Pipeline Grants Competition

Competition Details

RSF expects to fund between 20-25 one-year projects by assistant and associate professors. The next proposal deadline is 2pm ET on November 4, 2020, for funding starting in Summer 2021.  You can apply for either the pipeline grants or our regular research grants at the November 11th deadline, but not both. The funded researchers will be invited to submit their findings at a conference at the Russell Sage Foundation the following year, with investigators, mentors, advisory committee members, and other experts in attendance.


Only tenure track assistant professors, and associate professors who have been in the rank for less than seven years are eligible to apply. The pipeline grants competition is only available to faculty who have not previously received a research grant or a visiting fellowship from RSF. The program seeks to promote racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity and will prioritize applications from scholars who are underrepresented in the social sciences.

Budget Guidelines

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:

  • PI/co-PI Salary Support or Course Buyouts (no more than 50% of the grant, 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.

Tenure track assistant professors can apply for grants of up to $30,000. RSF will pair assistant professors with mentors working in the same field, and provide an honorarium for the mentors.

Associate professors who have been in the rank for less than seven years are eligible for grants of up to $50,000.

Full professors and associate professors who have held the position for more than seven years, and professors who have previously received RSF funding are eligible to be co-PI’s on projects, but cannot receive funding. Non tenure track professors, researchers, and post-docs are eligible to receive funding as co-PIs, within the parameters of the budget guidelines. 

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


We do not require or accept letters of inquiry for the Pipeline Grants Competition. Proposals should be submitted through RSF’s online application portal. Proposals are limited to seven single-spaced pages (with standard 11 or 12-point font, and 1-inch margins), and should 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. References do not count towards the page limit. Also required are an abbreviated CV (5 pages max), detailed budget, budget justification (1-2 pages), and a letter from your institution stating that it will act as the fiscal agent for the project should a grant be made.

How to Apply

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;
    • A detailed Excel budget using the Foundation’s budget template;
    • A budget narrative (1-2 pages);
    • An up-to-date abbreviated CV (maximum of 5 pages per CV);
    • 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;

Research Conference

The funded researchers will be expected to present their findings at a conference at the Russell Sage Foundation during spring/summer 2022. Investigators, mentors, advisory committee members, and other experts will participate. The conference will focus on improving the quality of the research and also foster collaboration among researchers. Grantees will be free to publish their research in their preferred outlet. RSF will reimburse participants for reasonable travel expenses to attend the conference.

Summer Institute

In the Summer of 2021, RSF will host a Proposal Development Summer Institute. It will be modeled on RSF’s existing summer institutes that seek to develop a new generation of social science scholars and will be designed to develop a participant’s research idea into a completed proposal.  The curriculum will include classroom instruction from senior scholars, individual writing assignments and evaluations, group sessions, peer reviews, and one-on-one consultations. 

Please sign up for the RSF mailing list and follow RSF on Twitter for updates.

Administrative Procedures

The grant must be administered by the grantee’s university. RSF will pay the entire grant amount upon submission of all completed grant documents. At the end of the grant period, the investigator(s) must submit a final substantive report to RSF along with an official financial report from the university and copies of all research papers supported by the grant.


Upcoming deadlines

Submit a Pipeline Grant Proposal

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about applying for a pipeline grant

View the Funding Opportunity


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.


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