September 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: November 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $60,000 for conference grants and $50,000 - $100,000 for research grants

The Harvard China Fund administers the Harvard China Faculty Grant Program to advance the research goals of Harvard faculty in collaboration with Chinese partners. Research proposals are welcome in any field and especially encouraged in the areas of traditional Chinese arts and culture, environmental studies and education. If proposing a conference, it should take place at the Harvard Center Shanghai, preferably before March 2019. Conference proposals are welcome in all research fields. Preference will be given to proposed projects for which funding might not be otherwise available from traditional sources.
Deadline: October 30, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $20,000 for research and travel; Up to $50,000 for conferences

Research and travel grants support Harvard faculty research and travel on any topic related to East, South, or Southeast Asia. Preference is given to projects that involve more than one country or region of East, South, or Southeast Asia and/or that approach the topic from more than one discipline. Applications submitted by multiple faculty members are encouraged.  

Conference grants support conferences organized by Harvard faculty in pairs or small groups. Topics must involve more than one country or region of East, South, or Southeast Asia and must approach the topic from more than one discipline. Preference will be given to faculty who collaborate across more than one School. 
Deadline: October 23, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $18,000 
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty members or current or former Radcliffe Institute fellows
Exploratory seminars provide funding to bring together scholars, practitioners, and artists from Harvard University and around the world to develop ideas and research across the disciplines. Seminars are usually one or two days in length and are held at the Radcliffe Institute with all logistical arrangements handled by Radcliffe staff. Applications are welcome from all academic fields.  
Deadline: October 16, 2017
Award Amount:  Up to $150,000 over one or two years
Target Applicants: Full-time assistant, associate, or full professors from any Harvard School may apply for an award. Students and postdoctoral scholars with an identified faculty mentor who will supervise their research are also eligible to apply.
The Harvard University Climate Change Solutions Fund supports research and policy initiatives intended to reduce the risks of climate change, hasten the transition from fossil fuel-based energy systems to those that rely on renewable energy sources, to develop methods for diminishing the impact of existing fossil fuel-based energy systems on the climate, to understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change, and to propel scientific, technological, legal, behavioral, policy and artistic innovations needed to accelerate progress toward cleaner energy, improved human health, and a greener world. Applications should propose research that will advance solutions to climate change and its impact. Solutions may include both preparedness and mitigation and strong consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate a clear pathway to application, as well as riskier proposals with the potential to be transformative over time.
Deadline: October 11, 2017 by 5:00PM
Award Amount: Up to $50,000
Target Applicants: FAS and SEAS assistant, associate and tenured faculty. Professors-in-residence and Professors of the Practice are also eligible. 
The Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship is a targeted program that provides funding in the following categories:
  • Bridge funding, to allow faculty to continue work on previously funded research that does not currently have external funding. Faculty who apply in this category should demonstrate that efforts have been made or will be made to obtain new external funding.
  • Seed funding, to encourage faculty to pursue exciting new research directions that might not yet be ready to compete in traditional funding programs.
  • Enabling subventions, to provide small funds to purchase (or upgrade) critical equipment. 
For all categories, applicants should clearly explain in non-specialist language the critical need, make a compelling case for large marginal gain, and justify the need for support from this fund rather than traditional sources. 
Deadline: last day of August, November, February, and May
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
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)
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 7, 2017
Award Amount: $45,000
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. 
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2017 
Award Amount: Up to $35,000 for 6-9 months

The Scholars-in-Residence Program offers both long-term and short-term fellowships designed to support and encourage top-quality research and writing on the history, politics, literature, and culture of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, as well as to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary exchange among scholars and writers in residence at the Schomburg Center. The Schomburg Center is a world-renowned repository of sources on every facet of the African diasporic experience, with extensive holdings including numerous unique manuscript and archival collections as well as a comprehensive range of publications, photographs, films, audio recordings, and visual art. Both long-term and short-term fellowships are awarded for continuous periods in residence at the Schomburg Center. 
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: November 30, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

