Grant Opportunities in the Social Sciences

This list of grant opportunities in the social sciences is to alert our CSI faculty affiliates of funding opportunities. Opportunities are sorted by Cornell, Federal Agencies ( and Foundations.

CSI affiliated faculty who have any questions about these opportunities or need assistance in applying should contact Mary Newhart, Assistant Director, or 607-255-2212.

Last updated 1/22/2019


Federal (



Please see the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) list of Internal Funding.

We encourage CSI faculty affiliates to consider the Institute for Social Science (ISS) Small Grants Program. Twice yearly, the ISS distributes small grants to tenure-line faculty in the social science. We provide up to $12,000 for social science research projects and $5,000 for conferences. For Spring 2019 the applications are due on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 and should be emailed to

Also, the Cornell Population Center offers grant opportunities, mentoring, and training to CPC affiliated faculty and graduate students in the form of workshops and individual support.

Federal (

OSP has developed a Faculty Resources page, which provides guidance and resources for Cornell faculty members in their pursuit of research funding. 

Department of Defense (DOD)

United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
Broad Agency Announcement (4-30-2018 to 4-29-2023)
Topic areas of basic research interest include the following: Understanding Team Dynamics; Improving Leadership and Leader Development; Identifying, Assessing, and Assigning Quality Personnel; Enhancing Lifelong Learning.

Health and Human Services (HHS)

AHRQ Conference Grant Programs (R13)
Application Due Dates: February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1 annually beginning, February 1, 2017
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces its interest in supporting conferences through the AHRQ Single Year and Multiple Year Conference Grant Programs (R13). AHRQ seeks to support conferences that help to further its mission to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males (R01)
Standard date of application: February 5. Expires 1/8/2020
This initiative seeks applications that propose to stimulate and expand research in the health of minority men. Specifically, this initiative is intended to: 1) enhance our understanding of the numerous factors (e.g., sociodemographic, community, societal, personal) influencing the health-promoting behaviors of racial and ethnic minority males across the life cycle, and 2) encourage applications focusing on the development and testing of culturally and linguistically appropriate health-promoting interventions designed to reduce health disparities among

National Science Foundation
(note: NSF offers programs in many social science fields; search for more opportunities)

Current Closing Date for Applications: August 19, 2019
The Economics program supports research designed to improve the understanding of the processes and institutions of the U.S. economy and of the world system of which it is a part. This program also strengthens both empirical and theoretical economic analysis as well as the methods for rigorous research on economic behavior. It supports research in almost every area of economics, including econometrics, economic history, environmental economics, finance, industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, macroeconomics, mathematical economics, and public finance.

Law and Social Sciences
Current Closing Date for Applications: January 29, 2019
The Law & Social Sciences Program considers proposals that address social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules.The Program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological. Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific theory and understanding of the connections between human behavior and law, legal institutions, or legal processes.Social scientific studies of law often approach law as dynamic, made in multiple arenas, and with the participation of multiple actors.

Science of Organizations (SoO) – PD 11-8031
Current Closing Date for Applications: February 4, 2019
Organizations — private and public, established and entrepreneurial, designed and emergent, formal and informal, profit and nonprofit — are critical to the well-being of nations and their citizens. They are of crucial importance for producing goods and services, creating value, providing jobs, and achieving social goals. The Science of Organizations (SoO) program funds basic research that yields a scientific evidence base for improving the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds. SoO funds research that advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form, and operate. Successful SoO research proposals use scientific methods to develop and refine theories, to empirically test theories and frameworks, and to develop new measures and methods. Funded research is aimed at yielding generalizable insights that are of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker, and research communities.

Political Science
Current Closing Date for Applications: August 15, 2019
The Political Science Program supports scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of citizenship, government, and politics. Research proposals are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include, but are not limited to, American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, political behavior, political economy, and political institutions.

Current Closing Date for Applications: August 15, 2019
The Sociology Program supports basic research on all forms of human social organization — societies, institutions, groups and demography — and processes of individual and institutional change. The Program encourages theoretically focused empirical investigations aimed at improving the explanation of fundamental social processes. Included is research on organizations and organizational behavior, population dynamics, social movements, social groups, labor force participation, stratification and mobility, family, social networks, socialization, gender, race and the sociology of science and technology. The Program supports both original data collections and secondary data analysis that use the full range of quantitative and qualitative methodological tools. Theoretically grounded projects that offer methodological innovations and improvements for data collection and analysis are also welcomed.


