All applicants (both PIs and Co-PIs) must have a doctorate. In rare circumstances, RSF may consider applications from scholars who do not hold a doctorate but can demonstrate a strong career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research. Students may not be applicants.
RSF particularly encourages early career scholars to apply for Presidential grants. All nationalities are eligible to apply and applicants do not have to reside in the U.S., but the focus of the proposed research project must be on the U.S. as per our mission.
Transparency & Reproducibility:
- Data Release Plan: Publishing data and all associated materials from research projects is valuable because it allows others to examine the robustness of reported results and facilitates fuller re-use of collected data in general. As a condition for providing substantial support for new data collection, RSF requires that the investigators make their data sets publicly available to the social science research community. Investigators must include as part of their proposal a plan for public release of the data and documentation. RSF will consider exceptions for proprietary data and qualitative data.
- Pre-registration: Pre-registration is important for various reasons: to ameliorate “publication bias,” as a source of results for meta-analysis, to find out about available survey instruments, and to access and download data. As a condition for providing substantial support for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), RSF requires RCTs to be pre-registered. Investigators must include as part of their application where and when they plan to pre-register the trials. In other cases, RSF may strongly recommend pre-registration as a funding condition. Some existing registries include:
Publishing Funded Work:
RSF does not consider or prioritize the type of publications proposed by investigators (e.g., journal articles, book manuscript) in its evaluation and selection of projects for funding. However, RSF does have an active publishing program and if a book is proposed, the foundation reserves the right to publish. With the launch of our new journal, RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, RSF no longer funds or publishes edited volumes.
Intellectual Property Rights:
With the exception of book-length manuscripts (covered in the preceding paragraph), RSF may reserve usage rights over intellectual property produced with foundation support. RSF will negotiate intellectual property agreements with principal investigators (and their host institutions) when it has made a substantial investment in the research underlying the product and has a substantial interest in the widespread distribution of the product to advance RSF's mission and/or its own future initiatives. RSF will not require such an agreement if the investigators (and host institution) agree to distribute the product on principles consistent with those of RSF.