The CISS Faculty Pilot Grant program is designed to provide funding for innovative research projects that explore cutting-edge social issues, especially those that align with the Center theme of social inequalities. Applicants are encouraged to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, such as integrating concepts or methods from multiple academic disciplines or collaborating with a co-investigator representing a distinctive methodology or field of study. Funded projects should have the potential to attract subsequent external funding, and should yield concrete products at the end of the funding period, such as peer-reviewed journal articles or a book proposal. The Center will award grants of up to $5,000 each (total costs), with a funding period of July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025.

Eligibility and Funding Guidelines: All faculty and full-time lecturers in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and CISS faculty affiliates from any unit are eligible to serve as principal investigators. Grant funds may be used to hire graduate or undergraduate research assistants; for research-related expenses specific to the funded project such as software, data collection, transcription service, compensation for research participants; or travel to research sites. Faculty salary support is not allowable, although faculty may provide summer salary support to graduate students (plus fringe).  The CAS faculty research account guidelines provide details on other allowable and unallowable expenses. Priority will be given to tenure-track faculty and faculty members who have not already received CISS funding.

Informational Session: A goal of the pilot grant program is to facilitate collaborative interdisciplinary work with the potential to attract external funding. CISS will hold a Zoom informational session on Thursday January 25, 2024, from 3-4 pm. Potential applicants are invited to share their research ideas with one another, and the Center director and Steering Committee members will help to facilitate potential collaborations among investigators seeking research partners who bring a new disciplinary or methodological lens to the project. The Center director will also answer general questions regarding the pilot grant program. Please register here.

Review Process: Each application will be reviewed by a member of the CISS Steering Committee, the Center director, and a CISS affiliate with relevant substantive or methodological expertise. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the significance of the topic, innovation, quality and feasibility of analytic plan, evidence of a commitment to interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives, potential to yield external funding and high-impact research outputs, and investigator need. Application deadline is February 15, 2024. Selected applicants will be notified no later than March 30, 2024.  Projects must have IRB approval before funding will begin.

Required Proposal Components: The proposal must be submitted as a single PDF to via this link and should include:

  1. Project Narrative: Up to three pages inclusive of tables and graphics, and using 1.5 spacing, 1-inch margins, and 11 pt. Arial font) comprised of the following sections:
    1. Project Aims
    2. Significance and Impact
    3. Planned Approach/Method
    4. Plans for Seeking External Funding
    5. Expected Outcomes
    6. Timeline
  2. References (do not count as part of the three-page narrative)
  3. Budget and Justification. Costs listed should reflect the actual anticipated expenses and must be justified. For guidelines on hiring student research assistants, see here.

    Reporting and Acknowledgement: Each awardee is required to submit a report to the Center Director within 90 days of completion of the project and may present the outcome of the award to at a Center-sponsored research showcase. Each report should detail the outcomes of the project and link them to the aims set forth in the proposal. The report should include information on presentations, publications, or other scholarly work deriving from the project and the awardee must acknowledge the award support in all publications resulting from the award. In addition, any external award submissions that result from the project or use the data derived from the project should be detailed in the report. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements will disqualify an individual for future consideration in all internal funding programs.

    Please direct questions to Deborah Carr, Center Director ( or Shannon Landis, Center Administrator (