American Association of University Women

Offers a number of fellowships and grants. Deadlines vary.

American Political Science Association

Small Research Grant Program supports research in all fields of political science. The intent of these grants is to provide funding opportunities for research conducted by:

  • Political scientists in non-tenure track or contingent positions who are ineligible for departmental funding
  • Political science faculty of all ranks who are employed in departments that do not grant PhDs

Deadline: April 15, 2019
Individual grants may not exceed $2,500.

American Psychological Foundation

APF is seeking to seed innovation through supporting projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems. APF grants align with our mission of enhancing psychology to elevate the human condition and advance human potential. They offer grants for early career funding and seed grants for research and for targeted programs.
Deadlines and funding vary by grants.

American Sociological Association

Community Action Research Initiative Grant
Deadline: August 31
Grants are for up to $3,000 of direct costs
The Community Action Research Initiative (CARI) grants. CARI grants are for projects that bring social science knowledge and methods to bear in addressing community-based problems. Applicants must be sociologists seeking to work with community organizations or community action initiatives.

Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD)
Deadline: December 15 and June 15
The American Sociological Association (ASA) invites submissions for the Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD) awards. Supported by the ASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the goal of this program is to nurture the development of scientific knowledge by funding small, groundbreaking research initiatives and other important scientific research activities such as conferences. FAD awards provide scholars with “seed money” for innovative research that has the potential for challenging the discipline, stimulating new lines of research, and creating new networks of scientific collaboration. The award is intended to provide opportunities for substantive and methodological breakthroughs, broaden the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and provide leverage for acquisition of additional research funds.

Minority Fellowship Program
Application deadline: January 31
Annual stipend: $18,000
Through its Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), the American Sociological Association (ASA) supports the development and training of sociologists of color in any sub-area or specialty in the discipline.

Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Fund
Deadline:  February 1
ASA may award multiple grants, each up to $2,500.
The Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Fund provides small grants to support projects that advance the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) within the discipline of sociology.  The Carnegie Foundation has defined SoTL as “problem posing about an issue of teaching or learning, study of the problem through methods appropriate to the disciplinary epistemologies, applications of results to practice, communication of results, self-reflection, and peer review” (Cambridge, 2001).

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Global Grand Challenges

Ford Foundation – Funding to Fight Inequality

Accepting short online form. Will be reviewed and responded to if they are interested.  Needs to be within one of their seven program areas focused on challenging inequality.

Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (GLMA)

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy

Supports the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences: specifically, the fields of psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, urban affairs, area studies, political science, and other disciplines.

Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation believes that education provides the basis for individual opportunity, economic vitality and social stability. With its partners, Lumina strives to meet workforce demands and close gaps in attainment for groups not historically well-served by higher education.. Priorities for action:

  • Scaling Affordable Pathways
  • Transparent Credentials
  • Competency-Based Learning
  • First Credential for Adults
  • Quality Assurance

Open Society Fellowship

Stipend: $80,000 or $100,000
Applicants for the Open Society Fellowship are invited to address the following proposition: New and radical forms of ownership, governance, entrepreneurship, and financialization are needed to fight pervasive economic inequality. Once chosen, fellows will work on projects of their own design and passion.

Institute for New Economic Thinking

Rolling basis; awards grants ranging in value from $25,000-$250,000 for projects of one to three years’ duration
Focus their efforts on supporting new economic thinking, in all the forms it may take. We are less interested in pure policy applications, institution building, and general program support.

Russell Sage – Funding Opportunities

Behavioral Economics
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiries – May 23, 2019
Up to $150,000
The Russell Sage Foundation’s program on Behavioral Economics supports innovative research that uses behavioral insights from psychology and other social sciences to examine and improve social and living conditions in the United States. We seek investigator-initiated research proposals that will broaden our understanding of the social, economic and political consequences of real-life behaviors and decisions that deviate from the neoclassical economic standards of rationality. RSF is especially interested in behavioral economics research that contributes to our understanding of topics of interest under its other programsFuture of Work; Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; Social Inequality.

