July 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 erin_hale@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:
Climate_Change
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.

sgrp
Deadlines: Rolling
Award Amount: Varies by program

This newly launched program is aimed at pulling together diverse, emerging research efforts on the topic of Solar Geoengineering. SGRP will support a diverse range of research in the social sciences. Examples include:
  • Research public perceptions and risk attitudes; e.g., use survey methods to explore how knowledge about solar geoengineering influences people's willingness to commit to emissions reduction.
  • Address concerns that solar geoengineering could reduce incentives to mitigate; e.g., explore the possibility of novel "Climate Clubs," in which a coalition of nations requires members to commit to major emissions reductions as a condition of participating in the decision-making process regarding whether and how much solar geoengineering should be deployed.
  • Fund at least two country studies to engage scientists and decision-makers in the Philippines and one other developing country in research on the risks, benefits, and governance of solar geoengineering.

 

There are three funding initiatives under this program:

  1. The Fellowship Program invites applications for post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellowships, under the direct supervision of Harvard faculty. Fellowship awards will be for one to two years with possibility of renewal and graduate fellowships may, in some cases, have longer initial durations. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with their potential Harvard faculty sponsor before applying. Faculty who are interested in hosting a postdoctoral fellow or recruiting a graduate student are also encouraged to submit a brief letter of interest to SGRP's Advisory Committee. This program is open to early-career scientists within three years of earning their doctorate (for post-doctoral fellowships) or those admitted to or pursuing a Ph.D. (for pre-doctoral fellowships). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  2. Harvard Faculty Research Grants will provide direct research support for activities that cannot be effectively supported with individual students or fellows. That could involve multi-investigator collaborations, field or laboratory work in the sciences, or field or survey work in the social sciences. 
  3. The Residency Program will accept a small number of researchers focused on solar geoengineering to spend between 1 and 3 weeks at Harvard University, working directly with researchers at SGRP and other members of the Harvard community. The main purpose of this program is to enable visitors to work in collaboration with Harvard researchers and each other on discrete research projects. 
fhb
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
cullman
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 29, 2017
Award Amount: Stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources. 

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers offers fellowships to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its collections, the Library is one of the world's preeminent resources for study in anthropology, art, geography, history, languages and literature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, psychology, religion, sociology, and sports. The Cullman Center's Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers-academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. The Cullman Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level-within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows' published work.
radcliffe
Sponsor Deadline for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: September 14, 2017
Award Amount: $77,500 for one year with additional funds for project expenses

The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program annually selects and supports 50 leading artists and scholars who have both exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishments.  Scholars, scientists, and artists work on individual projects to generate new research, publications, art, and more. Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources at Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2018 through May 31, 2019. 
banting
Deadline to Request Harvard Institutional Endorsement: September 12, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: September 20, 2017
Award Amount: $70,000 per year for 2 years
 
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, offered by the Government of Canada, provide two year fellowships to eligible postdoctoral students both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country's economic, social and research-based growth. Applications are accepted from all fields in the humanities, social sciences, health research, natural sciences and engineering, and the sponsor has specifically expressed an interest in receiving more applications in the social sciences and humanities.  
 
Candidates to be hosted by Harvard must fulfill all degree requirements for a PhD or equivalent between September 20, 2014 and September 30, 2018 and must be Canadian Citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have obtained/will obtain their PhD or equivalent from a Canadian university.  Those who wish to be hosted by Harvard University must include with their application a  Letter of Endorsement signed by the Vice Provost for Research. Applicants requesting a Letter of Endorsement are asked to provide the OVPR with a copy of their proposed  Supervisor's Statement through the online portal at the link above by September 12, 2017.  
ssrc
Harvard OSP Deadline: September 8, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: September 15, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $10,000

The Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants are designed to open a robust research field that explores various dimensions of political negotiation in Congress by charting new avenues of understanding and methodological directions. They seek to inspire a cohort of researchers with diverse backgrounds and sets of expertise to address the challenges of political negotiation through scholarship drawn from and/or relevant to multiple disciplines and approaches. Successful applicants will submit innovative proposals within fields that include, but are not limited to: political science, political theory, political economy, race and ethnic politics, law, history, gender studies, behavioral economics, social psychology, cognitive psychology, emotion and political judgment, anthropology, sociology, and communications. 
abe_fellowship
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 1, 2017
Award Amount: The program provides Abe Fellows with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 months of full-time support over a 24-month period.

