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Dissertation Research Program

Division of Social and Economic Sciences

SOCIOLOGY PROGRAM - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards  (Soc-DDRI)


Solicitation  14-604

Important Information for Proposers

ATTENTION: Proposers using the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template for more than 10 senior project personnel will encounter proposal print preview issues. Please see the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information website for updated guidance.

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 18-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Target Date

    October 15, 2018

    October 15, Annually Thereafter

        DDRI Full Proposal

    February 28, 2019

    February 28, Annually Thereafter

        Invited Resubmission

The Fall target date for submission of proposals to the Sociology DDRI competition are November 25, 2014 and then October 15 annually thereafter. Based on the evaluation of proposals in the Fall competition, some doctoral students will be invited to revise and resubmit proposals for the Spring competition (March 2, 2015 and then February 28 annually thereafter). Proposals to the annual Spring competition will only be accepted from doctoral students whose proposals were declined in the Fall competition and who are formally invited to resubmit.  Those not receiving a resubmission invitation can only reapply to the following fall target date (October 15).


The Sociology Program supports basic research on all forms of human social organization -- societies, institutions, groups and demography -- and processes of individual and institutional change. The Program encourages theoretically focused empirical investigations aimed at improving the explanation of fundamental social processes. Included is research on organizations and organizational behavior, population dynamics, social movements, social groups, labor force participation, stratification and mobility, family, social networks, socialization, gender roles, and the sociology of science and technology. The Program supports both original data collections and secondary data analysis that use the full range of quantitative and qualitative methodological tools. Theoretically grounded projects that offer methodological innovations and improvements for data collection and analysis are also welcomed.

As part of its effort to encourage and support projects that explicitly integrate education and basic research, the Sociology Program provides support to improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation projects undertaken by doctoral students enrolled in U.S. universities when the dissertation research is conducted in a scientifically sound manner and it offers strong potential for enhancing more general scientific knowledge.  The Sociology Program funds doctoral dissertation research to defray direct costs associated with conducting research, for example, dataset acquisition, additional statistical or methodological training, meeting with scholars associated with original datasets, and fieldwork away from the student's home campus. Projects are evaluated using the two Foundation-wide criteria, intrinsic merit and broader impacts. In assessing the intrinsic merit of proposed research, four components are key to securing support from the Sociology Program: (1) the issues investigated must be theoretically grounded; (2) the research should be based on empirical observation or be subject to empirical validation or illustration; (3) the research design must be appropriate to the questions asked; and (4) the proposed research must advance our understanding of social processes, structures and methods.


This program provides educational opportunities for  Graduate Students . Individuals interested in applying for funding should see the program guidelines above.

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program

Proposals are submitted through the SRF website at, where additional information about the submission process is available. All proposal materials must be in English. A complete proposal consists of the following with items a) through d) provided in a single PDF document:

a) A cover page listing the following:

1. Dissertation proposal title

2. Applicant name

3. Doctoral institution

4. Dissertation advisor

5. Name of outside committee member, if any (to avoid conflict in review process)

6. Amount requested (in US Dollars)

7. Anticipated doctoral program completion date

8. Three keywords

b) A summary (500 words) of the proposed research project

c) A research proposal of up to ten (10) pages, single-spaced, with the following structure:

1. Research questions, including relevant literature, theoretical background, and expected contributions

2. Methodology

3. Expected impact of SRF funding on the research

4. Timetable/Schedule

   5. Detailed budget in US dollars, including specific items proposed for SRF funding as well as sources of    support other than SRF

6. Cited references

d) Applicant’s CV

 e) A recommendation letter from the applicant’s dissertation advisor in support of the proposal. This letter should be emailed by the dissertation advisor to It should include a statement of the applicant’s stage of completion in the dissertation work and doctoral program, verification that the research components for which funding is sought have yet to be  undertaken and are anticipated to be part of the applicant’s dissertation for the degree, and a description of the difference the award would make to the quality or nature of the dissertation.