RSF offers small grants to doctoral students at the dissertation stage and recent Ph.D. recipients to support innovative, high-quality research and to encourage young investigators to enter these developing interdisciplinary fields. Small grants are currently offered under the Foundation’s program in Behavioral Economics and its special initiative in Computational Social Science.
Projects must contribute to RSF's mission to improve social and living conditions in the United States. Appropriate projects must demonstrate use of relevant theory, data, methods and measures in the research design. In all cases, proposed projects must address research issues that are relevant to the Foundation’s core programs in Social, Political, and Economic Inequality; Behavioral Economics; Future of Work; or Race, Ethnicity and Immigration.
The foundation’s Behavioral Economics program supports research that uses behavioral insights from psychology, economics, sociology, political science and other social sciences to examine and improve social and living conditions in the United States. Appropriate projects will demonstrate explicit use of psychological concepts in the motivation of the research design and the preparation of the results. Experimental projects that do not have substantial behavioral content (such as market experiments testing neoclassical ideas) or substantial economic content (such as psychology experiments with no economic choices or strategic or market implications) will not be considered.
For example, to what extent can choice architecture improve decision making in various social, economic, political, and educational contexts? To what extent do behavioral biases affect the use of welfare programs and recipients' wellbeing? More detailed examples of the types of research topics of interest are highlighted in the Behavioral Economics RFP and a description of recent grants can be found here.
There is a $8,500 lifetime limit for the BE Small Grants. BE Small Grants applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We expect to fund up to 10-12 proposals each year.