The UT Dallas Social Sciences grant program is an internal funding mechanism designed to collect preliminary data that will lead to external funding. This program is well-suited to support the endeavors of those faculty from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, although there is no explicit limitation for faculty affiliations. PIs who accept a UT Dallas Social Sciences grant commit to the pursuit of external funding for the research effort within 12 to 18 months of receiving Social Sciences grant funding. Activities that are not eligible for support through this mechanism include consulting, dissertation completion, research/analysis pertaining to the operation of UT Dallas, and curriculum development.

Award Information

  • The maximum allowable budget for a Social Sciences grant is $8,000.
  • The duration of the Social Science grant award is 12 months.

Submission Deadline: February 29, 2024

Program Guidelines

Social Sciences grant funding is meant to seed research activities including the collection of preliminary data for new activities rather than supporting an on-going or established study. Priority will be made to support those collaborations that are new, i.e. the participating PIs have no previous track record of co-funding on externally sponsored work (as co-PIs or PI and co- investigator). A collaboration can still be considered new if the PIs have served as co-authors on one or more peer-reviewed publications. A successful Social Sciences grant proposal will demonstrate the following:

  • Compelling evidence that one or more external funding opportunities exist that are relevant for the proposed work. The funding levels should substantially exceed that which is provided by the Social Sciences grant mechanism.
  • The timeline for submitting a Social Sciences grant application should be 12 to 18 months ahead of the team’s anticipated submission to one or more target external grant programs.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • The PI and if applicable, co-PI, must have primary, full-time UT Dallas appointments and must be PI eligible.
  • Adjunct faculty, affiliate faculty, visiting researchers, and postdocs are not eligible to serve as PI or co-PIs but may participate in the proposed project.
  • Previous Social Sciences grant awardees (PI and co-PIs) may submit a new Social Sciences grant application no sooner than three calendar years from a prior award round. For example, a winner from spring 2019 would not be eligible to submit another application until spring 2022.
  • Faculty with greater than $100,000 in discretionary funds (e.g. Research Enhancement and Chair cost centers) are not eligible to serve as either PI or co- PI. Start-up funding does not count towards the discretionary fund limit.
  • A faculty member may submit only one Social Sciences grant proposal as a PI or co-PI during each submission period.
  • Faculty participating in the review process are not eligible to apply concurrently for a Social Sciences grant.

Allowable Expenses

  • Supplies, equipment, reagents, facility use and publication costs
  • Graduate student stipend, benefits and tuition
  • Postdoctoral or Research Scientist support and benefits

Unallowable Expenses

  • Faculty salary and/or benefits (neither academic year nor summer support permitted)
  • Transfer of funds to institutions or individuals outside of UT Dallas
  • Administrative or secretarial support
  • Indirect costs

Required Submission Materials

Proposal documents should have 1-inch margins and use a 12-point font. Upload one combined document (preferably in PDF format).

  • Summary. In 300 words or less describe the project, the potential impact, and the collaboration for a general audience.
  • Proposal. Limited to three pages with the following section headings in sequence. The bibliography does not count against the page limit.
    • Rationale and Vision. Explain the goal, the current state of the art and how your project is innovative.
    • Plan. Provide a description of your plan and explain what you need to accomplish during the Social Sciences grant award period to be competitive for external funding.
    • Team. Explain why the PI, and if applicable the team, has the background and abilities to pursue the project and become competitive for external funding in this research area. State if the team is new.
    • Justification. Explain why the Social Sciences grant award will increase the likelihood of securing external funding.
    • Participating Personnel. List participating faculty members, providing a clear explanation of each member’s role in the project. Also list any named graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or research scientists. If the proposal involves unfunded contributions from outside UT Dallas, describe the source(s) of support for those contributions. Letters of support may be included and do not count against the page limit.
  • External Funding Opportunities. Limited to one page, summarize the external funding opportunities for which the Social Sciences grant will enable the pursuit of external funding. Include a timeline with milestones for development of one or more external proposals, names of potential sponsoring agencies and solicitations and relevant deadlines for those agencies.
  • Budget. Limited to two pages, provide a table with each expenditure category and line item descriptions. The Office of Sponsored Projects budget template may be used.
  • Budget justification. Limited to three pages, provide a justification for all expenditures.
  • Co-funding. Co-funding from within or outside UT Dallas is neither required nor considered for priority in funding. However, if a project requires funds exceeding the stated limit, an academic unit may provide co-funding. If so, provide a description of the source and planned use of the funds to support the overall goals of the project. A letter of support from the academic unit authority should accompany the application expressing commitment to provide the funds during the Social Sciences grant award period.
  • Previous seed grant funding. Limited to one page, if any team member has had previous seed grant funding through a UT Dallas program, detail the distinction between previous funding and the proposed project; and the past success of the seed grant funding.
  • Biosketches. Provide NIH/NSF format biosketches for the faculty Key Personnel. Biosketches do not count towards the proposal page limit.
  • Current and Pending. Provide NSF format current and pending support for the faculty Key Personnel. There is no page limit for current and pending support.

Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Social Sciences grant applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised primarily of previous Social Sciences awardees and other of UT Dallas faculty with a range of scientific, technical, and research experience. Applicants will receive a brief list of strengths and weaknesses with a numerical rank (10=highly meritorious and recommended for funding, 1=low priority for application consideration). Awards will be announced following the completion of the reviews and funding will be available soon after. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Relevance of project goals, plans, and expected product(s) to prepare the team for future external funding opportunities.
  • The skills and abilities of the team for the social sciences project and the pursuit of external funding.
  • The targeted funding program(s), associated funding level(s), and timeline for pursuit.
  • The extent that the Social Sciences grant support is vital for the collaboration.
  • If applicable, whether or not the faculty team constitutes a new collaboration, where new teaming is prioritized.
  • The extent to which the Social Sciences grant funding will enhance the competitiveness in securing external funding.
  • If applicable, the extent of difference between previous seed grant funding and the proposed project; and the past success of the seed grant funding.

Awardee Requirements

Upon award, you must submit the following information to the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation:

  • Within 1 month of project end: A three-page max progress report including research outcomes, other outcomes (manuscripts submitted/presented, conferences, etc.), and progress toward securing external funding. If either research progression or plans toward submission of proposals for external funding has been impacted, a clear explanation for the delay and a mitigation plan is required.
  • Upon request: Provide a brief presentation at UT Dallas during a research symposium or other event to highlight the Social Science grant impact.
  • Recipients will serve on a Seed Grant review panels as requested. By accepting an award, recipients agree to score and provide written comments on assigned proposals before the review deadline and participate in in-person review meetings.

Other Terms and Conditions

  • Funds will not be released until all necessary compliance related approvals and/or training are acquired, such as IRB, IACUC, IBC, RCR and COI.
  • Funds expire and must be used within 12 months of award. No carryover of funds will be permitted unless approval has been provided by the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation. Any unused funds must be returned to the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation.
  • Failure to comply with any of the Awardee Requirements will result in suspension of Social Sciences grant funding and faculty becoming ineligible for future seed grant competitions sponsored by the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation.
  • The Social Sciences grant award must be acknowledged in any resulting publications, exhibitions, or events, including press releases, using the following language: “This project was funded (or partially funded) by The University of Texas at Dallas Office of Research and Innovation through the Social Sciences grant program.”

Contact Us

For further information please contact Emily Lacy.