships with NIJ or have served as a PI on an award under the "Data Resources Program" solicitation are not deemed "PIs" under that award and are eligible under this solicitation.

Sponsor White Paper Deadline: February 29, 2017
Harvard OSP Deadline (if invited): June 23, 2017
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): July 1, 2017
Award Amount:  $150,000-$1,000,000 per year for up to three years

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) seeks proposals from university researchers and university-led teams for the Minerva Research Initiative, a university-led defense social science program seeking fundamental understanding of the social and cultural forces shaping U.S. strategic interests globally. Submissions should propose basic research relevant to the five core topic areas:
The more detailed descriptions of each found in the released FOA are intended to provide the proposer a frame of reference though not to be restrictive. Topics are not mutually exclusive and proposals may consider issues relating to questions, scope, or regions beyond those listed.

Harvard OSP Deadline: February 8, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: February 15, 2017
Award Amount: NSF anticipates funding 6-8 grants  for a total of $3,150,000 per year for all grants.  The maximum award duration is 5 years.

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 explores the following: 'What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice, and which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why?' Factors one might consider include: honor codes, professional ethics codes and licensing requirements, an ethic of service and/or service learning, life-long learning requirements, curricula or memberships in organizations (e.g. Engineers without Borders) that stress social responsibility and humanitarian goals, institutions that serve under-represented groups, institutions where academic and research integrity are cultivated at multiple levels, institutions that cultivate ethics across the curriculum, or programs that promote group work, or do not grade. 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.

This is a limited submission opportunity, and only one proposal may be submitted from Harvard University. Interested applicants should contact Erin Cromack at cromack@fas.harvard.edu as soon as possible to express interest in securing the Harvard nomination.


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For assistance, please contact:
Erin Cromack
Senior Research Development Officer
cromack@fas.harvard.edu | 617-496-2618

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

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