Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Pipeline Grant Competition

Who is eligible to apply?

Early-career scholars (anyone who is currently an Assistant Professor or Adjunct Assistant Professors and Lecturers who received the Ph.D. after January 1, 2014) who have not received an RSF research grant previously are eligible to apply. Applicants must meet these requirements as of the submission deadline. There are no limitations on the disciplinary background of the researcher. The Foundation encourages applications from scholars who are traditionally underrepresented in the scientific disciplines and RSF’s application pool.

Are Post-Docs eligible?

Post-docs are not eligible to be PIs, but can be included on and receive funding on a grant. 

Can full professors or associate professors be co-pi's?

Full professors and associate professors, and professors who have previously received RSF funding are eligible to be co-PI’s on projects, but cannot receive funding.

What do we support?

Projects must contribute to RSF's mission to improve social and living conditions in the United States. Appropriate projects will demonstrate use of relevant theory, data, methods and measures in the research design. 

Do you fund projects in other countries?

No. In line with the foundation’s mission, all projects must focus on the United States. In some exceptional cases, RSF may consider data collected outside the U.S. (e.g., experimental data, survey data, etc.) if the researcher can demonstrate that the data needed for the project is not available in the U.S., and that the data has direct and strong relevance to understanding social and living conditions in the U.S.

Do I have to submit a letter of inquiry before submitting an application?

No, pipeline grants applications do not require an initial letter of inquiry.

Are there deadlines for submitting an application?

Please see our webpage Upcoming Deadlines for the most up-to-date information.

What should my application include?

Applications must be submitted via the RSF online application portal, Fluxx.

  1. Create an account or log in to your existing account. **Allow up to 48 hours for a new account to be approved**
  2. Start a new “Pipeline Grants” application
  3. Submit the following documents:
    • A concise single-spaced proposal (7 pages maximum) describing the proposed work;
    • An up-to-date abbreviated CV (maximum of 5 pages per CV);
  4. Not required at submission, but required prior to funds being disbursed:
    • A detailed Excel budget using the Foundation’s budget template;
    • A budget narrative (1-2 pages);
    • An organization confirmation letter – a letter from your home institution stating that it will manage the funds for the project should a grant be made;

How long should my proposal be?

The maximum length for the text of a proposal is seven single-spaced pages, excluding the bibliography (with standard 11 or 12-point font, and 1-inch margins).

What should my proposal substantively include?

Proposals should outline the rationale of the research, include a very brief literature review (no more than one page), and detailed information on the research question, hypotheses, research methods and data, analytic plan, and project timeline.

What are the budget restrictions?

A budget is not required at the time of submission. The budget will be finalized with the grantee, their university's research office, and RSF after the approval of the grant. For general budget guidelines, see our budget requirements page. The following are special budget exceptions that are specific to this program. The budget guidelines listed here for the pipeline grants competition supersede any conflicting guidelines listed on the general budget webpage.

Representative categories of expenditure that should be described in the budget narrative include:

  • Salary Support or Course Buyout (up to $15,000 per eligible PI, not including fringe)
  • Data acquisition, such as data access fees or the purchase of data sets
  • Data collection
  • Research assistance
  • Travel (for data collection or conferences)
  • Other research expenses will be considered on a case by case basis.

Individual applicants can apply for grants of up to $35,000, teams of eligible assistant professors can apply for up to $50,000. RSF will pair grantees with mentors working in the same field, and provide an honorarium for the mentors.

Full professors, associate professors, and assistant professors who have previously received RSF funding are eligible to be co-PI’s on projects, but cannot receive funding.

RSF does not allow indirect costs on pipeline grants and restricts the project period to one year. 

How long does the application review take?

To be guaranteed full consideration, all application materials, must be submitted by the application deadline. We anticipate decisions by early March. 

If my application gets rejected, can I revise and resubmit?

No, applications will be accepted or rejected with no possibility of subsequent negotiation. You may apply again in future competitions.

Do I have to use the online application system?

Yes. If you have any questions or problems with Fluxx, please contact

Is there a time limit in which I must submit my proposal once I start an application online?

Yes. If a new application is not electronically submitted within 6 months, the application will automatically be deleted from the online system and you will need to restart the process.

Return to Pipeline Grants Competition Eligibility and Application Guidelines


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