Eligibility and Guidelines (Small Grants)

Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or post-docs/junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for up to two years. There are no restrictions with regards to the applicant’s nationality or geographical location.

Proposals must be submitted through the online application portal. The maximum length for the text of a proposal is 1,000 words, excluding budget and bibliography. Proposals should discuss the rationale of the research, the question under study and the methods and analytic approach to be employed. You should include a brief project work-plan and a budget justification or narrative that succinctly explains and clarifies the budget. The proposal should also briefly discuss how the project fits with the Foundation's mission priorities.

The applicant must use the RSF budget template. There is a lifetime limit of $7,500. The small grants are meant as 1-year grants.

Representative categories of expenditure include acquisition of data, research assistance (but not including payment to any researchers who will be co-authors on the project), and payments to subjects in experiments. No funds will be granted for researchers' time. No funds can be spent on computer hardware or software. No overhead or indirect costs will be paid on these grants.

A budget that appears to be excessive will be grounds for rejecting a proposal.

There is no deadline for the small grants programs; applications are accepted on a rolling basis (conditional on funding availability).

Review Process
Applications are generally reviewed within 8 weeks (conditional on funding availability). Grants will be accepted or rejected with no possibility of subsequent negotiation.

Administrative Procedures
The grant will be administered by the investigator's university which will act as the fiscal agent. The Russell Sage Foundation will pay the entire grant in advance.

At the conclusion of the grant period, investigators must submit a final substantive report along with an official financial report from the fiscal agent and copies of all research papers supported by the grant. These reports must be submitted through the application portal. Reporting requirements and forms can be found here.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions about applying for a small grant in behavioral economics.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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