The Abe Fellowship is designed to encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. The program seeks to foster the development of a new generation of researchers who are interested in policy-relevant topics of long-range importance and who are willing to become key members of a bilateral and global research network built around such topics. It strives especially to promote a new level of intellectual cooperation between the Japanese and American academic and professional communities committed to and trained for advancing global understanding and problem solving. Applications are welcome from scholars and nonacademic research professionals. The objectives of the program are to foster high quality research in the social sciences and related disciplines, to build new collaborative networks of researchers around the four thematic foci of the program, to bring new data and new data resources to the attention of those researchers, and to obtain from them a commitment to a comparative or transnational line of inquiry.

kennan
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: September 1, 2017
Award Amount: Monthly stipend of $4,000

The Kennan Institute seeks fellowship applicants from diverse, policy-oriented sectors such as media, business, local government, law, civil society, and academia to examine important political, social, economic, cultural, and historical issues in Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Among the aims of the new fellowships are to build bridges between traditional academia and the policy world, as well as to maintain and increase collaboration among researchers from Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and around the globe. George F. Kennan Fellows will be based at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. for three-month residencies. Fellows will receive access to the Library of Congress, National Archives, and policy research centers in Washington, D.C., as well as the opportunity to meet with key experts and officials at the State Department, USAID, Department of Defense, and Congress. Applicants have an option to apply for the fellowship as individuals or as part of a team. If applying as a team of two (or three) applicants, the applicants must be citizens of at least two different countries.
Harvard OSP Deadline: August 31, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: September 8, 2017
Award Amount: Up to 80 million yen (~$714,960) for Joint Research Grants; Up to 20 million yen (~$178,748) for individual research grants.

Research Grant Program 2017, titled "Exploring New Values for Society", supports ambitious projects that adopt a panoramic view of the world and look generations into the future to seek new values for society by fundamentally exploring novel philosophies and arts to address difficult issues to be faced by future society; issues that are on a global scale; issues that transcend generations; and nascent problems that will only fully manifest themselves in the future.  The program has established two grant categories respectively for joint research projects and individual research projects, both of which places no restrictions on the areas of research or the methods employed.
pwf
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: No specified limit. 2017 grants ranged from $25,000-$700,000.

The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. The foundation focuses on three program areas: 
  • Criminal Justice: The Criminal Justice Program supports groups that are working to end the overincarceration of adults in the United States while also aiming to reduce racial disparities. 
  • Youth Justice: The Youth Justice Program supports groups working to advance a fair and effective community-based vision of youth justice, with a focus on ending the criminalization and incarceration of youth of color. 
  • Workers' Rights: The Workers' Rights Program supports policy and system reforms to improve the lives of low-wage working people in the United States, with a focus on securing their basic legal rights to safe, healthy, and fair conditions at work. 
templeton
Letter of Intent Deadline: August 31, 2017
OSP Deadline (if invited to submit full proposal): January 24, 2018
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): January 31, 2018
Award Amount: Individual grants vary in amount. Smallest active grant is about $35,000 and largest is $7.6 million.
 
The Foundation offers grants in support of research and public engagement in the following major Funding Areas:
  • The Science & the Big Questions Funding Area supports innovative efforts to address the deepest questions facing humankind. Why are we here? How can we flourish? What are the fundamental structures of reality? What can we know about the nature and purposes of the divine?
  • The Character Virtue Development funding area seeks to advance the science and practice of character, with a focus on moral, performance, civic, and intellectual virtues such as humility, gratitude, curiosity, diligence, and honesty.
  • The Individual Freedom & Free Markets Funding Area supports education, research, and grassroots efforts to promote individual freedom, free markets, free competition, and entrepreneurship. Grounded in the ideas of classical liberal political economy, we seek and develop projects that focus on individuals and their place in a free society. 
  • The Exceptional Cognitive Talent & Genius Funding Area supports programs that aim to recognize and nurture exceptional cognitive talent, especially for those at an early stage of life. This Funding Area also supports research concerning the nature of cognitive genius, including extraordinary creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
  • The Genetics Funding Area seeks to advance genetics research by supporting novel approaches and contrarian projects, especially research that is undervalued by traditional funding sources. In addition to basic and translational research, this Funding Area supports educational programs that increase public awareness concerning the ways in which genetics-related research and its applications can advance human flourishing at the individual, familial, and societal levels.
  • The Voluntary Family Planning Funding Area supports programs that provide such resources for parents and families worldwide.
aca
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: August 21, 2017
Award Amount: $150,000 maximum

