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Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research on social life; the causes and consequences of human behavior; processes of social change; and human social organizations, including groups, institutions and societies.

Supports research on social life; the causes and consequences of human behavior; processes of social change; and human social organizations, including groups, institutions and societies.


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. This includes research on organizations and organizational behavior, population dynamics, social movements, social groups, labor force participation, stratification and mobility, family, social networks, socialization, gender, race and the sociology of science and technology. The program supports both original data collection 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. 

Principal Investigators should select PD 98-1331 in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal cover sheet for submission of regular research projects to the sociology program. Projects are evaluated using the two foundation-wide criteria, intellectual merit and broader impacts. In assessing the intellectual 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.

NSF also offers a number of specialized funding opportunities through its crosscutting and cross-directorate activities; some of the sociology-related opportunities are listed below.

Crosscutting Research & Training Opportunities:

  • ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
  • Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program
  • Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Programs
  • SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF)
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

To get information about these programs and others, please visit the cross-cutting and NSF-wide active funding opportunities search page.

NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities for and expanding participation of groups, institutions and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects and activities it considers and supports. 

NSF is also committed to public access to publications and data, unless there are countervailing interests that prohibit or limit public access to data, including matters of personally identifiable information of research participants, privacy or other issues of vulnerability such as economic, social or other security interests, etc.). See Public Access to Results of NSF-Funded Research and Data Management for NSF SBE Directorate Proposals and Awards for more information.

Program contacts

Joseph Whitmeyer
Program Director
jwhitmey@nsf.gov (703) 292-7808 SBE/SES
Antwan Jones
Program Director
aajones@nsf.gov (703) 292-4973 SBE/SES
Mamadi Corra
Program Director
mcorra@nsf.gov (703) 292-7149 SBE/SES

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program