The Society for the
Study of Social Issues



Click here to see examples of previously awarded grants


The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) is pleased to invite proposals for grants to support local- and state-level research/policy groups. SPSSI will fund up to three groups, at up to $2000 each, for each award cycle. There are two award cycles per year: one in the spring and one in the fall.

This grant initiative, begun in 2015, has three goals: 1) to influence policy at the local and state levels through applied research, 2) to increase the availability of policy opportunities for SPSSI members who are interested in applied research, and 3) to encourage younger scholars to become more involved in SPSSI. 

Grant awardees will review existing research at the local and/or state levels on policy-relevant topics, conduct additional research as needed, and ultimately use this work to assist policy makers in making data-driven decisions about local- and/or state-level issues.

Research/policy groups outside of the United States who are looking at local and/or regional issues within their countries are also encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in this initiative but are not familiar with potential collaborators, please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll, who can provide you with a list of SPSSI members in your area.


  • The group must consist of three or more social scientists who live in the same state or similar regionally-based jurisdiction outside of the United States such that they face common policy issues.
  • At least one member of the group must be a current SPSSI member.
  • The group members must be working on the same issue, broadly defined.
  • The group must compellingly demonstrate that its members are interested in the policy applications of psychological science and/or other social science research.
  • SPSSI will give preference to groups that demonstrate either existing policy expertise or the willingness to learn more about policy work at the local and/or state levels—i.e., members should have experience working with local and/or state entities in helping to advance empirically-based decision-making or have a plan for how at least one member of the group will obtain this experience.
  • SPSSI will give preference to groups that can meet in person but will consider groups that rely only on electronic communication (including virtual conferencing).


To apply for funding, the group should submit a short (no more than 5 pages single-spaced, 1-inch margins, no smaller than 11 point font) that:

  • Addresses the criteria described above
  • Explains outcomes/deliverables (e.g., conduct policy related research, attend meetings with local policy makers, write a “white paper” on the policy issue, plan to testify at legislative hearings)
  • Provides a budget for the year (acceptable expenses include: funding for meetings, funding to conduct research to answer a policy question, funding to support students to conduct policy work, limited funding for materials and equipment)
  • Specifies agreement to submit a presentation on the work for the 2018 or 2019 SPSSI Conference
  • Delivers a 5-10 page summary of the work completed at the end of the grant period (February 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019)


Please submit a proposal by December 10, 2017 to SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll.  

Proposals will be evaluated by members of the SPSSI Policy Committee in collaboration with the SPSSI Secretary/Treasurer, who initiated this grant program.

Applicants will be notified no later than February 1, 2018.

Please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll (E:, T: 202-675-6956) with questions.

Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin