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External Grant Preparation Support

CCSS has several programs to support Cornell social science researchers pursuing external funding opportunities. 

CCSS currently offers the following programs for external grant preparation support: 

  • NIH Grant Development

    Applications for the 2024 NIH Grant Development Program workshop series are due on January 31, 2024. 

    The Jeb. E Brooks School of Public PolicyCornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq), Cornell Population Center (CPC), and Cornell Center for Social Sciences are offering support to PI-eligible Cornell social science researchers pursuing an NIH grant. This program focuses on mentoring social science researchers through the process of writing an NIH grant from concept to submission. 

    Cornell researchers across colleges and departments have a long record of securing NIH funding. The NIH offers RFPs that fit with many areas of social science, including psychology, sociology, communication, human development, policy, government, demography, and economics. NIH topics of interest extend broadly into the social sciences and include social determinants of health and well-being such as incarceration, racial discrimination, and social justice, along with population science on topics such as climate migration, aging, and mortality differentials. 

    NIH Grant Development Program Information Session

    Tuesday, January 16

    View Recording

    More details on this program can be found in the tabs below. 

    • Program Goals

      1. Incentivize and support high-quality federal NIH (e.g. K, R01, R03, or R21) grant submissions, with a strong likelihood of success, from social science researchers across Cornell. 

      2. Provide institutional support for health and social-scientific research. 

      3. Build inter-campus collaborations by leveraging NIH and social science expertise across Cornell. 

      4. Proactively recruit junior faculty, particularly junior faculty of color, to increase faculty diversity and inclusion and support the next generation of research in the social sciences. 

    • Program Structure

      PI-eligible Cornell social science researchers may apply for the formal Grant Writing Workshop Series cohort, while postdocs, ABD PhD students, and others are welcome to attend individual workshop sessions. Participants who are not affiliated with CCHEq or CPC will be encouraged to affiliate with these centers. 

      The Grant Writing Workshop Series consists of four hour-long sessions (from February to early April) in which participants will work toward developing a well-considered Specific Aims page. Cohort members are expected to attend each workshop, complete “homework” assignments for each session, and submit a draft Specific Aims page for review and feedback by senior faculty.  

      After completion of the Grant Writing Workshop Series early in the calendar year, participants will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding and support via one of two tracks in Spring 2024.  

      Cohort members who complete the workshop series, including Specific Aims, will receive $3,000 in discretionary funds to pursue their research. 

      Track One: Pilot Grants 

      This track is for those eligible from the Grant Writing Workshop Series cohort who do not yet have preliminary data and are on a grant submission timeline that is after February 2025.  

      Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submit a revised Specific Aims page, a one-page “response to reviewers,” a description of what preliminary data is needed to enhance the competitiveness of the proposal, and a brief budget. Successful proposals receive up to $3,000 for data collection or other research-related costs associated with enhancing the project. Funds may not be used for hardware purchasing or faculty salary.  

      Upon completion of Track One, the PI has the option of applying to Track Two. 

      Track Two: Grant Writing Fellows Program 

      This track is for cohort members who have identified a grant submission timeline within the 12 months following the workshop series.  

      Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submit a revised Specific Aims page and a brief, one-page response to reviews from the original submission, a PI and team (including a Cornell-affiliated faculty mentor with PI experience who has agreed to the role), a targeted mechanism and rationale for why the proposal is a good fit for that mechanism/call, a timeline for submission of proposal, and a budget for proposal.  

      Mentors are suggested by the PIs. Participating centers can provide assistance in helping their members identify relevant mentors. The mentor’s job is to (a) engage additional experts as needed to make the project competitive; (b) read and edit drafts of the proposal; and (c) assist with identifying institutional resources to support the proposal. Mentors will receive up to $2,500 for a commitment to mentor applicant through the grant submission process. The mentor may or may not serve as a co-PI.  

      Successful proposals receive up to $10,000 for up to 1-month of summer salary to use on grant preparation (RA, pilot data, or travel for proposal planning at researcher’s discretion). Please note that summary salary will need to be disclosed on a PI’s current and pending when submitting a proposal to NIH.  

      Fellows are expected to submit a grant proposal to NIH by February 2025 (a one-grant cycle extension is permitted – from October 2025 proposed to February 2026, for example). Upon submission, fellows receive an additional $1,000 in a discretionary or research account.  

    • NIH Grant Writing Workshops

      The four workshop sessions will start in February and wrap up by early April.


      Workshop series applications are due by noon on January 31, 2024.

      The workshop series is designed to help prepare faculty for development of a successful NIH proposal.  Topics include NIH funding mechanisms, relevant grant ideas, PI resources, building interdisciplinary teams, budgeting, grant writing styles, writing Specific Aims, and the proposal review process.  Workshops also give participants an opportunity to interact directly with experienced, successful grant recipients. Please contact Becky Warner for meeting access if you wish to attend the workshops but not apply for the funded cohort.

    • 2023 Track One Awards: Pilot Research Grants

      This track is for eligible faculty from the 2023 cohort who will gather data and submit their NIH grant proposal after February 2024.

      Laura Bellows, Nutritional Sciences

      Aditya Vashistha, Information Science


    • 2023 Track Two Awards: Grant Development Fellowships

      This track is for 2023 cohort members who will submit their NIH grant proposal on or before February 2024.