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Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research

Specialized Funding Opportunities


Russell Sage Foundation 

Deadline: June 2, 2014

Excerpt from RFP: "RSF now carries out that mission by sponsoring rigorous social scientific research as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies. In sponsoring this research, the Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences. The Foundation's awards are restricted to support for social science research within the following five program areas:

Behavioral Economics – The program in Behavioral Economics focuses on research that incorporates insights of psychology into the study of economic behavior, with a particular focus on improving consumer financial decision making.

Cultural Contact – The program in Cultural Contact is focused on research that examines the effects of cultural difference on the ways in which different groups in the population understand and interact with one another, and with particular attention to the response of economic, social, and political institutions in the US to increasing diversity.

Future of Work – The program in the Future of Work is concerned primarily with examining the causes and consequences of the declining quality of jobs for less- and moderately-educated workers in the U.S. economy and the role of changes in employer practices. The program is also concerned with the nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and job quality of American workers.

Immigration – The program in Immigration focuses on research that examines social, economic, political, and community changes in the context of contemporary immigration and the role of race, nativity and legal status on the prospects for integration of immigrants and their children.

Social Inequality – The program in Social Inequality is focused on how rising economic inequality is related to social, political, and economic institutions in the U.S., and the extent to which increased inequality has affected equality of opportunity, social mobility, and the intergenerational transmission of advantage."

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William T Grant Foundation

Use of Research Evidence

Deadline: May 6, 2014

Excerpt from RFP: "The call for evidence-based programs, policies, and practices can be heard across many realms of youth development including child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and physical and mental health. On the research side, billions of dollars are spent to generate stronger research evidence. In policy and practice, there are greater demands and incentives for the use of this evidence. Despite these efforts, critical gaps remain between research, policy, and practice. We lack essential knowledge about how to produce more useful research; how policymakers, administrators, and program managers can acquire and use that work productively; and how to create a stronger infrastructure for the use and usefulness of research evidence...The Foundation supports studies that increase understanding of when and how research evidence is used in policies and practices that affect the development of young people, and ways to improve the use of research. They recognize that research use is rarely a simple process whereby research "facts" are passed from researchers to research users and then applied in a linear decision-making process. The Foundation is interested in the ways people individually and collectively engage with research over time, influenced by their own and their organization's goals, motivations, routines, and political contexts. They support projects that increase understanding of how research is used to frame problems and solutions, make decisions, influence organizational learning, and guide practice improvements. These studies build knowledge of the various ways in which research evidence enters the decision-making process."

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Open Society Fellowship

Deadline: August 4, 2014

Excerpt from RFP: "The Open Society Fellowship accepts proposals from anywhere in the world. Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their chosen subject and a track record of professional accomplishment. Past and current fellows have included journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners in a variety of fields. Successful applicants will be eager to exploit the many resources offered by the Open Society Foundations and be prepared to engage constructively with our global network. Ideal fellows are specialists who can see beyond the parochialisms of their field and possess the tenacity to complete a project of exceptional merit....A fellowship project might identify a problem that has not previously been recognized, develop new policy ideas to address familiar problems, or offer a new advocacy strategy. Project themes should cut across at least two areas of interest to the Open Society Foundations. Among these are human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion."

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Sociological Initiatives Foundation

Grants

Deadline: August 15, 2014

Excerpt from RFP: "The Foundation was established to support research that furthers social change, including language learning and behavior and its intersection with social and policy questions. The Foundation specifically supports research that focuses on
- social policy;
- institutional and educational practices;
- legislative and regulatory changes;
- linguistic issues (e.g., literacy, language loss and maintenance, language policy, language and national security, bilingualism, language and gender, language and law, language disabilities, language and health, language and education, different language cultures); and
- development of community capacity and organization of previously unorganized groups.

The Foundation supports projects that address institutional rather than individual or behavioral change. It seeks to fund research and initiatives that provide insight into sociological and linguistic issues that may be useful to specific groups and or communities. The Foundation looks for projects that have an explicit research design and a concrete connection to public or community impact. It is not enough to just write a report or add a focus group to a social change project. The research should ideally build an organization or constituency's potential to expand public knowledge, impact policy, and create social change.

Preference is given to providing support in areas that tend to be underfunded and for projects of a size where a SIF grant can make a difference."

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