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Russell Sage Foundation Awards

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Scholars for
Social Science Research on Improving Social Policies

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Russell Sage Foundation (RSF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/05/18 11:00 AM PT - Only Future of Work / Social Inequality / Behavioral Economics


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Ph.D. scholars for social science research in the areas of the future of work, behavioral economics, social inequality, and race, ethnicity, and immigration. LOIs for the Race, Ethnicity and Immigration / Behavioral Economics Program are due by November 30, 2017, and questions on the LOI process should be submitted no later than 30 days before the LOI deadline. Priority is given to innovative uses of existing data that address emerging or long-standing questions of interest in the program areas.

Proposals to conduct laboratory or field experiments, in-depth qualitative interviews, and ethnographies are also encouraged. Smaller projects might consist of exploratory fieldwork, a pilot study, or the analysis of existing data.

Any requests above $35,000, up to a maximum of $150,000 (including overhead) are processed as Project Award applications. Successful applications are externally reviewed and must be approved by the Foundation's Board of Trustees.

Any requests up to $35,000 are processed as Presidential Award applications and cannot include any overhead/indirect costs. Successful applications are externally reviewed and then approved by the President. RSF is particularly interested in supporting research projects by early career scholars and encourages them to apply for these grants. In rare circumstances, investigators may apply for a Presidential Award of up to $50,000 (no overhead) when the proposed research project has special needs for gathering data (e.g.: qualitative research) or gaining access to restricted-use data.

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.

Projects that use newly-available data or make new linkages across data sources have a higher priority than projects that analyze only public use data from widely available data sets. For projects that use data from any Census or Current Population Survey or American Community Survey, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey and many other data sets, the budget request should total no more than $75,000. However, RSF will consider budget requests that exceed this amount if the investigator fully explains why the project requires a higher amount.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169883

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project Awards: Applications should request a maximum of $150,000 per project, including overhead.
Presidential Awards: Any requests up to $35,000 are processed as Presidential Award applications and cannot include any overhead/indirect costs. In rare circumstances, investigators may apply for a Presidential Award of up to $50,000 (no overhead).

Term of Contract:

Applications should limit budget requests to no more than a two-year period.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All applicants (both PIs and Co-PIs) must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree, or a career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research. RSF particularly encourages early career scholars to apply for Presidential awards. All nationalities are eligible to apply and applicants do not have to reside in the U.S. RSF does not accept applications for Project and Presidential Awards from doctoral or other graduate students, unless specified in a special RFP.

Not funded:
- Support for sabbaticals or fellowships at other institutions, even if the PI will be working on an RSF project. Investigators are encouraged to consider the Foundation's Visiting Scholar Program if time is needed for completing a project.
- Release time (course buy-outs) from teaching during the academic year.
- Support for any pre-doctoral or doctoral research (including dissertation research) with the exception of the Behavioral Economics Small Grants.
- Tuition remission for graduate or undergraduate students.
- Support for personnel or other costs related to communications or dissemination or publication, including journal publication fees.
- Travel for collaboration purposes or dissemination/presentation of findings (conference travel).
- Generic costs, such as copying, printing, mailing, phone calls, information/computer services, etc., as these are typically considered to be a part of indirect costs.

There are restrictions on salary request, as well as other budget categories. Please see the budget guidelines for the most up-to-date information.

The foundation does not typically provide support for conferences and workshops independent of a specific project and affiliated award.

Pre-Application Information:

All potential projects—Presidential and Project Awards—must be preceded by a letter of inquiry. All letters of inquiry must be submitted directly by the principal investigator or co-PI of the proposed project. University administration staff or students may not submit applications on behalf of the principal investigator.

RSF has three funding cycles per year and only considers proposals that are invited following review of an initial letter of inquiry. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit letters of inquiry in advance of the deadline to allow adequate time for program staff to respond to the letter and, if invited, for investigators to prepare a well-developed proposal.

All letters of inquiry and proposals submitted to RSF are reviewed by program staff, external reviewers from multiple disciplines selected specifically for their expertise, members of one of the standing Advisory Committees, or some combination of these. In the case of Project Awards, final funding decisions are made by the Board of Trustees at the February, June, and November Board meetings.

If you still have questions, substantive or otherwise, regarding the submission of letters of inquiry (LOI), please submit them no later than 30 days before the next deadline. A response to any questions submitted within 30 days of an LOI deadline cannot be guaranteed.

ALL Regular Programs:
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 31, 2017 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Invited Proposal Deadline: August 15, 2017 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Funding decision expected: November 2017

ONLY Race, Ethnicity and Immigration/Behavioral Economics:
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: August 21, 2017 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Invited Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2017 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Funding decision expected: March 2018

ONLY Future of Work/Social Inequality/Behavioral Economics:
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: November 30, 2017 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Invited Proposal Deadline: March 5, 2018 (2 pm ET/ 11 am PT)
Funding decision expected: June 2018

There is no deadline for the Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


More information about eligibility:

Budget guidelines:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applicant Log In:
(212) 750-6000

Russell Sage Foundation
112 E. 64th Street
New York, NY 10065

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.