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Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences

Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences

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Applications call for Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences

In partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation, The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), as part of its Covid-19 Initiative, seeks proposals from across the social sciences and related fields that address the social, economic, cultural, psychological, and political impact of Covid-19 in the United States and globally, as well as responses to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects.


As the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded across the globe, virtually no dimension of social life has been untouched—from individual decisions about safety to governmental decisions on public health and economic policy; from households to the workplace; and from technology-mediated human interaction under conditions of “social distancing” to the circulation, uses, and impact of information and disinformation. While essential public health and economic research in measuring and modeling Covid-19 and its effects are underway, the full range of the social sciences—its questions, analytical frameworks, and methods—needs to be drawn upon to understand the pandemic as a social phenomenon, and to inform responses based on knowledge of human interactions and institutions.


The SSRC’s Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants thus support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term effects of Covid-19 across a range of issues. These include:

  • “Social distancing” and virtual social interaction.
  • Governance and democracy.
  • Public trust and (dis)information.
  • Social inequality and the pandemic’s disproportionate effects by race and ethnicity.
  • The lessons of past disasters, and responses to them, for the present.
  • The role of religious ideas, practices, and institutions in responding to the pandemic.
  • The workplace and labor markets.
  • Technology, surveillance, and ethics.
  • The uses of, and the limits to, modeling in responses to the pandemic’s effects and in scenario planning.


The Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants invite proposals from researchers who hold a Ph.D. in any social science disciplines or related interdisciplinary fields. Applications are welcome from any country around the world.


The grants offer research support for up to six months toward research-related expenses. These include, but are not limited to, access to data sets, archives and relevant publications, costs related to conducting online research of various kinds, and research assistance. Awards will range from USD$2,000 to $5,000; with the possibility of slightly more support for collaborative projects of two or more researchers.


The multidisciplinary review committee evaluates the application based on their relevance to the topic, quality and intellectual merit, potential for innovation, the fit between their research question and research design, and feasibility under current constraints on research.


Applications must be submitted through the SSRC’s online application system by 11:59 p.m. EST, June 1, 2020. Applications will consist of a five-page research proposal, an application form, a budget, and a curriculum vitae.


Type of Opportunity Miscellaneous
Deadline01 June,2020
Open toAll



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