Computational Social Science
Deadline: Letter of Inquiry: August 19, 2019
Up to $150,000
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

Future of Work (FOW)
Deadline: Letter of Inquiry: August 19, 2019
The Russell Sage Foundation’s program on the Future of Work supports innovative research on the causes and consequences of changes in the quality of jobs for less- and moderately-skilled workers and their families. We seek investigator-initiated research proposals that will broaden our understanding of the role of changes in employer practices, the nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and the quality of jobs of workers. We are especially interested in proposals that address important questions about the interplay of market and non-market forces in shaping the wellbeing of workers, today and in the future.

Immigration  Immigration Integration (III)
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiry: May 23, 2019
The Russell Sage Foundation/Carnegie Corporation Initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration seeks to support innovative research on the effects of race, citizenship, legal status and politics, political culture and public policy on outcomes for immigrants and for the native-born of different racial and ethnic groups and generations. This initiative falls under RSF’s Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Program and represents a special area of interest within the core program, which continues to encourage proposals on a broader set of issues.

Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge (BioSS)
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiry: May 23, 2019
Up to $150,000
The 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. We are primarily interested in research that explores and improves our understanding of social and economic predictors and outcomes.

Race, Ethnicity and Immigration (REI)
Deadline: Letter of Inquiry: May 23, 2019

Social, Economic and Political Effects of the ACA (ACA)
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiry: May 23, 2019
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 represents the most significant reform of the U.S. health care system in decades. It was enacted to increase access to health insurance, enhance the quality of care and moderate the growth in costs. The law, and recent and proposed changes to the law, are likely to have had far reaching social, economic and political effects beyond their direct effects on health insurance markets and health outcomes. This initiative support social science research on the social, economic and political effects of the ACA.

Social Inequality
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiries – May 23, 2019
Up to $150,000
The Russell Sage Foundation’s program on Social Inequality supports innovative research on whether rising economic inequality has affected social, political, and economic institutions, and the extent to which increased inequality has affected equality of opportunity, social mobility, and the intergenerational transmission of advantage. We seek investigator-initiated research projects that will broaden our understanding of the causes and consequences of rising economic inequalities in the United States.

Social Science Research Council

The SSRC is an independent nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of social science research and scholarship. Various fellowships and grants.

Sociological Initiatives Foundation

Deadlines: Short concept proposals due August 15th annually
Grants range from $10,000 to $20,000
The Sociological Initiatives Foundation supports social change by linking research to social action. It funds research projects that investigate laws, policies, institutions, regulations, and normative practices that may limit equality in the United States. It gives priority to projects that seek to address racism, xenophobia, classism, gender bias, exploitation, or the violation of human rights and freedoms. It also supports research that furthers language learning and behavior and its intersection with social and policy questions. We look for projects that have an explicit research design and a concrete connection to public or community impact. It is not enough to just write a report or add a focus group to a social change project. The research should ideally build an organization or constituency’s potential to expand public knowledge, impact policy, and create social change.

Spencer – Small Research Grants Program

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 we have funded through these grants has spanned a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and they employ a wide range of research methods. The following examples of recently-funded small grants illustrate the diversity of what we support:

• an experimental study of how college students use visual representations in solving math problems
• a study exploring the process of racial and rural identity formation among African American high-school students who attend de facto segregated schools in the rural South
• a mixed-methods study focusing on the different types of knowledge novice and experienced teachers draw on in teaching for reading comprehension

Werner-Gren Foundation

The Foundation has a variety of grant programs for anthropological research and scholarship.

William T. Grant Foundation – Research Grants

Two focus areas:

• programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and
• strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth.

Research grants about reducing inequality typically range between $100,000 and $600,000 and cover two to three years of support. Research grants about improving the use of research initiative will range between $100,000 and $1,000,000 and cover two to four years of support. This shift to a million dollar ceiling reflects our renewed commitment to this focus area and our interest in funding bold, large-scale studies to significantly advance the field. Projects involving secondary data analysis are at the lower end of the budget range, whereas projects involving new data collection and sample recruitment can be at the higher end. Proposals to launch experiments in which settings (e.g., classrooms, schools, youth programs) are randomly assigned to conditions sometimes have higher awards.

For smaller projects, we have a separate funding mechanism: Officers’ Research grants. These awards cover budgets up to $50,000. Some are stand-alone projects that fit our research focus areas; others build off of larger projects. Junior scholars of color are encouraged to apply for these grants as a way to build their research programs.