The College and University Fund for the Social Sciences (CUF) is a network of higher education partners that are dedicated to connecting across disciplines and institutions to produce high-impact scholarship, and to expanding the funding infrastructure for social and behavioral science worldwide. Through CUF, the SSRC brings together university leaders and public and private funders of social and behavioral science to set a broad research agenda, build networks that will seek solutions to global challenges, and ensure that significant funding can be directed toward the most
impactful research projects.

Through the SSRC’s College and University Fund for the Social Sciences (CUF), we connect leaders of the nation’s most active research institutions with our network of public and private funders of social and behavioral science, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Knight Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2014, the CUF was launched with a dozen founding university members. Today, that number has grown to more than forty institutions, predominantly AAU research institutions.

A critical goal of the College and University Fund is to build support for a significant expansion of the infrastructure for social and behavioral science funding. With rare exceptions, funding for social science tends to be relatively small grants awarded to single researchers. Funding of that scale is simply not adequate to conduct the kind of large-scale science needed to meet the challenges of our most pressing social problems, including pandemics, climate change, persistent inequality, and threats to democratic institutions. These challenges exist at scale, and demand a research response that is proportionately at scale.

Conferences and Initiatives

2022 College and University Fund Conference: Social and Behavioral Science at Scale
November 18, 2022
Societies around the globe face pressing challenges at scale: pandemics, hunger, climate change, growing economic inequality, threats to democratic institutions. In order to discover cost-effective solutions to these and other challenges, we need to conduct social and behavioral science at a scale proportionate to the threats we confront.
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Why Leading Institutions Join

Convening Institutional Leaders
The SSRC regularly convenes institutional leaders from the College and University Fund for the Social Sciences together with leaders from our public and philanthropic funding partners. These annual conferences offer an opportunity for research institutions to sit down with research funders and share ideas about practices that can more fully mobilize the research community to develop bold solutions to the globe’s most pressing challenges.
Academic Publication Support
The landscape of academic journals publishing rigorous social and behavioral science is expanding, with general interest science journals increasingly featuring social and behavioral work. We offer workshops featuring journal editors to support CUF faculty and graduate students in the publication process.
Grant Development Support
Funding in the social and behavioral sciences is available from both public and private funders. We offer workshops featuring representatives from public and private funders to support CUF faculty and graduate students in grant proposal development and execution.