Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences 2020

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences 2020

Deadline: June 1, 2020

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation invites proposals for the Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences 2020. They seek proposals from across the social sciences and related fields that address the social, economic, cultural, psychological, and political impact of Covid-19 in the United States and globally, as well as responses to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects.

The SSRC’s Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term effects of Covid-19 across a range of issues. These include:

  • “Social distancing” and virtual social interaction
  • Governance and democracy
  • Public trust and (dis)information
  • Social inequality and the pandemic’s disproportionate effects by race and ethnicity
  • The lessons of past disasters, and responses to them, for the present
  • The role of religious ideas, practices, and institutions in responding to the pandemic
  • The workplace and labor markets
  • Technology, surveillance, and ethics
  • The uses of, and the limits to, modeling in responses to the pandemic’s effects and in scenario planning

These topics are illustrative. Applicants are welcome to propose others. Projects focused on groups most affected by the pandemic are especially encouraged, as are those that can constructively inform responses across communities, public actors and institutions, and others.


The grants offer research support for up to six months toward research-related expenses. These include, but are not limited to, access to data sets, archives and relevant publications, costs related to conducting online research of various kinds, and research assistance.

Awards will range from USD$2,000 to $5,000, with the possibility of slightly more support for collaborative projects of two or more researchers.


  • The Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants invites proposals from researchers who hold a PhD in any social science disciplines or related interdisciplinary fields.
  • Applications are welcome from any country around the world.


Proposals will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review committee based on their

  • relevance to the topic
  • quality and intellectual merit
  • potential for innovation
  • the fit between their research question and research design, and
  • feasibility under current constraints on research..


  • Applicants should describe in some detail how they intend to address these constraints in the methods they propose, as well as the ethical dimensions of their research plans and methods.
  • Applicants should specify their intended outputs for the project and the audience(s) for those outputs. 
  • Successful applicants will be expected to participate in an online workshop with other grantees and are required to contribute at least one brief essay to SSRC’s digital forum Items: Insights from the Social Sciences.

Applications must be submitted through the SSRC’s online application system by 11:59 p.m. EST, June 1, 2020. Applications will consist of a five-page research proposal, an application form, budget, and a curriculum vitae.

Awards will be announced in July 2020.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit SSRC Grants.