Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Eligibility

Who can apply for a Just Tech Rapid-Response Grant?

Eligible candidates must hold a PhD in the social sciences, humanities, or related interdisciplinary fields (e.g., law, political philosophy, racial and ethnic studies, gender studies, migration studies, public health). Applications from any part of the world and in any world region are eligible, as are applications from PhDs who conduct research outside of a university environment (e.g., civil society or nongovernmental organizations).

All applications will require approval from an applicant’s Common Rule–compliant Institutional Review Board (IRB), federally approved IRB, or international equivalent.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

The Just Tech Rapid-Response Grant has no citizenship or nationality requirements.

May I apply if I have already applied for an SSRC grant?

Applicants may not have another pending application with SSRC.

Application Process

What is the application and program timeline?

Applications may be submitted through the SSRC’s application portal. Applications were initially accepted on a rolling basis. The first period of review began on August 31, 2020. The deadline for the final round of review for applications is September 30, 2020. Notification of award status for the first round of review will occur in November 2020. Grants will provide support for research beginning as early as November 2020. Pending available funding, the SSRC may offer additional application rounds. Please check the Just Tech program page for updates.

What does an application consist of?

A completed application consists of an application form, a five-page research proposal, a curriculum vitae (that includes the names and contact information for up to three references), and a detailed budget. The proposal must address the following: What research question(s) will the proposed research address? How does your proposed research align with the goals of the Just Tech Rapid-Response Grants as described in the request for proposals? What existing work, within your discipline or others, will your research engage? What evidence will you gather through the proposed research? How will you conduct this research? What methods will you use to collect this material? What approaches will you use to analyze it? If your research requires specific data collection or analysis skills, briefly describe your competence in these skills, and how you acquired them.

In addition to the research proposal, applicants must address the following issues on the application form: Feasibility: Given constraints on the ability to conduct research under conditions of social distancing and lockdown in many places, applications must describe how the research will be carried out. What kinds of remote methods (if necessary) will be deployed, and why are they likely to yield information relevant to the proposed research question? Research ethics: Research projects involving human subjects will require appropriate institutional approval. In addition, applicants must address how the proposed methods take into account the ethical considerations particular to remote or online research. What ethical issues might arise in the conduct of the research, and how is the applicant prepared to address and mitigate them? Audience and dissemination: Successful applicants will be required to contribute a brief (1,000–2,000-word) essay on their research on the SSRC’s digital forum Items: Insights from the Social Sciences. In the application, applicants must address the outputs of the project and the audiences they intend to reach. How quickly will outputs be produced at the end of the research period? Who are the primary audiences? What constituencies beyond the academy, if any, are you interested in reaching? What is your dissemination strategy?

How long can my research proposal be? Does it need to be formatted specifically?

The research proposal should be no more than five pages (single-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, one-inch margins), not including a focused bibliography that can be up to one additional page. In the event that a longer document is uploaded, selection committee members will only review the first five pages.

May I submit an application in a language other than English?

No. Proposals must be submitted in English.

May I submit my application by fax or email?

No. Applications sent by fax or email will not be accepted. Applicants must use the SSRC’s Online Application Portal to supply the necessary information.

Can I have a staff member review a draft of my proposal before submission?

No. For suggestions on proposal writing, we encourage you to consult On the Art of Writing Proposals.

How can I find out whether the program has received my application?

An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent automatically via email upon successful submission of the application. If you do not receive an automatic email confirmation within 24 hours of submitting your application, please contact just-tech@ssrc.org. Please specify “Just Tech RRG” in the subject line.

If I submit my application before the deadline, can I change it?

No. No alterations will be accepted after the application has been submitted.

Research Projects

What is the expected length of time of the proposed research?

Proposed projects must be completed within six months of the start date of the grant.

What does “rapid-response” mean?

As the Covid-19 pandemic affects societies across the globe in real time, we seek to support social research that addresses this moment as it unfolds. We encourage research that focuses on immediate issues regarding the spread of the virus and responses to it, and that aims to put the present into a historical, comparative, or theoretical context. “Rapid-response” thus means the ability to begin and conclude an ambitious but finite research project quickly alongside the fast dissemination of available results to the research community and other audiences.

What may grant funds be used for?

Grant funds will typically be used for activities directly related to research to be conducted online or remotely, such as research equipment and supplies, support for research assistants, and costs for access to publications, archives, or proprietary databases. In exceptional cases, and in consultation with program staff, award funds may be used to cover other expenses. In the event that nonremote research methods become safe and feasible during the grant period, grantees may request a reallocation of grant funds toward travel, accommodation, and related expenses.

Do the grant awards go directly to the fellows or are they channeled through a university?

This is left to the discretion of the applicant and their home institution and should be based on which option is most favorable given how the applicant would like to utilize the funds. In all cases, the formal grantee will be the individual fellow, and not their home institution. We can issue grant payments through an institution once the institution agrees that (a) it will administer the award on the fellow’s behalf and will NOT deduct any overhead expenses and (b) it will handle all taxability issues and reporting associated with the grant.

Other questions not answered here may be addressed to just-tech@ssrc.org.

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