Eligibility and Guidelines
The Russell Sage Foundation’s Visiting Scholar Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their writing and research while in residence at the Foundation’s New York headquarters. The Foundation particularly welcomes groups of scholars, who wish to collaborate on a specific project during their fellowship period at Russell Sage. While Visiting Scholars typically work on projects related to the Foundation’s current programs, a number of scholars whose research falls outside the Foundation’s active programs also participate.
One of the oldest American foundations, the Russell Sage Foundation was established by Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907 for "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States." In pursuit of this mission, the Foundation now dedicates itself to strengthening the methods, data, knowledge and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies. Research carried out by Visiting Scholars constitutes an important part of the Russell Sage Foundation’s ongoing effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social and economic life in the United States.
The Visiting Scholars Program
The Russell Sage Foundation annually awards up to 19 residential fellowships to select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences who are at least several years beyond the Ph.D. The award allows these scholars to pursue their research and writing at the Foundation for a period of 10 months; Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1 and run through June 30. Each scholar is provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, computer and library facilities, salary support for the academic year of up to $110,000 (when unavailable from other sources) and, for scholars coming from outside the greater New York City area, a partially subsidized apartment close to the Foundation’s offices.
Application to the Visiting Scholar Program
Using the online application system, applicants to the program should complete and submit the following materials:
- The brief informational online questionnaire.
- A four-to-five page description of the project to be undertaken.
- An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV).
Do not submit any supporting materials, such as papers or recommendations.
Program Deadlines and Decisions
The deadline for applications is September 30 of the year prior to the desired year of residence. Our online application system opens on August 1 and closes on September 30 at midnight.
Decisions are ordinarily announced in March. Acceptances cannot be deferred to subsequent years.
All Visiting Scholar applications are externally reviewed by experts selected by the Foundation and final decisions are made by a sub-committee of the Russell Sage Board of Trustees.
The selection of Visiting Scholars is based on both an individual’s demonstrated record of accomplishment and the merit of the applicant’s proposed project. The project’s relevance to the Foundation’s declared mission to contribute to “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States” is also taken into consideration. This ordinarily rules out studies of other countries unless they are part of an explicitly comparative project aimed at elucidating conditions in the U.S. Preference is generally given to proposals connected to RSF’s current programs and initiatives, although several scholars are invited each year whose projects are less immediately relevant to the Foundation’s current activities, particularly if these projects are especially innovative and could potentially lead the Foundation to consider new and promising directions in the future. A special effort is also made to include talented younger scholars and to mix together representatives from a variety of social science disciplines in each year’s cohort. The fellowship year is designed to give scholars time to analyze data and write about the results of their research; it is not intended as an opportunity to collect new data.
Working Group Applications
The Foundation welcomes groups of two or more scholars who wish to collaborate on or pursue parallel research projects within an area of common interest. Every member of a working group must submit their own application. Working group applications should include a common statement of the joint project to be undertaken by the group. In the case where one or more group members may not be entirely occupied by the group project, additional detail should be included in the proposal about other individual work to be pursued while in residence. For working groups that are selected, the Foundation can provide a small budget to support joint research, or other activities, such as seminars or small conferences, that advance the group’s project. Unlike individual applications, working groups may include one former Visiting Scholar in the group. However, Foundation rules allow only one working group with a former scholar to be selected each year.
In its role as an academic publisher in the social sciences, the Foundation reserves the right to publish all book-length manuscripts undertaken with the support of the Visiting Scholar Award.
The Russell Sage Foundation seeks to promote diversity through all of its program activity. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender and/or gender identity, pregnancy or parental status, marital or domestic partner status, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process or the Visiting Scholar Program in general, please contact us at email@example.com.