Social Science Research Council—Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), as part of its Just Tech program, seeks proposals from across the social sciences and related fields that address the risks, opportunities, and challenges posed by public health surveillance stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. SSRC specifically encourages proposals that interrogate the role the public and private sectors may play in mitigating or exacerbating the health crisis, the effects of which are already unevenly distributed. 

While new knowledge is urgently needed, in the conditions of the present moment many social research methodologies are either not possible or require adaptation in order to protect the health and safety of both researchers and research subjects. The Just Tech Rapid-Response Grants will thus support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term implications of public health interventions for a range of rights, liberties, and public goods. Subjects may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Contact tracing and public health surveillance 
  • Voting access and rights amid “lockdowns” and widespread social distancing 
  • Disparities in the collection, representation, and use of health data 
  • The digital divide in remote work and learning, education, and public health 
  • Precarity of labor and work in the tech industry or gig economy 
  • Remote organizing, campaigning, and social movements 
  • The impact of predictive algorithms on the provision of social welfare and policing 

Deadline: accepted on a rolling basis, with the first period of review beginning on August 31, 2020. 

Dollar Amount: Awards will range from USD $5,000 to $10,000, with larger amounts directed to projects committed to research partnerships grounded in principles of ethical collaboration and equity, composed of partners who might not otherwise work together. 

Eligibility: Eligible candidates must hold a PhD in the social sciences, humanities, or related interdisciplinary fields (e.g., law, political philosophy, racial and ethnic studies, gender studies, migration studies, public health). Applications from any part of the world and in any world region are eligible, as are applications from PhDs who conduct research outside of a university environment (e.g., civil society or nongovernmental organizations). 

Full RFP:  

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