The Russell Sage Foundation currently pursues four principal programs: Behavioral Economics; the Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; and Social Inequality. RSF encourages methodological variety and inter-disciplinary collaboration, but all proposals must have well-developed conceptual frameworks and research designs. Analytical models must be well-specified and research questions and hypotheses (where applicable) must be clearly stated. Awards are available for research assistance, data acquisition, data analysis, and investigator time for conducting research and writing up results.
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: November 30, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $150,000

This Russell Sage Foundation initiative will support innovative social science research on the social, economic and political effects of the Affordable Care Act. The Foundation is especially interested in funding analyses that address important questions about the effects of the reform on outcomes such as financial security and family economic well-being, labor supply and demand, participation in other public programs, family and children's outcomes, and differential effects by age, race, ethnicity, nativity, or disability status. 
Harvard OSP Deadline: November 22, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2017 
Award Amount: No specified limit for research projects

The "Security, Society and the State" research programme targets new security-related issues that are prime examples of the post-Cold-War era but have been largely neglected in mainstream research. The programme is intended to encourage junior scholars to pursue unconventional research agendas that are nonetheless crucial, while providing senior scholars with the opportunity to focus intensively on work in progress for a limited period. Moreover, the objective is to combine basic theoretical research with concepts that are applicable to present-day political issues of security policy.  Types of funding include grants for research scholarships and research projects. PhD scholarships are only granted in connection with a research project. Research projects should be closely related to one or more of the five fields of research:
  1. Challenges of New Technologies
  2. Public Administration and Human Security
  3. Patterns of Conflict Resolution Between the State and Traditional Actors
  4. Non-Governmental Actors as Partners and Contenders of the State
  5. Security Strategies Between Doctrine Formation and Implementation
Harvard OSP Deadline: November 22, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: December 1, 2017
Award Amount: $17,500 stipend - $10,000 to be used for summer research support and $7,500 for research assistance during the academic year.

The Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars Award Program supports junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and whose service addresses the need for a more inclusive, responsive academic culture on their campus for peers and students. Eligible applicants must be tenure-track faculty who have passed their third-year review or their institution's equivalent.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 15, 2017
Award Amount: $30,000
The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. This fellowship is designed to assist the candidate in obtaining tenure and further promotions by enabling her to spend a year pursuing independent research.
Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The tenure of the award is one year.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 13, 2017
Award Amount: Fellows receive a research salary of one-half their ten (10) month salary at their home institution, up to a maximum set each year before awards are announced

The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University invites outstanding faculty members of any discipline, independent scholars, lawyers, and judges to apply for visiting, residential appointments for the academic year 2018-2019. LAPA Fellows devote the major portion of their time to their own research and writing on law-related subjects of empirical, interpretive, doctrinal and/or normative significance. In addition, LAPA Fellows are expected to be in residence for ten months and participate in LAPA programs, including a biweekly seminar, a weekly luncheon discussion group, as well as some public events and conferences. The program does not support, as a primary activity, off-site fieldwork or work in remote archives, development of course materials, work in legal practice, direct advocacy of causes or residence elsewhere.  
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 1, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $70,000

The School of Social Science takes as its mission the analysis of contemporary societies and social change. It is devoted to a pluralistic and critical approach to social research, from a multidisciplinary and international perspective. Scholars are drawn from a wide range of fields, notably political theory, economics, law, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and literature. Members pursue their own research, and participate in collective activities, including a weekly seminar at which on-going work is presented. To facilitate scientific engagement among the visiting scholars, the School defines a theme for each year. Approximately one half of Members selected pursue work related to it and contribute to a corresponding seminar, while the other half conduct their research on other topics. For 2018-2019 the theme will be  "Crisis and Critique."

Each year, between 20 and 25 scholars are selected as Members in the School of Social Science in Princeton, New Jersey. Memberships are awarded at both the junior and senior levels. There is no citizenship requirement for this opportunity.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: November 1, 2017
Award Amount: $75,000 (full year); $37,500 (one term)

The School of Historical Studies supports scholarship in all fields of historical research, but is concerned principally with the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy and modern international relations. Each year, the Institute hosts a community of scholars from around the world to pursue their own research while in residence in Princeton, New Jersey. 