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.
rs_computational
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: August 21, 2017
Award Amount: $150,000 maximum

The Russell Sage Foundation's initiative on Computational Social Science (CSS) 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. Limited consideration will be given to questions that pertain to core methodologies, such as causal inference and innovations in data collection.

rs_bioSS
OSP review not required for letters of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: August 21, 2017
Award Amount: $150,000 maximum

This initiative will support innovative social science research on social and economic outcomes that improves our understanding of the interactive mechanisms by which environmental influences affect biological mechanisms, and vice versa. This includes research that: (1) estimates how the structured nature of the social environment and intra- and intergenerational social inequalities affect biological processes, (2) identifies which indicators of biological processes interact with the social environment to affect different life domains and how, and (3) yields new conceptual frameworks that holistically characterize the complex relationships among biological, psychological and environmental factors to predict a range of behavioral and social outcomes. The foundation is primarily interested in research that explores and improves our understanding of social and economic predictors and outcomes. 

searle
Harvard OSP Deadline: August 15, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: August 22, 2017
Award Amount: Recent grants have ranged from $20,000 to $1,000,000, with the majority of grants under $100,000

The Searle Freedom Trust fosters research and education on public policy issues that affect individual freedom and economic liberty. Through its grant-making, the foundation seeks to develop solutions to the country's most important and challenging domestic policy issues.  The foundation invests primarily in scholarship that results in the publication of books, journal articles, and policy papers. Funding is typically provided in the form of research grants, fellowships, and other types of targeted project support.  The Searle Freedom Trust also provides funding for public interest litigation and supports outreach to the public through a variety of forums, including sponsorship of research conferences and seminars, film and journalism projects, and new media initiatives.
sif
OSP review not require for concept papers
Sponsor Concept Paper Deadline: August 15, 2017
Award Amount: $10,000-$20,000

The Sociological Initiatives Foundation was established to support research that furthers social change, including language learning and behavior and its intersection with social and policy questions.

The Foundation specifically supports research that focuses on impacting:
  • Social policy
  • Institutional and educational practices
  • Linguistic issues (e.g. literacy, language loss and maintenance, language policy, language and national security, bilingualism, language and gender, language and law, language disabilities, language and health, language and education, different language cultures)
  • Community capacity and the organization of previously unorganized groups
The Foundation supports projects that address institutional rather than individual or behavioral change. It seeks to fund research and initiatives that provide insight into sociological and linguistic issues that can be useful to specific groups and or communities.
wtgrant
OSP review not required for letter of inquiry
Sponsor Letter of Inquiry Deadline: August 2, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $1,000,000, depending on type of grant

The W.T. Grant Foundation supports 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.  The foundation funds  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.  Research grants on reducing inequality typically range from $100,000 to $600,000 and cover two to three years of support. Improving the use of research evidence grants will range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 and cover two to four years of support. Officers' Research grants for both initiatives cover budgets up to $50,000. 
hfgf
Harvard OSP Deadline: July 24, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2017
Award Amount: $15,000 to $40,000 per year for one or two years

The foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence and aggression in the modern world. Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects.
mellon
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: July 24, 2017 by 5:00pm
Sponsor Deadline: October 6, 2017
Award Amount: The equivalent of one academic year's salary, plus two summers of additional support, plus tuition or course fees or equivalent direct costs associated with the fellows' training programs.
Eligible Applicants: Faculty members who were awarded doctorates within the last six to twelve years and whose research interests call for formal training in a discipline other than the one in which they are expert.  
 
New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. 
 
To permit flexibility in meeting individual scholars' needs, these funds may be expended over a period not to exceed three full academic years. No overhead or indirect costs are permitted, and no funding for staging conferences, symposia, seminars or events related to the project is allowed.
 
Harvard may nominate only one candidate for this opportunity. Interested applicants are asked to submit the following materials online here in order to be considered for the Harvard nomination:
  • Summary of the proposal (2 pages maximum, 10 point font minimum. Relevant reference and/or graphics may be placed on consecutive blank pages after the written summary)
  • Current CV
More detail and guidelines from the Mellon Foundation can be found here

fulbright
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: August 1, 2017
Award Amount: Varies by award type
The Core Fulbright Scholar Program offers over 500 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. In addition to several new program models designed to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants.  U.S. citizenship is required. 
otherfederal

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
erin_hale@fas.harvard.edu | 617-496-5252

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

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