Small Grants

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.

 

Small Grants in Behavioral Economics (BE)

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 $7,500 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.

 

Small Grants in Computational Social Science (CSS)

RSF’s initiative on Computational Social Science supports innovative social science research that utilizes new data and methods to advance our understanding of the research issues that comprise its core social science programs in Social Inequality, Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, and Race, Ethnicity and Immigration. Limited consideration will be given to research that focuses primarily on methodologies, such as causal inference and innovations in data collection. We are primarily interested in research that explores and improves our understanding of social, psychological, political and economic outcomes.

For example, can large-scale administrative data linked with other administrative or survey data provide greater insights on educational policies or practices to improve educational or labor market outcomes? Can machine learning techniques used to analyze large volumes of text in greater depth and detail than previously available help shed greater light on questions around inequality, work or immigration? Can data from social media be linked to more structured data to understand social, economic, or political outcomes? More detailed examples of the types of research topics of interest are highlighted in the Computational Social Science (CSS) RFP and a description of recent grants can be found here.

There is a $10,000 lifetime limit for the Small Grants in CSS.

The next application deadline for CSS Small Grants is: March 15, 2019 (2 pm Eastern Time/11 am Pacific Time). Decisions will be announced by May 1, 2019. We expect to fund 6-8 proposals in this first round.

Learn More about Small Grants

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