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A request for proposals (RFP) is a funder’s written announcement inviting proposals, usually for a specific grant program. 

  • Our office serves as a clearinghouse for many RFPs. Current opportunities can be found below.
  • We disseminate select RFPs via email directly to faculty and administrators in relevant schools and centers.
  • If an RFP is a limited funding opportunity, for which a limited number of applicants per institution may apply, it is announced by our office or by the Dean of Research Office, and an internal selection committee decides on the final candidate(s).
  • Additional RFP resources are listed on the Funding Search Tools page.

Funding Opportunities & Resources

July Deadlines

Russell Sage Foundation

Research Grants

The Russell Sage Foundation is an operating foundation dedicated to programs of social science research. RSF will accept letters of inquiry (LOIs) under these core programs and special initiatives: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; Immigration and Immigrant Integration; Social, Political and Economic Inequality. In addition, RSF will also accept LOIs relevant to any of its core programs that address at least one of the following issues: 1. Research on the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. Specifically, research that assesses the social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences of the pandemic, especially its effects on marginalized individuals and groups and on trust in government and other institutions. Our priorities do not include analyses of health outcomes or health behaviors. RSF seldom supports studies focused on outcomes such as educational processes or curricular issues, but does prioritize analyses of inequities in educational attainment or student performance.

2. Research focused on systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. Specifically, research that investigates the prevalence of racial disparities in policing and criminal justice and their social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences; the effects of the current social protest movement and mass mobilization against systemic discrimination; the nature of public attitudes and public policies regarding policing, criminal justice, and social welfare; and the effects of those attitudes in the current political environment.

LOIs must include specific information about the proposed data and research design. Successful proposals from this round can have a start date on or after April 1, 2022.

Funding Amount: Up to $175K

Deadline: July 28, 2021 (Letters of Inquiry)


August Deadlines

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Young Investigator Program

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation welcomes LOIs for its Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program, which provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

Projects proposed for the BYI program should be truly innovative, high-risk, and show promise for contributing to significant advances in chemistry and the life sciences. They should represent a departure from current research directions rather than an extension or expansion of existing programs. Proposed research that cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines is encouraged. Proposals that open new avenues of research in chemistry and life sciences by fostering the invention of methods, instruments and materials will be given additional consideration.

The BYI program is open to those within the first four years of a tenure-track position, or an equivalent independent research appointment, at a United States academic or non-profit institution that conducts research in chemical and life sciences. Tenure-Track dates for the 2022 program must start after 1/1/2017 AND before 8/2/2021. The Foundation does not support clinical research, clinical trials, or single target drug discovery projects. The Foundation does not provide for overhead or for indirect costs. Institutions are not limited in the number of applicants who apply at the Letter of Intent stage.

Funding Amount: $600K over 4 years

Deadline: August 2, 2021 (Letters of Intent)


William T. Grant Foundation

Research Grants

The Foundation’s mission is to support research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. One way that we pursue this mission is by investing in high-quality field-initiated studies on reducing inequality in youth outcomes. We seek studies that aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people. We prioritize studies about reducing inequality on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins.

The Foundation also invests in high-quality field-initiated studies on improving the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth. We are particularly interested in research on improving the use of research evidence by state and local decision makers, mid-level managers, and intermediaries. Some investigators will focus on the strategies, relationships, and other supports needed for policy and practice organizations to use research more routinely and constructively. Others may investigate structures and incentives within the research community to encourage deep engagement with decision makers. Still other researchers may examine activities that help findings inform policy ideas, shape practice responses, and improve systems.

The Foundation does not have a preference for a particular research design or method. We begin application reviews by looking at the research questions or hypotheses. Then we evaluate whether the proposed research designs and methods will provide strong empirical evidence on those questions. We support studies from a range of disciplines, fields, and methods, and we encourage investigations into various systems, including justice, housing, child welfare, mental health, and education. The strongest proposals incorporate data from multiple sources and often involve multi-disciplinary teams.

