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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: 

Accelerated Research Grants

Accelerated Research Grants: Tier 2

Accelerated Research Grants are designed to support ambitious social science research by helping faculty obtain external funding to support this research. This funding is intended for Cornell researchers who have identified an ambitious external funding opportunity within the next year. Funding can be allocated to support faculty time or create specific outputs that will increase the success of external grant applications.

Time: Time is often the number one challenge researchers face when preparing ambitious external funding proposals. Accelerated Research Grant funding can be used to support your time in different ways, including, but not limited to, hiring an RA, hiring a teaching assistant, or hiring grant-writing support. If you have questions about other appropriate uses of the funds, please contact CCSS.

Outputs: Accelerated Research Grant funding can also be allocated for specific outputs linked directly to the pending grant proposal. This could include, but is not limited to, publications, websites, pilot studies, or making existing work open access. These outputs should increase the likelihood of external funding. These funds are not intended to seed new research projects; for new projects, please see CCSS Seed Grants.

Applications for Accelerated Research Grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Up to $35,000 can be requested. Additional criteria are below.

Applicants should have a clear path forward with a specific goal identified. Recipients of Accelerated Research Grants will submit external grant proposals within 12 months of receiving funds.

  1. You've been awarded Phase 1 of a multi-phase grant, such as an NSF Convergence Accelerator Grant, and are preparing your Phase 2 submission.
  2. You have an existing external grant and you're submitting a proposal to renew or continue the grant or a new grant proposal that builds directly on the currently funded project.
  3. You submitted a grant proposal that did not receive funding and you are revising the proposal to resubmit.


To submit an application for funding consideration, please complete this Qualtrics which asks for:

  • External funding opportunity, planned date of submission (must be within 12 months of receiving funds), and anticipated budget amount of external proposal.
  • An uploaded document that contains the following:
    • Project: One paragraph providing a brief overview of the project and connection to the targeted external funding
    • Plan: Explanation of how the funding will increase the success of your external proposal(s) (<500 words)
    • Budget: Please provide a budget and budget justification for how you will use the funding (up to $35k) to support your time and/or the creation of specific outputs designed to increase the likelihood of obtaining the external grant support.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Please email CCSS with any questions.

Hire a Grant Writer

Hire a Grant Writer Apply Here

One of the biggest challenges when writing grant proposals is finding time to organize research ideas, preliminary findings, and proposed research into the format required by the grant agency. To help researchers with this process, CCSS and OVPRI have partnered to provide funding for grant writing services to assist with ambitious external grant applications. These funds can be used to hire grant writers, content editors, or proofreaders. If these services would be helpful, CCSS can help connect you with relevant grant-writing experts. 

To be eligible to receive these funds, the PI must be a CCSS affiliate. Contact CCSS today with any questions.

NIH Grant Development

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

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.