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.