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Visiting Scholars Fellowship Program

Fellowships to USA Scholars for High-Level
Research and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Russell Sage Foundation (RSF)

Deadline Date:

06/27/19 11:59 PM EST


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Fellowships to USA scholars for a year-long opportunity to analyze and carry out high-level research in the social sciences at the Foundation's New York-based facility. The focus of the research should relate to the Foundation's mission of improving social and living conditions in the United States. The Foundation now dedicates itself exclusively to social science research as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies in the USA.

Please note: The fellowship year is designed to give scholars time to analyze data and write about the results of their research; it is not intended as an opportunity to collect new data.

Scholars are provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, computer and library facilities, and supplemental salary support of up to 50 percent of their academic year salary when unavailable from other sources (with a maximum of $125,000). Scholars who come to the Foundation from outside the greater New York City area are also provided with a partially-subsidized apartment near the Foundation offices. Childcare subsidies are also available.

The Foundation welcomes groups of two or more scholars who wish to collaborate on or pursue parallel research projects within an area of common interest. Every member of a working group must submit an individual application. Working group applications must include a common statement of the joint project to be undertaken by the group. In the case where one or more group members may not be entirely occupied by the group project, additional detail should be included in the proposal about other individual research to be pursued while in residence.

The selection of Visiting Scholars is based on both an individual’s demonstrated record of research accomplishment and the merit of the applicant’s proposed project. Several criteria are given special consideration in the selection process. The project’s relevance to the Foundation’s declared mission to contribute to “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States” is given substantial weight—this ordinarily rules out studies of other countries unless they are part of an explicitly comparative project aimed at elucidating conditions in the U.S. Strong preference is given to proposals connected to RSF’s current programs and initiatives, although a few scholars are invited each year whose projects are less immediately relevant to the Foundation’s current activities, particularly if these projects are especially innovative and could potentially lead the Foundation to consider new and promising research directions in the future. The Foundation also make a special effort to include talented younger scholars and to promote racial/ethnic, gender and disciplinary diversity in each year’s cohort.

Additionally, when individuals apply for a Visiting Scholar fellowship, the foundation's primary criterion during the selection process is the quality of the proposed research project. A book proposal is not required, and the Foundation does not prioritize book manuscripts over journal articles. However, RSF does publish books and if a book is proposed, it reserves the right of first refusal.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178482

Number of Grants:

Up to 17

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to a maximum of $125,000 for the full term, or $62,500 for half of the full term.

Term of Contract:

Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1st and ordinarily run through June 30th. On rare occasions, scholars visit for only half this period, starting either in September or in February.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All scholar applicants must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree, or a career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research. Most selected applicants are typically several years beyond the Ph.D.

The Foundation does not accept applications to the Visiting Scholar program from doctoral or other graduate students.

Individuals are allowed a maximum of two visits to the Foundation as a Visiting Scholar—the second visit may not occur within 7 years of the first visit.

Pre-Application Information:

The Application Portal is open between January 14 – June 27, 2019 (11:59 PM ET).

The Foundation makes every effort to notify the applicants as soon as possible. Applicants are typically notified of the decisions of the Trustees by early December.


Guidelines and Eligibility:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

General inquiries about the foundation's project grants and programs may be directed to the foundation's main line at (212) 750-6000 or

Russell Sage Foundation
112 E. 64th Street
New York, NY 10065

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming