March 2019
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
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $50,000
Eligible Applicants: Applications are invited from individuals who hold a junior faculty appointment. This includes FAS and SEAS Assistant or Associate Professors, Junior Fellows of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and those in a postdoctoral position at Harvard with a formal accepted offer to join the Junior Faculty at one of Harvard's schools.
The Milton Fund supports research projects in the fields of medicine, geography, history and science that promote the physical and material welfare and prosperity of the human race, 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. 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 solutions.
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
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: June 27, 2019
Award Amount: Scholars are provided with an office at RSF, research assistance, computer and library facilities, and salary support of up to 50 percent of their academic year salary when unavailable from research grants or other sources (up to a maximum of $125,000 for the full term, or $62,500 for half of the full term).

The Russell Sage Foundation's Visiting Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation's New York headquarters. Research carried out by Visiting Scholars constitutes an important part of the Foundation's ongoing effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social and economic life in the United States. While Visiting Scholars typically work on projects related to the Foundation's current programs, a few scholars whose research falls outside these areas are occasionally invited as well. 

The Foundation annually awards about 17 residential fellowships to social scientists who are at least 3 years beyond the Ph.D. Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1st and ordinarily run through June 30th. On rare occasions, scholars visit for only half this period, starting either in September or in February.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: June 17, 2019
Award Amount: $60,000

The Smith Richardson Foundation sponsors an annual Strategy and Policy Fellows grant competition to support young scholars and policy thinkers on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, military policy, and diplomatic and military history.
The purpose of the program is to strengthen the U.S. community of scholars and researchers conducting policy analysis in these fields.  Within the academic community, this program supports junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and post-docs who are engaged in policy-relevant research and writing. 

Please note that the Fellowship program will only consider single-author book projects. It will not consider collaborative projects (e.g., edited or multi-authored books, conference volumes or reports, or a collection of previously published articles, chapters or essays.)
OSP Deadline: May 23, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: May 31, 2019
Award Amount: $50,000 - $100,000

Grants for Libraries: Applications will be considered for resource endowments (print, film, electronic database, speakers/workshops), capital construction, and innovative equipment. Projects fostering broader public access to global information sources utilizing collaborative efforts, pioneering technologies, and equipment are encouraged.
Grants for Educational Institutions: Applications will be considered for: educational endowments to fund scholarships; endowments to support fellowships and teaching chairs; and erection or endowment of buildings and equipment for educational purposes.
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 23, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $175,000

The Russell Sage Foundation is launching a special initiative on Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context that supports innovative research on decision making processes and human behavior in the contexts of work, race, ethnicity, immigration, and social, political and economic inequality in the United States. Applications by scholars in psychology, political science, sociology, and other social science fields who are pursuing questions consistent with the aims of the Foundation are encouraged. This initiative complements RSF's long-standing Behavioral Economics Program which continues to encourage applications. 
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 23, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $175,000

The Russell Sage Foundation focuses exclusively on supporting social science research in its core program areas as a means of examining social issues and improving policies. The following Russell Sage Foundation programs are accepting letters of inquiry for the May 23, 2019 deadline:
Grants are available for research assistance, data acquisition, data analysis, and investigator time for conducting research and writing up results. 
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 1, 2019
Award Amount: $100,000 to $600,000 over 2-3 years for reducing inequality research grants; $100,000 to $1,000,000 over 2-4 years for improving the use of research evidence grants  

The W.T. Grant Foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the United States, funding research that increases our understanding of:
  • programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and
  • strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth. 
The foundation seeks research that builds stronger theory and empirical evidence in these two areas and informs change. While it is not expected that any one study will create that change, the research should contribute to a body of useful knowledge to improve the lives of young people.
OSP review not required for statements of interest
Sponsor Deadline: May 1, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $43,000 per team

