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Small Research Grant Program

The APSA Small Research Grant Program supports research in all fields of political science. The intent of these grants is to provide funding opportunities for research conducted by political scientists not employed at PhD-granting departments in the field, or who are in non-tenure track or contingent positions ineligible for departmental funding.

Prior grant recipients published books and book chapters, journal articles, working papers, and conference presentations as the result of the grants. They also report benefits to students, who have served as co-authors or research assistants on the grant-funded projects, and have reported public benefits in the form of briefings, consultancies with government or INGOs as a result of the research project funded. Finally, several recipients were also able to use the APSA grant as seed money to gain additional funding.

A small number of these grants are awarded annually through a peer-review process. Individual grants may not exceed $2,500 and are not renewable.

Small research grant applications for 2016 are now closed. Applicants can expect decision notifications in May.

How to Use Small Research Grant Funds
Funds may be used for such research activities as travel to archives, travel to conduct interviews, administration and coding of instruments, research assistance, and purchase of datasets. While this list is merely illustrative, certain research activities are specifically excluded from funding; these include travel to professional meetings, secretarial costs except for preparation of the final manuscripts for publication, and salary support for the principal investigator. Overhead or indirect costs are not allowable expenses. 

Funds must be spent by September 30 of the year following the award. A report of the funded activities must be sent to APSA by December 31 of the year following the award. Awards paid to individuals are reportable income by the IRS. Each recipient receives a 1099. Consult the IRS website or your tax advisor for any tax-related questions. Award recipients may request that funds be paid to their college or university for allowable research expenses.

How to Qualify
Applicants must be APSA members at the time of the application, and when funds are dispersed. The principal applicant and any co-author must fall into one of the following categories:
  • A faculty member at a college or university that does not award a PhD in political science, public administration, public policy, international relations, government, or politics, and whose primary appointment is in one of these departments.
  • A faculty member at a college or university that awards a PhD in political science who is on a non-tenure or contingent track position, and ineligible for departmental funding.
  • A political scientist not affiliated with an academic institution and is either (a) unemployed or (b) working in a research organization such as a think tank.

Please note that this grant does not support dissertation research or writing. Graduate students are not eligible to apply.

If you do not qualify for the APSA Small Research Grant Program but are still interested in funding opportunities from the association, the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs has a variety of research grant funds available to scholars at both PhD-granting institutions and non-PhD-granting institutions, with funding aimed at supporting specific topics of study. For more information on the funds, please click here.

How to Apply
Your proposal should address a significant problem in political science, and must include the following documents:
  • Your CV.
  • Title page (1 page): This should include an abstract of your proposal in 150 words or less.
  • Research statement (no more than 5 single-spaced pages): Include a description of your research topic, questions, and its import to the field; the research design to be used; and the present status of your project. Although not required, if your project has a potential public engagement component or other public component, please include this as well.
  • Bibliography for proposed research statement.
  • Research budget: This must have separate line items for direct costs associated with your proposed research (travel, access to archives, interviews, etc.)

Applications for 2016 small research grants are now closed. 

2016 Applicants can expect to receive decisions from APSA by May.

Contact Us

For questions or concerns about the Small Research Grant Program, please contact the APSA team at [email protected].

American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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