Small Grants in Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance
In 2009, the Russell Sage Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation started a working group to advance behavioral economic research on consumer financial decision-making. The broad purpose of the Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance is to explore ways in which the regulation of consumer finance can be informed by behavioral research. As an extension of the work done by members of the working group, the Russell Sage and Sloan Foundations have decided to establish a small grants program to support young investigators interested in undertaking research on the financial decisions posed to consumers by increasingly complex retail financial products.
The proposed research must address a topic in consumer finance using the theory and/or methods of behavioral economics. There are no limitations on the disciplinary background of the principal investigator and interdisciplinary efforts are welcome. Appropriate projects will demonstrate explicit use of behavioral concepts in the motivation of the research design and the preparation of the results.
All applicants must be nominated by a member of the Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, and the letter of nomination must be included in the application. Proposals should outline briefly the basic rationale of the research, the question under study and the methods and analytic approach to be employed.
Proposals should be submitted to the Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, attn: Consumer Finance Small Grants, Russell Sage Foundation, 112 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065. There is no deadline for the Small Grants Program; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The maximum length for the text of a proposal is 1,000 words, excluding budget and bibliography. Proposals should outline briefly the basic rationale of the research, the question under study and the methods and analytic approach to be employed.
The maximum budget request is $7,500. Representative categories of expenditure include data collection, the purchase of data sets, research assistance (but not including payment to any researchers who will be co-authors on the project), payment to subjects in experiments, miscellaneous expenses (such as copies, telephone, postage). No funds will be granted for researchers' time. A budget that appears to be excessive will be grounds for rejecting a proposal. No more than $500 can be allocated to miscellaneous expenses. No funds can be spent on computer hardware or software.
All applicants must be nominated by a member of the Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, and a letter of nomination must be included in the application. The nomination letter should discuss the qualifications of the applicants, as well as the merits of the project.
Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for two or fewer years. There is a $7,500 lifetime limit of support under the Russell Sage/Sloan Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance small grants program, and a $10,000 combined lifetime limit for both this and the Russell Sage Behavioral Economics small grants program.
Grants will be accepted or rejected with no possibility of subsequent negotiation.
- Applicant CV(s)
- Fiscal agent letter
- Letter of nomination from a member of the Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance
- Official transcripts (doctoral students only)
The award will be administered by the grantee's university which will act as the fiscal agent. The Russell Sage Foundation will pay the entire award in advance.
At the conclusion of the grant period, investigators must send a final substantive report of up to 1,000 words to the Russell Sage Foundation along with an official financial report from the fiscal agent and copies of all research papers supported by the award.