The Social Sciences Research Center offers one- to two-year seed grants to faculty in the Division of the Social Sciences intended to support early or novel stage research, with a special focus on research projects that exceed the boundaries of any one discipline. Priority will be given to projects expected to be highly competitive for funding once scaled. Proposals from junior faculty and for multi-investigator projects are encouraged. Projects may start as soon as March 1, 2023.

Support is offered in a range of $5,000–$50,000.

Funds may not be used for summer salary or course buyouts. Funds may not be used for direct support to faculty collaborators outside of the University of Chicago.

Principal Investigator must be faculty in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Proposed projects should be cross-disciplinary and/or collaborative in nature.

Please submit your application via no later than 5 pm Central Time on January 25, 2023. All applications require:

  1. A narrative of no more than four pages including:
    • Major research question: Describe the major social science question or topic to be investigated.
    • Research approach and methodology: Describe the methods or approaches your research team will be using and why a cross-disciplinary approach will shed new light on the topic.
    • Anticipated results: Describe the potential impact of this project and measures for success.
  2. A project budget with budget justification
  3. Up-to-date CVs for all affiliated faculty
  4. Additional Information to be input into the application form:
    • Plans for future growth: Explain how you anticipate your project will scale, either in terms of a larger collaboration or to be funded by a larger grant.
    • Current and Pending Support: List any current and pending support you have received/may receive for this project, including the funding source.
    • Innovation: Describe the “pilot” aspect of this project or how the project takes a novel approach in examining earlier research.
    • Partial Funding: Could this project move forward with partial funding?

Faculty receiving seed grants will be asked to submit a summary of their findings at the end of each year and agree to present research findings at an annual event.

To Apply
Please apply online at the University of Chicago Funding Portal. University of Chicago users can log in directly with a CNetID. If you are a first time visitor to the portal and do not have a CNetID, you will need to sign up for an account. Once you have logged in, funding opportunities are listed in the home screen table. Navigate to “SSRC Faculty Seed Grant Program” to start your application. Once you have started an application, you will be able access it directly under your “Applications” tab during future visits.