Eurasia Foundation's (EF) U.S.-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) invites statements of interest from U.S. organizations seeking to establish collaboration with Russian partner(s) in joint pursuit of solutions to social issues of importance to both countries. EF is accepting statements of interest for projects that have a broad bilateral impact in the following thematic areas:
  • Social inclusion
  • Community engagement and volunteerism 
  • Social entrepreneurship 
  • Youth engagement and mentorship
Projects should avoid topics related to political activism or activity, or public policy reform. While universities and other research institutions are eligible to apply, funded projects must expand beyond pure research. Projects falling outside the four thematic areas will also be considered for funding if the project will facilitate greater understanding of shared values in the U.S. and Russia. Applicants are encouraged to include innovative methodologies and technologies to accomplish program goals and collaboration between U.S. and Russian peers.
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: April 22, 2019
Award Amount: $40,000

The Whiting Foundation supports works in progress to enable authors to complete their books. Its chief objective is to foster original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard. This grant is intended to support multiyear book projects requiring large amounts of deep and focused research, thinking, and writing at a crucial point mid-process, after significant work has been accomplished but where an extra infusion of support can make a difference in the ultimate shape and quality of the work. Whiting welcomes submissions for works of history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, the sciences, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, and personal essays, among other categories. The work should be intended for a general, not academic, reader. Applicants must be US citizens or residents and must be under contract with a US publisher to be eligible.
Harvard OSP Deadline: April 15, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: April 22, 2019 
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.
Sponsor Deadline: April 1, 2019
Award Amount: $5,000 stipend over 2-3 months 

The J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association to support significant scholarly research in the collections of the Library of Congress by scholars at an early stage in their careers in history. At the time of application, applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent and must have received this degree within the past seven years. The fellowship will be awarded for at least two, but no more than three months, to spend in full-time residence at the Library of Congress. 
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: No specified limit

The Working Longer program is examining one of today's most pressing social issues: older workers who need or want to work beyond conventional retirement ages. In this multi-disciplinary program, the Foundation seeks proposals for original projects led by outstanding individuals or teams, which exhibit a high degree of methodological rigor, which have a high expected return to society, and for which funding from the private sector, government, or other foundations is not yet widely available.
OSP Deadline: March 27, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: April 3, 2019
Award Amount: Applicants from single institutions may request funds in amounts ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $250,000; applicants from multiple institutions collaborating on a single project may request funds in amounts ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000. 

Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Enabling New Scholarship through Increasing Access to Unique Materials is a national grant competition administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for digitizing rare and unique content in collecting institutions.  The Digitizing Hidden Collections program coheres around six core values:
  • Scholarship: The program is designed to maximize its impact on the creation and dissemination of new knowledge.
  • Comprehensiveness: The program supports digitization projects that will provide thorough coverage of an important topic or topics of high interest to scholars, in ways that help those scholars understand digitized sources' provenance and context.
  • Connectedness: The program supports projects that make digitized sources easily discoverable and accessible alongside related materials, including materials held by other collecting institutions as well as those held within the home institution.
  • Collaboration: The program promotes strategic partnerships rather than duplication of capacity and effort.
  • Sustainability: The program promotes best practices for ensuring the long-term availability and discoverability of digital files created through digitization.
  • Openness: The program ensures that digitized content will be made available to the public as easily and completely as possible, given ethical and legal constraints.

CLIR held several webinars this spring to orient applicants to the 2019 Digitizing Hidden Collections program and answer questions. Recordings of past webinars are available here.

Federal Funding Opportunities
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: July 8, 2019 by 11:30 PM
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): September 25, 2019
Award Amount: $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing beginning May 2020 or later
NEH Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Summer Stipends support continuous full-time work on a humanities project at any stage of development for a period of two months. Summer Stipends normally support work carried out during the summer months, but arrangements can be made for other times of the year. Eligible projects usually result in articles, monographs, books, digital materials and publications, archaeological site reports, translations, or editions. Projects must incorporate analysis and not result solely in the collection of data. NEH funds may support recipients' compensation, travel, and other costs related to the proposed scholarly research.
This is a limited submission opportunity. Faculty members who teach full-time at institutions of higher education must be nominated by their institutions to apply for a Summer Stipend. Harvard may nominate two faculty members for this program. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will conduct the internal competition to select the Harvard nominees. To be considered for the Harvard nomination, potential applicants must submit an internal pre-proposal via the link above.
Deadline to submit draft proposal for feedback (optional): April 1, 2019
Harvard OSP Deadline: June 5, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: June 12, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $200,000. The Commission provides no more than 50 percent of total direct project costs so cost sharing is required.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to publish documentary editions of historical records. The goal of this program is to provide access to, and editorial context for, the historical documents and records that tell the American story. Projects may focus on the papers of major figures from American history or cover broad historical movements in politics, social reform, business, military, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience. The historical value of the records and their expected usefulness to broad audiences must justify the costs of the project. Applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the best practices recommended by the   Association for Documentary Editing or the   Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions. 

