New Ideas in the Social Sciences

This fund is designed to encourage innovation, as well as scholarship on new and enduring questions. Faculty members are invited to propose projects that will result in the advancement of a discipline (through the development of new ideas, working groups, conferences, technologies, software, datasets, and/or expanded access to research resources) and/or a major piece of scholarly work.

Information about this and other innovation funds offered by the Office of the Dean for Research is available online, including brief descriptions of previously funded projects.

PI Eligibility

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in division II are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 


Proposers may request up to $50,000 (total) for projects lasting up to two years. Expenditures may include research assistants, graduate student stipend and tuition (where applicable), postdoctoral researchers’ salary and benefits, consultants, publishing charges, materials and equipment, event organization, travel, and costs related to purchasing, curating, or creating data.

Faculty summer salary or release time (semester leave), preparation of textbooks and courses will not be supported through this innovation fund.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification). The proposal should specifically describe how the funds will be utilized to accomplish the research objectives. Include a list of other sources of funding received or pending. If relevant to the proposed project, letters of support from collaborators may be included as an appendix to the proposal.

Submission Information

Submit proposals online using this SharePoint submission form for the New Ideas in the Social Sciences (log in with NetID required).

Review Criteria

Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality (the soundness and persuasiveness of the concept and the elegance of the research design), originality (how the proposal brings new ideas together to suggest surprising outcomes) and potential impact (the ways in which the proposed research will shift thinking in the field toward new methodological or topical directions or the ways it will help address important social problems). A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations.

Call for Proposals

  • Dates
    • Proposal submission deadline: Not offered in AY2021
    • Funding could start as early as: TBD 
  • Contact Karla Ewalt,, Associate Dean for Research, with any questions.


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