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RSF Bulletin

New Research Grants Approved at March 2021 Trustee Meeting

At RSF's March 2021 meeting of the board of trustees seventeen research projects were approved in its programs on the Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality, and in its special initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration. Several of these grants and several of the Presidential Authority grants listed below were co-funded by either the Carnegie Corporation of New York or the JPB Foundation.

The new grants include research projects that examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workforce and on social, political and economic inequality; the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests on urban policing policy reform; the impact of anti-Asian sentiment and discrimination on the social identity and civic engagement of Asian Americans; and how routine maintenance of voter rolls may disenfranchise minority, poor, and younger voters.

Click here to read brief descriptions of each research project and for links to full descriptions of each grant.

New Presidential Authority Grants Approved

Thirteen new Presidential Authority grants were recently made in RSF's programs on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality, and in the foundation's special initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration. In addition, supplemental funding was approved for a previous grant to Elizabeth Fussell, Brown University, to complete a create a geographically standardized time series for residents of Puerto Rico.

Click here to read brief descriptions of each research project and for links to full descriptions of each grant.

Announcing Mentors for the RSF-Gates Foundation 2021 Pipeline Grants Winners

RSF is pleased to announce the selection of seventeen mentors who will advise the early career scholars who received grants from the second annual Pipeline Grants Competition, funded in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mentors will help guide grantees' research and offer career advice. Mentees will present and receive feedback on their research and network with peers, mentors and advisory committee members, at an annual conference. Funds are also available to support visits by mentees to their mentors' institutions and arrange meetings for grantees and mentors at professional conferences.

Click here to read more about the mentors for this year's grantees.

Click here to read about the recipients of this year's Pipeline Grants.

New Edition: Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality

Early care and education in the U.S. is in crisis. Vast racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities begin early in children's lives and contribute to starkly different long-term outcomes for adults. Compared to other advanced economies, child care and preschool in the U.S. are scarce, expensive, and inadequate in quality for most middle- and low-income families. The updated second edition of Cradle to Kindergarten offers a comprehensive, evidence-based diagnosis of the obstacles to accessible early education and charts a path to opportunity for all children.

Authors Ajay Chaudry (New York University), Taryn Morrissey (American University), Christina Weiland (University of Michigan), and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (New York University) propose overhauling the early care and education system, beginning with federal paid parental leave that would provide both parents with time and financial support after the birth of a child. They also would expand the child care tax credit, and create a child care assurance program to subsidize the cost of high-quality early care for low- and moderate-income families. Their plan establishes universal early education starting by age three, and reforms the Head Start program to include more intensive services for families living in areas of concentrated poverty and experiencing multiple adversities from the earliest point in the lives of disadvantaged children. They include an implementation plan to achieve these reforms within ten years.

Read more and purchase a copy of the book.

View a webinar discussion of the book's findings and policy implications here.

RSF-Supported Research Informs the Biden Administration's Child Poverty Reduction Legislation

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), signed into law by President Biden in March 2021, includes the boldest legislation aimed at reducing child poverty in more than 50 years. Estimates suggest that it will reduce child poverty by half, with larger reductions for Black and Latino children. RSF has for decades funded social science research on the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality and published research and policy recommendations in many books and in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. Scholars supported by RSF grants played an important role in developing the research infrastructure that informed the Rescue Plan's expansion of the child tax credit.

The ARP's child tax credit was informed by a 2018 RSF journal article, "A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Poverty and Income Instability Among Children in the United States," authored by H. Luke Shaefer (University of Michigan), Sophie Collyer (Columbia University), Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine), Kathryn Edin (Princeton University), Irwin Garfinkel (Columbia University), David Harris (Columbia University), Timothy M. Smeeding (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jane Waldfogel (Columbia University), Christopher Wimer (Columbia University), and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (New York University). The ARP draws on the authors' recommendations for "universality, accessibility, adequate payment levels, and more generous support for young children."

Read more about RSF-supported research contributions to the legislation.

Funding Guidelines for May 4, 2021, Deadline for Letters of Inquiry

For its next deadline, RSF will accept letters of inquiry (LOIs) under these core programs and special initiatives: Behavioral Economics; Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context; Future of Work; Social, Political and Economic Inequality. RSF will also accept LOIs relevant to any of its core programs that address at least one of the following issues:

  1. Research on the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. Specifically, research that assesses the social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences of the pandemic, especially its effects on marginalized individuals and groups and on trust in government and other institutions. Our priorities do not include analyses of health outcomes or health behaviors. RSF seldom supports studies focused on outcomes such as educational processes or curricular issues but does prioritize analyses of inequalities in educational attainment or student performance.
  2. Research focused on systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. Specifically, research that investigates the prevalence of racial disparities in policing and criminal justice and their social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences; the effects of the current social protest movement and mass mobilization against systemic discrimination; the nature of public attitudes and public policies regarding policing, criminal justice, and social welfare; and the effects of those attitudes in the current political environment.

LOIs must include specific information about the proposed data and research design. After peer review, about 15% of those who submit an LOI will receive an invitation to submit a proposal.

If you are unsure about the foundation's expectations, we strongly recommend that you review the grant writing guidelines on our website and also view an instructional webinar. Successful proposals from this round can have a start date on or after December 1, 2021.

Call for Proposals: Improving Education and Reducing Inequality in the U.S.

RSF and the William T. Grant Foundation seek research projects from early career scholars that aim to deepen our understanding of educational opportunity and success in the U.S. by analyzing data on academic achievement from the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) constructed by Sean Reardon and colleagues at The Educational Opportunity Project (EOP) at Stanford University. Proposals are due by April 29, 2021.

Read the full call for proposals here.

Visiting Scholar Application Deadline

The foundation's Visiting Scholar program is a unique opportunity for junior and senior scholars to spend a year (or a semester) in residence at RSF in New York City pursuing research examining essential questions on social, economic, and political life in the United States. The program fosters the exchange of ideas in a vibrant interdisciplinary environment and promotes multi-disciplinary collaborations. Our current and incoming scholars represent a wide range of disciplines, including economics, psychology, political science, sociology, public policy/public affairs, law, behavioral science, demography, history, anthropology, etc.

Applications are reviewed by outside experts; final selections are made by RSF trustees. Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year will be accepted until June 24, 2021.

View further information about the program, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

How to Apply for Funding from RSF

For more information on RSF's grant making process, please visit our website to review our grant writing guidelines and view a five-minute video on how to use our grants management system.

RSF program staff recently hosted a webinar on how to apply for foundation grants and what must be included for a letter of inquiry to be successful.

Click here to view a video of the webinar.

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