All new projects (those which have never received NHPRC funding) must have definitive plans for publishing and preserving a digital edition which provides online access to a searchable collection of documents. New projects may also prepare print editions (including ebooks and searchable PDFs posted online) as part of their overall publishing plan, but the contents of those volumes must be published in a fully-searchable digital edition within a reasonable period of time following print publication.  
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: April 24, 2019
Award Amount: $5,000 per month for 6-12 months for projects beginning February 2020 or later

The Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan program is a joint activity of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan's international relations, and U.S.-Japan relations. The program encourages innovative research that puts these subjects in wider regional and global contexts and is comparative and contemporary in nature. Research should contribute to scholarly knowledge or to the general public's understanding of issues of concern to Japan and the United States. Appropriate disciplines for the research include anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, psychology, public administration, and sociology. Awards usually result in articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources.
Sponsor Target Date for Submission of Phase 1 Research Concept Outlines (RCOs): April 15, 2019
FAS/OSP Deadline: May 24, 2019
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals (if invited): June 3, 2019
Award Information: Phase 1 awards will be made up to $1M for up to 9 months. Additional funds will be available for a smaller number of Phase 2 awards. NSF anticipates funding approximately 50 Phase 1 awards.

With this Dear Colleague Letter, NSF's goals are to: (i) pilot a new NSF capability (the NSF Convergence Accelerator) to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and (ii) initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in three convergence topics (tracks):
  • Track A1: Open Knowledge Network (OKN) - This track aligns with Harnessing the Data Revolution, one of NSF's Ten Big Ideas. The overall goal of Track A1 is to build public-private cooperation and engage convergence teams from all areas of data science and science and engineering domains to enable the creation of a nonproprietary shared knowledge infrastructure. Phase 1 of the Open Knowledge Network NSF C-Accel Pilot track will support building the multidisciplinary and multi-institutional teams needed to identify the development paths for an OKN, with a particular focus on exploiting publicly available U.S. Government and similar public datasets.
  • Track B1: AI and Future Jobs - Tracks B1 and B2 address NSF's Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) Big Idea. The ultimate goal of Track B1 is to support research and development leading to technological tools that will connect individual workers with jobs, keeping in mind that periodic retraining and reskilling outside of traditional educational settings will increasingly become integral to successful lifetime careers. Phase 1 of the AI and Future Jobs NSF C-Accel Pilot track will support team building and creating research and development plans addressing multiple components of connecting workers with jobs of the future, such as predictive artificial intelligence tools, economic and labor market analyses of needed skills for future workplaces, and educational technologies needed for adult learning.
  • Track B2: National Talent Ecosystem - The ultimate goal of Track B2 is to support research and development leading to innovative approaches for employers to support workers seeking the skills required for 21st century work related to AI, data science, predictive analytics, and other technologies of the future. Phase 1 of the NSF C-Accel National Talent Ecosystem Pilot track will support team building and creating research and development plans addressing multiple approaches toward re-envisioning the concepts, structures, and technologies needed for employers to support continuous learning for dynamic, digitally-intensive work, and provide access to skilled talent pathways, mentors and authentic workplace experiences.

Phase 1 of the Pilot will use the  Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) mechanism, a mechanism used to submit multidisciplinary project ideas to NSF. The first-step to become part of the NSF C-Accel Pilot is to submit a 2-page Research Concept Outline (RCO). Those that effectively address one of the three tracks may be invited to submit a full RAISE proposal.
Other Federal Funding Opportunities:

Agency for International Development (USAID)

Department of State

National Institute of Justice
National Institutes of Health

National Endowment for the Humanities
Sign up for agency-specific funding alerts:

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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