Funding Amount: $100K-$600K (reducing inequality); $100K-$1M (improving the use of research evidence)

Deadline: August 4, 2021 (Letters of Inquiry)


John Templeton Foundation

Online Funding Inquiries

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. We support research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and emergence to creativity, forgiveness, and free will. We only fund projects aligned with our major Funding Areas:

  • Science & The Big Questions: The Science & the Big Questions Funding Area supports innovative efforts to address the deepest questions facing humankind. Why are we here? How can we flourish? What are the fundamental structures of reality? What can we know about the nature and purposes of the divine? Through 2023, we are devoting a significant portion of our funding to twelve priorities in Science & the Big Questions: Intellectual Humility; Dynamics of Religious Change; Religious Cognition; Mathematical & Physical Sciences; Health, Religion, & Spirituality; Cultural Evolution; Science of Virtues; Public Engagement; Science of Purpose; Islam, Science, & Society; Science-Engaged Theology; and Programs in Latin America.
  • Character Virtue Development: The Character Virtue Development funding area seeks to advance the science and practice of character, with a focus on moral, performance, civic, and intellectual virtues such as humility, gratitude, curiosity, diligence, and honesty.
  • Individual Freedom & Free Markets: The Individual Freedom & Free Markets Funding Area supports education, research, and grassroots efforts to promote individual freedom, free markets, free competition, and entrepreneurship. Grounded in the ideas of classical liberal political economy, we seek and develop projects that focus on individuals and their place in a free society.
  • Exceptional Cognitive Talent & Genius: The Exceptional Cognitive Talent & Genius Funding Area supports programs that aim to recognize and nurture exceptional cognitive talent, especially for those at an early stage of life. This Funding Area also supports research concerning the nature of cognitive genius, including extraordinary creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
  • Genetics: Our current focus is on research and engagement projects that explore fundamental genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating inter- and trans-generational transmittance of biological information and health outcomes. We are particularly interested in how early life choices and environmental exposures causally impact development and the early onset of disease, and diagnostic platforms that may predict generational disease susceptibility.
  • Voluntary Family Planning: The Voluntary Family Planning funding area supports research, programs, and policy development efforts around the world that seek to better understand factors that influence family planning decisions, provide information on and access to family planning methods, and strengthen policy related to effective family planning. We are particularly interested in partnering with faith-based organizations to support this work in their local communities. The Foundation only funds research and programs that affirm the value of human life from conception until natural death.

The grant duration is often up to three years. In rare instances the Foundation may support a project for up to five years.

Funding Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 20, 2021 (Online Funding Inquiry)


John Templeton Foundation

Funding Competition: Psychological Science Cross-Training for Christian Theology

The John Templeton Foundation invites Online Funding Inquiry (OFI) submissions for proposals aimed at giving theologians, philosophers of religion, and scholars in religious studies who work in Christian theology (broadly construed) the opportunity to cross-train in psychological sciences (here and throughout this call broadly defined to include cognitive, social, personality, moral, developmental, evolutionary, and cultural psychology; cognitive anthropology; behavioral economics; cognitive science; and cognitive and social neuroscience). The Foundation’s objective is to help theologians, philosophers of religion, and scholars in religious studies better position themselves to conduct research in conversation and collaboration with scientists on topics at the intersection of Christian theology (broadly construed) and the psychological sciences.

Start dates may range as early as August 1, 2022, and as late as June 1, 2023. Project durations cannot exceed 5 years (or 57 months in the case of organizations that do not have US public charity status), though the Foundation strongly prefers projects that do not exceed 3 years (or 33 months in the case of organizations that do not have US public charity status) in length.

Funding Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 20, 2021 (Online Funding Inquiry)


September Deadlines

Spencer Foundation

Research Grants on Education: Small

The Small Research Grants on Education Program supports education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. Eligible investigators may also request additional supplemental funds for a course release.

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, or method. Our goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education. We seek to support scholarship that develops new foundational knowledge that may have a lasting impact on educational discourse. 

This program supports proposals from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives, both domestically and internationally, from scholars at various stages in their career. We anticipate that proposals will span a wide range of topics and disciplines that innovatively investigate questions central to education, including for example education, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, economics, history, or neuroscience, amongst others.

Funding Amount: Up to $50K

Deadline: September 1, 2021


Limited Programs:

Please click here for limited program announcements