What We Do

The Russell Sage Foundation was established by Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907 for "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States." RSF funds social science research that extends the methods, data, and theories of the social sciences as a means of better documenting and understanding the nation’s most pressing social, political, and economic problems. The foundation supports visiting scholars in residence and publishes books and a journal under its own imprint. It also funds researchers at other institutions and supports programs intended to develop new generations of social scientists.

Funding Innovative Social Science Research

RSF funds research projects in four principal programs—Behavioral Economics; the Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality—and in a number of special initiatives. RSF also hosts working groups that develop and cultivate original social science research in new or understudied fields.

Read more about RSF’s programs or apply for funding.

Visiting Scholars, Researchers, and Journalists

The foundation’s Visiting Scholar Program, first established over thirty years ago, is a unique opportunity for social scientists to pursue research projects that investigate essential questions on social, economic, and political life in the United States while in residence at RSF. The program fosters the exchange of ideas in a vibrant interdisciplinary environment and promotes collaborations between researchers.

The foundation has also established shorter term residencies for Visiting Researchers and Visiting Journalists who work alongside RSF’s visiting scholars on projects related to the foundation’s principal research areas.

Read more about RSF’s residencies or apply for a fellowship.


Under its own imprint, the foundation publishes books that derive from the work of its grantees and visiting scholars. RSF publications have been the recipients of prominent book awards in the social sciences and are regularly featured in the media.

In 2015 the foundation launched a peer-reviewed, open-access academic journal, RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, that brings together original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.

Read more about RSF’s publications or purchase books.


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.


Join our mailing list for email updates.