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Social Science Research Council

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Established in 1923, the Social Science Research Council takes pride in nurturing up-and-coming social scientists, promoting innovative research, and gathering information on various significant public issues. The Council is an independent, nonprofit organization that works with a number of individuals including academic researchers from different backgrounds, such as the social sciences, humanities, and natural resources, as well as policymakers, and professions that are connected to the public issues being studied. Some public issue topics include migration, global security and cooperation, American human development, digital media, media reform, and religion and international affairs.

To date, the Council has many accomplishments including their assistance in creating comparative politics, global security, area studies, and the development of various methods of research for the social sciences, including scientific sampling, and economic indicators. The Council’s mission is to be leaders of innovation for the social sciences, to develop strong international and interdisciplinary networks, to organize facts and findings on important public issues and to teach and train the upcoming generations of social science researchers.

The Council continues its goal of training social scientists through its fellowship and grants program. Since inception, the Council has offered over 10,000 fellowships and/or grants to graduate students and young researchers around the world. A complete listing of scholarships can be found in the following paragraphs.

Scholarships Offered by Social Science Research Council

The following is a list of the fellowship programs and research grants offered by the Social Science Research Council.


Abe Fellowships for Journalists: This fellowship is made possible by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP). Those eligible must be citizens of the United States or Japan with a minimum of five years of professional experience in journalism. Applicants must submit a proposal on one of three themes: global and regional economic issues, role of civil society, or traditional or non-traditional approaches to diplomacy and security. Proposals must be unbiased to be considered. Recipients receive a maximum stipend of $23,500, along with a roundtrip ticket, and $500 for field work overseas. Submit applications online at http://soap.ssrc.org, by the September deadline.

Abe Fellowships: This fellowship is a joint venture between SSRC, the CGP, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Funded by the CGP, this competition is open to United States and Japan citizens who have a PhD or equivalent work experience. Applications are due online at http://soap.ssrc.org by the September deadline.

DPDF Student Fellowship Competition: This fellowship is designed to assist full-time graduate students with their dissertation proposals, who are pursuing a doctorate degree in humanities and social sciences. Applicants must agree to complete a summer research program. Students already receiving funding for their research are not eligible. Applications will be evaluated based on summer funding, summer pre-dissertation research plan, and student preparedness.

ESRC/SSRC Collaborative Visiting Fellowship: This fellowship is designed specifically for those researchers interested in exchange visits between the Americas (which include North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean) and the United Kingdom which in turn provides joint research between those involved. Grants award up to $8,000 which covers living expenses and accommodations, as well as transportation. To be considered, applicants must hold a PhD in one of the social sciences, and be nominated. Applications are due in March.

Eurasia Dissertation Support Fellowship: This fellowship supports graduate students pursuing and almost done completing a doctorate degree. Award provides up to $25,000. Applicants must be United States citizens, or possess permanent residency status.

International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF): This fellowship is offered to graduate students who are majoring in the humanities and social sciences. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a doctoral program in the United States and conducting research for their dissertation outside the United States. Also included with this fellowship is the participation in an interdisciplinary workshop. Students in PhD programs in medicine, law, nursing, journalism, and business are not eligible for this award. This fellowship does not allow students to study abroad, primarily rely on lab work, participate in conferences, or take short trips abroad.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship: This fellowship is geared toward PhD recipients interested in conducting research in Japan with a host researcher. Applicants must come from humanities and social sciences backgrounds and take on either a long-term fellowship, or a short-term fellowship. Applicants must be United States citizens or have permanent residency in the States, ad have completed a master’s degree, or a PhD course at a U.S. institution. To be considered, applicants must fill out and submit an application form, provide two letters of recommendation, a project description, as well as show proof of invitation from the host university. Preference is given to non-Japanese citizens.

SSRC-CUP Book Fellowship: This award is designed specifically for those students who were offered an IDRF grant for research purposes and are looking to write an academic monograph based on that research. This fellowship hosts a workshop for the recipients so they have the opportunity to work with experienced editors and present their project to them for feedback. This workshop helps the recipient transform his/her dissertation into a book that will be published by Columbia University Press.

SSRC-Van Alen Fellows Program: This fellows program is awarded to students as an opportunity to collaberate between social scientists and architectural and design specialists from Van Alen Institute, a nonprofit, independent architectural organization. Together investigations are performed through demonstrations, performances, and workshops.


SSRC—Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program offers three separate grant opportunities. To be considered for these grants, fellows must be pursuing a doctorate degree and have completed their first year. Applicants must also be enrolled in a doctoral program in one of the allowed major areas of studies. Some disciplines include physics, English, history, computer science, and more. A complete listing of qualifying majors is on the SSRC website.

  • The Pre-doctoral Research Development (PRD) grant is offered to second and fifth year students. Award amount varies, and does not exceed $3,000.
  • The Graduate Studies Enhancement (GSE) grant is offered to second and fifth year students. This grant awards up to $1,500 to be used for travel expenses, books, journal subscriptions, software, and other educational expenses. This grant can be received up to four times.
  • Dissertation Completion Grant (DCG) is offered to fellows who have completed five years of graduate study. This one-time award offers up to $2,500.

Things to Note about Social Science Research Council

The Social Science Research Council also offers the Albert O. Hirschman Prize—awarded once a year to a nominee who has contributed to social science research, theory, and public communication; and, the Islam and Muslims in World Context Grants Program for university research centers. Details can be found on the Council’s website.

Other programs offered by the Council include a Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop, and the DPDF Faculty Field Competition. Detailed information for these programs can be found on the Council’s website.

Contact Information for Social Science Research Council

Social Science Research Council
One Pierrepont Plaza, 15th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
PH: (212) 377-2700
FAX: (212) 377-2727

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