Russell Sage Foundation: Grants for Science Research

OVERVIEW: The Russell Sage Foundation focuses its science research-related grantmaking on the social sciences.

IP TAKE: This funder encourages interdisciplinary projects that encourage the combination of quantitative and qualitative research.

PROFILE: Established by Margaret Olivia Sage in the early 1900s, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) is one of the oldest charitable foundations in the United States. In its early years, the funding focus at RSF revolved around improving the social and living conditions for marginalized populations across the country. The foundation has since expanded giving somewhat and is now exclusively dedicated to “strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences.”

RSF describes itself as an “operating foundation directly involved in the conduct and dissemination of social science research.” It awards grants for activities related to its mission, mainly through its Investigator-initiated Research Project Awards and Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics.

RSF's Investigator-initiated project awards are limited to a period of two years and a maximum of $150,000, including overhead costs. Successful applications are reviewed externally but final approval is given by foundation board members. Investigator-initiated program grant requests of $35,000 or less are processed as Presidential Awards. These awards cannot include any overhead or indirect costs. RSF is “particularly interested” in supporting early career scholars through its Presidential Awards.

RSF accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOIs) and has three funding cycles per year. The foundation suggests grantseekers submit LOIs well in advance of deadlines, which typically fall around the middle of March, August, and November for regular grant programs. Deadlines for special initiatives such as its Integrated Biology and Social Science Knowledge (BioSS), the Social, Economic, and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act, Computational Social Science, have different deadlines. Those interested in RSF's special initiatives can find more information here.


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