The School takes into account the stage of the scholar's academic career when considering the list of publications, but in general applicants should have at least several articles already published in scholarly publications in order to be considered eligible. The tenure of the award is for one or two terms. There is no citizenship requirement for this opportunity.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 31, 2017
Award Amount: varies by fellowship

The Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid and senior career professionals focusing on international relations. Selected fellows have the opportunity to broaden their perspective of foreign affairs either by pursuing research or working in a policy-oriented setting. Fellowships with an October 31 deadline include the International Affairs Fellowship, International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars, International Affairs Fellowship in International Economics, International Affairs Fellowship in Canada, and International Affairs Fellowship in Japan.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 25, 2017 
Award Amount: $55,000, plus up to $3,000 for research costs and related scholarly activities 

These fellowships support scholars in the   humanities and related social sciences who are pursuing research on any aspect of religion in international contexts and who desire to connect their specialist knowledge with journalists and media practitioners. The ultimate goal of the research should be a significant piece of scholarly work by the applicant and concrete steps to engage journalistic and media audiences. This program does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects. 

In 2018-19 three universities (Arizona State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison) are partnering with ACLS to establish links between their schools of arts and sciences and schools or programs of media and journalism. Fellows may choose to take up residence at one of this year's three partnering institutions or they may take up the fellowship at any location suitable for pursuing their projects. All fellows are required to participate in two program-sponsored symposia during the academic year. The tenure of the award is one academic year. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 15, 2017 
Award Amount: $20,000 to $35,000 

The Foundation offers grants to support scholars while on sabbatical, or for time off for research and writing. Grants fund research on Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences. The Foundation encourages applications with matching funds from other sources. The total of the grant funds awarded by the CCK Foundation and other organizations must not exceed the recipient's annual salary. The tenure of the award is one year.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 2, 2017
Award Amount: $5,000 to $25,000

With funds from the  U.S. Department of State (Title VIII), American Councils administers several major grants for independent, overseas policy relevant research in the humanities and social sciences as well as language training. 

In recent years, American Councils scholars have conducted independent research in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The tenure of the award is three to nine months.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 1, 2017
Award Amount: stipend of €2,000/month for a maximum of ten months
IIAS Fellowships are intended for outstanding researchers from around the world who wish to work on an important aspect of Asian studies research in the social sciences and humanities. Interdisciplinary interests are encouraged. Researchers who would like to work on a collaborative grant proposal or develop their PhD thesis into a book publication are also welcome.  The IIAS is particularly looking for researchers focusing on the three IIAS clusters, Asian CitiesAsian Heritages, and Global Asia; however, some positions will be reserved for outstanding projects in any area outside of those listed. 
Harvard OSP Deadline: October 26, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: November 2, 2017 
Award Amount: Up to $100,000 
As a part of its current initiative, Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War, the National Endowment for the Humanities offers the Dialogues on the Experience of War program. The program supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war, in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others to think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. The humanities sources can be drawn from history, philosophy, literature, and film, and they may and should be supplemented by testimonials from those who have served. The discussions are intended to promote serious exploration of important questions about the nature of duty, heroism, suffering, loyalty, and patriotism.

The program awards grants that will support:
  1. the recruitment and training of discussion leaders; and
  2. following the training program, the convening of at least two discussion programs.
The discussion programs can take place on college and university campuses, in veterans' centers, at public libraries and museums, and at other community venues. Most of the participants in the discussion programs should be military veterans; others, such as men and women in active service, military families, and interested members of the public, may participate as well.

Please note: This is a limited submission opportunity. In response to this opportunity, Harvard University, as a single institution, may put forward up to three (3) proposals to the NEH. Applicants who wish to apply for this opportunity should contact Erin Hale at to inquire about the Harvard nomination process.
NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program
FAS/SEAS Pre-Proposal Deadline: October 6, 2017 by 12:00 PM
Harvard OSP Deadline (if nominated): January 3, 2018
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): January 10, 2018
Award Amount: Up to $4 million

The MRI program assists in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally. Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use. Cost-sharing of 30% of the total project cost is required.  

This is a limited submission opportunity and only three proposals may be submitted from Harvard. To apply for the Harvard nomination, applicants must submit an internal pre-proposal via 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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