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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 5/14/2018


Federal (



Cornell Center for Health Equity

Pilot Research Projects for Health Equity
Deadline for Proposals: June 1, 2018

The University-Wide Cornell Center for Health Equity is pleased to announce its first pilot research project opportunity to support novel and innovative community-partnered research projects in health or healthcare disparities that will lead to extramurally funded grants. The Cornell Center for Health Equity intends to commit $200,000 to fund four 1-year pilot projects ($50,000 each project).
Eligibility- To be responsive to this opportunity , four requirements must be fulfilled:
(1) The Principal Investigator (PI) must be an Academic Member of the Center for Health Equity. Affiliate Members and Community Members are encouraged to participate in investigative teams but may not serve as PI. Multiple PI models are encouraged, especially if the PIs are from different Colleges.
(2) The investigative team must include at least one investigator from Weill Cornell Medicine and additional investigators from at least one other College of Cornell University.
(3) The investigative team must include a community partner. The Cornell Center for Health Equity Community Engagement Core will assist investigators to find community partners as needed.
(4) The project must clearly explain how it will generate pilot data for a larger extramurally funded project. Applications that propose potentially high impact pilot studies that are well thought out and have a clearly defined path to extramural funding are particularly encouraged. Projects that are expected to lead to  program project grants are preferred.

Cornell Population Center

Grant Development Program
Annual program open to CPC faculty affiliates
Supports the development and submission of grant proposals to NIH

Rapid Response Grants
Less than $2000; rolling basis throughout year

David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Academic Venture Fund
2018 cycle is closed

Rapid Response Fund
Rolling – Contact a faculty director

Engaged Cornell

Engaged Curriculum Grants
Current application period is closed.
Funding teams that are integrating community engagement into new and existing curricula
$150,000 four-year maximum

Engaged Opportunity Grants
Current application period is closed.
Engaged Opportunity Grants are designed to help by supporting large and small projects from across the university
$5,000 funding maximum

Undergraduate Engaged Research Grants
Application’s will reopen in September 2018
Expanding the number of students involved in established community-engaged research
$40,000 two-year maximum

Academic Venture Funds Supplemental Grants
Application is due on June 19, 2018
Academic Venture Fund Supplemental Grants support undergraduate participation in cutting-edge, community-engaged projects funded by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF)
$10,000 maximum funding

Institute for Social Sciences

ISS’ Small Grants Programs Supporting Research and Conferences
Awarded twice yearly; next application deadline is September 11, 2018
Provide up to $12,000 for social science research projects and $5,000 for conferences.

Collaborative Projects
Pre-proosal due by November 26, 2018 (2018-2019) declension timeline
Faculty are encouraged to discuss their project ideas with Dan Lichter, the Robert S. Harrison Director of the ISS. Please contact Megan Pillar ( to make an appointment.
Comprised of 4-5 Cornell social science faculty members, collaborative projects conduct research on cutting edge and significant social science issues or topics. Priority is given to “shovel ready” projects that build bridges between researchers across the university.

Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

Humanities Research Grants
Current application period is closed.
Normally ranging from $1,500-$3,000
Modest grants for research in the humanities from a fund provided by the Vice Provost for Research

Small Grant Competition
No deadline – continuous
Not to exceed $5,000
The Einaudi Center’s faculty small grant program is designed to support and co-sponsor international activities and events.

University Library

Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants
Applications due annual by March 31
Offers select scholars financial assistance for expenses incurred when they come to conduct research on sexuality with sources in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC)

Federal (

Department of Defense (DOD)

United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
Broad Agency Announcement (2-6-2013 to 2-5-2018)
The funding opportunity is divided into two sections: (1) Basic Research and (2) Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development. The Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development Section is divided into four subsections: Training; Leader Development; Team and Inter-Organizational Performance in Complex Environments; and Soldier/Personnel Issues.

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 20, 2018
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.

Science of Organizations (SoO) – PD 11-8031
Current Closing Date for Applications: :  September 4, 2018
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, 2018
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, 2018
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.

USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program
Application deadline: May 30, 2017
HEC supports social and behavioral science disciplines. Projects that integrate social and biological sciences are encouraged. Incorporation of social and behavioral sciences is important for addressing many of the challenges facing agriculture and rural communities, such as increasing global demand for food production in the face of limited natural resources; improving health and reducing obesity by engaging in heathy diets; and alleviating poverty by fostering economic opportunity.


American Psychological Foundation

Various deadlines depending on grant

American Sociological Association

Two Deadlines: June 15th & December 15th
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.

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)

Lumina Foundation

With its partners, Lumina strives to meet workforce demands and close gaps in attainment for groups not historically well-served by higher education. Current funding is directed to advance the following strategies:

• Mobilize Employers, Metro Areas, and Regions to Increase Attainment
• Mobilize Higher Education to Increase Student Success
• Advance State Policy for Increased Attainment
• Advance Federal Policy for Increased Attainment
• Create New Models of Student Financial Support
• Design New Higher Education Business and Finance Models
• Create New Systems of Quality Credentials

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.

Rockefeller – Democratic Practice – Global Governance

2017 Revised Guidelines
Goal: Advance Democratic Practices to Address Global Challenges
Rolling acceptance

Russell Sage – Funding Opportunities

Behavioral Economics
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiries – May 24, 2018 & August 20, 2018
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 May 24, 2018
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

Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge (BioSS)
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiry: May 24, 2018 & August 20, 2018
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.

Social Inequality
Deadlines: Letter of Inquiries – August 20, 2018
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.

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.


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