Russell Sage Foundation—COVID 19 & Systemic Racial Inequality Social Science Research Grants

*GW Priority Foundation

August 05, 2020

In response to the crises of 2020, the foundation is dedicating its next funding cycle exclusively to research that seeks to improve our understanding of these extraordinary times. The severe consequences of the Covid19-pandemic, including its economic disruptions, and the recent mass protests to combat systemic racial inequality in policing and other institutions have reaffirmed the importance of social science research examining economic, political, racial, ethnic, generational, and social inequalities relevant to public policy and social change. 

RSF will only accept letters of inquiry relevant to one of RSF’s core programs that address at least one of the following issues: 

  • 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. Their priorities do not include analyses of health outcomes or health behavior. 
  • 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. 

RSF provides support primarily for analyzing data and writing up results, and particularly welcomes innovative projects that collect or analyze new data to illuminate issues that are highly relevant to the foundation's funding priorities. They also encourage projects that are interdisciplinary and combine both quantitative and qualitative research. RSF rarely considers projects for which the investigators have not already fully-developed the research design, the sample framework, access to data, etc. 

RSF receives so many applications for its limited funding that it no longer considers submissions that make use of publicly-available data, such as the Current Population Survey, American Community Survey, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, National Longitudinal survey of Youth, etc. However, if the project addresses a pressing issue or uses these data in an innovative way, RSF may consider such proposals as Presidential grants with a maximum budget of $35,000. 

Deadline: August 5 (LOI) 

Dollar Amount: Trustee Grants are generally capped at $175,000, including 15% indirect costs. Presidential Grants are capped at $35,000 (no indirect costs). PIs may request up to $50,000 (no indirect costs) when the proposed research project has special needs for gathering data (e.g.: qualitative research) or gaining access to restricted-use data. 

Eligibility: All applicants (both PIs and Co-PIs) must have a doctorate. In rare circumstances, RSF may consider applications from scholars who do not hold a doctorate but can demonstrate a strong career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research. Students may not be applicants. 

RSF particularly encourages early career scholars to apply for Presidential grants. All nationalities are eligible to apply and applicants do not have to reside in the U.S., but the focus of the proposed research project must be on the U.S. as per their mission. 

Full RFP: https://www.russellsage.org/how-to-apply/application-deadlines#project   

*This is a GW Priority Foundation, please contact Susan Boerstling, Executive Director, Foundation Relations, at [email protected] prior to contacting this Foundation.

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