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Russell Sage Foundation Pipeline Grants Competition

November 1, 2023

The Pipeline Grants Competition seeks to support early- career scholars (Assistant Professors, Lecturers and Adjunct Assistant Professors) and promote diversity by prioritizing applications from scholars who are underrepresented in the social sciences. This includes racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity.

Funding & Eligibility

Only faculty who have not previously received a research grant or a visiting fellowship from RSF are eligible to apply. RSF expects to fund about 20 one-year projects by assistant professors, lecturers, and adjunct assistant professors. Proposals are due on November 1, 2023, for funding starting in summer 2024. Applicants can apply for either the Pipeline Grants Competition or the November 7, deadline for LOIs for presidential and trustee grants, but not both. Individual applicants can apply for grants of up to $35,000, and teams of eligible applicants can apply for grants of up to $50,000. Full professors, associate professors, and assistant professors who have previously received RSF funding are eligible to be co-PI’s on projects, but cannot receive funding, and such teams are limited to the $35,000 budget limit. RSF will pair grantees with mentors working in the same field and provide an honorarium for the mentors. On occasion, RSF will deem a project or applicant more appropriate for its regular research grants review process and review a Pipeline Grants proposal as a letter of inquiry for its next Presidential Grants competition.

Research Conference

Grantees are expected to present their findings at a conference during summer 2025. Grantees, mentors, and other social scientists will participate. The conference will focus on providing feedback on the research ahead of publication and foster collaboration among researchers. RSF will reimburse1 participants for reasonable travel expenses to attend the conference.

Application Guidelines

Proposals are limited to seven single-spaced pages and should include a very brief literature review (no more than one page), and detailed information on the research question, hypotheses, research methods and data, analytic plan, and project timeline. Also required are an abbreviated CV (5 pages max), and a brief description of the budgeted items. A detailed budget, budget justification (1-2 pages), and a letter from your institution stating that it will act as the fiscal agent for the project will only be expected from those whose proposals are accepted.

Applications must be submitted via our portal. Click on “Apply for a Pipeline Grant.” You can find out more about RSF’s grant writing guidelines, example proposals, and an instructional video on applying to RSF through Fluxx here.

Areas of Interest

The Pipeline Grants Competition seeks to advance innovative research on economic mobility and access to opportunity in the United States. We are interested in research focused on structural barriers to economic mobility and how individuals, communities and state entities understand, navigate and challenge systemic inequalities.

Below we provide some examples of topics and questions that are relevant to this competition. This list is not all-encompassing. Please find short descriptions of previously funded projects on our website.

Our priorities generally do not include analyses of health​ or mental health outcomes or health behaviors ​as these are priorities for other funders. ​For the same reason, RSF seldom supports studies focused on educational processes or curricular issues but does prioritize analyses of inequities in student achievement or educational attainment.

RSF has a long-standing goal of encouraging methodological diversity and inter-disciplinary collaboration. We are interested in novel uses of new or under-utilized data, and creative uses of administrative data or new data linkages across systems (e.g., in and across criminal justice, safety net, labor markets). Applicants might propose exploratory fieldwork, a pilot study, field or survey experiments, in-depth qualitative interviews, and/or ethnographies.

Applicants can also learn more about application requirements and the competition by participating in a webinar on October 4th at 2:00pm EST or can speak to a member of our program staff by emailing programs@rsage.org. Sign up for our mailing list to get updates and sign up for the webinar here.

Russell Sage Foundation Pipeline Grants Competition