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Social Science Research Funding Available for Duke Faculty

Deadline: September 11, 2023

The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) invites grant applications from Duke University faculty to study social science research topics of their choice. The size of the grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000, and SSRI anticipates providing at least $100,000 through this program. The number and size of grants awarded will depend upon the applications received.

This is an open call for research in the social sciences—tell us what research you want to dohow this funding will help you to do that work, and what research product this grant will enable or enhance (paper, chapter, grant proposal, book proposal, etc.). If faculty intend to use this grant to fund preliminary work for a larger grant application, SSRI will help to develop your grant writing plans, including identifying grant opportunities if that is useful to you. It is not a requirement to view this funding as preliminary work for a grant application.

Who is eligible to apply

Faculty in the social science departments in the college of Arts and Sciences, and social scientists in the Schools of Divinity, Fuqua, Law, Nicholas and Sanford are eligible to apply. Faculty in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine can apply only in conjunction with a faculty member in one of the above departments or schools. Faculty from other Arts and Sciences departments may apply with permission if they are addressing a social science topic; interested faculty should write a short email to to get approval to apply.

  • Proposal deadline: September 11, 2023
  • Funding notification: late September 2023
  • Acceptable start dates: as early as October 2, 2023 and as late as June 1, 2024 (grants will run for one year)

Submission requirements

  • Single PDF that contains the following information: (100 word abstract that states research question(s) to be answered
  • 1-page single space proposal that says how the money will help provide an answer(s)
  • Budget requested, with a 1 paragraph justification *note whether this grant is a seed project

Money can be used for any approved Duke Research expenditure, including course buy out and staff funding. SSRI may be able to help link faculty with graduate students at a subsidized rate in addition to this grant program.

Submit proposals to:

If this is of interest or you have questions/concerns, please reach out to SSRI Director Don Taylor at

SSRI is dedicated to facilitating research and helping social scientists thrive in their intellectual endeavors. Our motto is, “Projects Grow Here. Connecting researchers in the social sciences.”

Grants awarded in 2022

African & African American Studies and Cultural Anthropology
Anne-Maria B. Makhulu
“The Olive Morris Project”

African & African American Studies
Michaeline A. Crichlow
“Vistas, Violence, and The Politics of Place”

Cultural Anthropology and Global Health
Harris Solomon

Department of Medicine
Neelima Navuluri
Peter Kussin
Charles William Hargett
“Frontline Labor and Critical Care: An Ethnography of ICU Work During COVID-19”

Cultural Anthropology
Orin Starn
“Amazon in Durham: Race, Class, and Consumerism”

Norbert Wilson

Public Policy
Lisa Gennetian

Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Alicia Kunin-Batson

School of Medicine and Public Policy
Laura Stilwell
“Investigating the evolution and influences of spending patterns among low-income mothers receiving an unconditional cash transfer”

Divinity School
Wylin Wilson
“A Womanist Framework for Fair Trade”

Modibo Sidibe
“Mobile voting technology that uses mobile devices to cast ballots in Mali”

Ines Black and Sharique Hasan
“Hunting for talent: firm-driven labor market search in the United States”

Law School
Jeff Ward
“What are the salient barriers to effective justice technology innovation within the legal industry?”

Liberal Studies
Anne Mitchell Whisnant
“Black Communities and Blue Ridge Parkway Land Acquisition, 1933-1945”

Psychology and Neuroscience
Eve Puffer
“Coping Together”

Psychology and Neuroscience
Sarah Gaither
“Understanding the development of Latino self-identification and its’ psychological consequences”

Public Policy
Sarah Komisarow
“Supporting Children’s Mental Health in K-12 Public Schools: Adding to the Evidence-Base in North Carolina”

Public Policy
Robyn C. Meeks
“Testing whether transparency, information, and financial interventions can shift norms and reduce CO2 emissions in Pakistan”

Public Policy
Christopher Sims
“Measuring German Cultural Connections in Santa Catarina, Brazil”
*funded in partnership with the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)

Public Policy
Simon Miles
Triangle Institute for Security Studies
Susan Colbourn
“Nuclear Alliances”
*funded in partnership with the America in the World Consortium

Public Policy and Psychology and Neuroscience
Anna Gassman-Pines

Public Policy
Elizabeth Gifford

Public Policy and Economics
Marcos Rangel

Public Policy
Sarah Dickerson

Public Policy and Sociology
Warren Lowell
“Rental Housing Sales, Racial-Ethnic Inequality in Housing Insecurity, and Educational Disadvantage”

Social Science Research Institute and Psychology and Neuroscience
Patty Van Cappellen
“Studying the effects of reminding religious people of the benevolence of God on their positive emotions (i.e., awe, hope) and well-being”

Ashley Harrell
“Resource inequality and homophily in networked collective action groups”

Lynn Smith-Lovin
“Gender Norm Violations and Race”

Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT)
Yingwei Yang
Charmaine Royal
“Using photovoice to explore the perceptions of “race” and “racial equity” among Duke students and Durham residents”

Learn more on the Social Science Research Institute website.