Small Grants

ISS’ Small Grants Program
Supporting Research and Conferences

Twice yearly, the ISS distributes small grants to tenure-line Cornell social science faculty. Up to $12,000 is awarded for social science research projects and $5,000 for conferences.

Priority is given to Cornell scholars early in their career (i.e., assistant/associate professors) to jump-start their social science research.  We support pilot projects likely to lead to a major external grant and projects with longer term research goals. We encourage social science research projects led by faculty teams spanning social science disciplines or administrative units, and interdisciplinary projects led or co-led by social scientists.

While we support all social science research, we are interested in applications for projects using computational social science, broadly conceived (e.g., big data, smart data, real-time data). We also would like to fund social science research projects seeking to solve a critical 21st century problem, such as ending racism, crime and violence; improving social welfare; and protecting democratic institutions. We emphasize cutting-edge research–both quantitative and qualitative–where small amounts of funding can make a significant difference in leveraging future funding.  We also support research leading to pilot data that illustrates the significance of or shows the feasibility of the research.

The ISS’ Small Grants program also accepts proposals for interdisciplinary conferences. Awards for conferences rarely exceed $5,000.

Each application is reviewed and rated by two Cornell social science faculty members. Awardees are expected to review grant applications in subsequent rounds. Cornell faculty members who have previously received a small grant are required to wait two years before they are eligible for another award.

Funds for the small grant program come from the ISS and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Cornell University. Additional details, including a description of previously supported activities as well as instructions on how to apply are found in Application Guidelines.


Application Deadlines
Awards Announced
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Thursday, April 6, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Thursday, November 9, 2017
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Thursday, April 5, 2018