The UT Dallas Social Sciences Grant program is an internal funding mechanism designed to collect preliminary data that will lead to external funding.  Supported and led by the Office of Research, this program will be offered annually pending the availability of resources. 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 award 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 $10,000.
  • The duration of the Social Science Grant award is 12 months.
  • PIs whose Social Science Grant proposals are not selected in a given award period may resubmit their proposals the following year.


Submission Deadline: March 31st

Eligibility 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. A successful Social Sciences Grant proposal will demonstrate the following:

  • The PI and, if applicable co-PI, must have a primary UT Dallas appointment and be either tenured, on tenure-track, or be a Center Director.  Adjunct faculty, affiliate faculty, visiting researchers, and postdocs are not eligible to serve as PI, co-PI, or founding faculty but may participate in the proposed project.
  • The proposal must provide 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 duration of the Social Sciences Grant award is 12 months.
  • 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.
  • 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 winning round. For example, a winner from fall 2018 would not be eligible to submit another application until fall 2021.
  • Faculty with greater than $200,000 in discretionary funds (e.g. Research Enhancement and Chair cost centers) are not eligible to serve as either PI or co-PI.
  • A faculty member may submit only one Social Sciences Grant proposal as a PI or co-PI during each submission opportunity.
  • Faculty participating in the review process are not eligible to apply concurrently for a Social Sciences grant.

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 social sciences 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 a 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.
  • 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 one page, provide a table with each expenditure category and line item descriptions.
  • Budget justification. Limited to three pages, provide a justification for the expenditures relative to personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.
  • 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.
  • Biosketches. Provide NIH/NSF format biosketches (including page limitations) for the faculty key personnel.

Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Social Sciences Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of UT Dallas faculty with relevant scientific, technical, and research experience. Applicants will receive a brief list of strengths and weaknesses with a numerical rank (5=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.
  • The extent to which the Social Sciences Grant funding will enhance the competitiveness in securing external funding.

Awardee Requirements

Upon award, you must submit the following information to the Vice President for Research:

  • Within 1 month of award: A one page text with graphic representation of the project and team. The document must be suitable for presentation on the Office of Research website.
  • Within 10 months of receiving the award: A two-page 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 panel for the following review cycle; this means recipients cannot be PIs or collaborators on proposals submitted the cycle following the cycle in which they were awarded. 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.

Allowable Expenses

  • Supplies, equipment, reagents, and publication costs
  • Graduate student stipend and benefits
  • 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

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 such that no carryover of funds will be permitted unless approval has been provided by the Office of Research. Any unused funds must be returned to the Office of Research.
  • Failure to comply with items 1 and 2 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 Office of Research.
  • 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 through the Social Sciences Grant Program.”