Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Grant, for current PhD Students

Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Grant, for current PhD Students
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Aim and Mission

  • To support emerging scholars through small grants;
  • To promote scholarship with a social policy application; and
  • To encourage projects that address contemporary issues in the social sciences.


Grants are based solely on merit. Each is worth a total of $7,500; $5,000 is awarded initially and $2,500 upon completion of the project.

​For grant recipients to be entitled to their second installment, they must show evidence of one of the following:

  1. Acceptance and approval of their dissertation;
  2. Acceptance of an article based on the research by a peer-reviewed journal; or
  3. Invitation to write and publish a book chapter based on the research.

Grants are non-renewable and recipients have five years from announcement of the award to complete their project and claim their final payment.


  • Applicants must be current PhD (or DrPH) candidates who are working on their dissertation;
  • Applicants must not have a PhD; those who do, are ineligible;
  • Applicants must have defended their dissertation proposal or had their topic approved by their department;
  • Applicants can be from any country and any university in the world. US citizenship or residency is not required.​


The foundation supports projects with a social policy application on either a global or local level. 

Applications are evaluated based on the Trustees’ assessment of criteria such as: feasibility, applicability, originality, methodology, theoretically informed or empirically rich research, and letters of recommendation. No specific weight is given to any one area. Proposals are evaluated based on overall merit of all aspects of the application.

We encourage applicants to look at the kind of projects we have supported in previous years. See Previous Recipients.


  • Awards are made to individuals, not institutions. If processed through an institution, a waiver for overhead is required.
  • Recipients are expected to acknowledge assistance provided by the foundation in any publication resulting from their research and should notify the foundation with publication details.
  • Grants are issued immediately on receipt of an acceptance letter from the recipient. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the grant does not conflict with other funding they have secured. Grants are usually administered in June of the year they are decided.
  • Grant recipients will be publicized on the foundation’s website, in appropriate professional media, and a press release to university media offices.  

Special Awards

Each year, the Trustees issue special monetary awards for the most outstanding project in specific subject-matter areas. These awards cannot be applied for directly, and are only granted at the discretion of the Trustees. Special Award recipients receive an additional $1,500, unless otherwise noted:

Donald R. Cressey Award
Criminal Justice and Penology Practices

Eli Ginzberg Award
Health and Welfare, particularly in urban settings

Harold D. Lasswell Award
International Relations and Foreign Affairs

Irving Louis Horowitz Award
Overall most outstanding project
This award carries with it an additional $5,000.

John L. Stanley Award
History and Ethics

Joshua Feigenbaum Award
 Arts, Popular Culture, and Mass Communication

Martinus Nijhoff Award
Science, Technology, and Medicine

Robert K. Merton Award
Addresses the relationship between Social Theory and Public Policy

Trustees’ Award
For the most innovative approach in theory and/or methodology
This award carries with it an additional $3,000.

​Application Steps:

  1. Click the orange “Application Portal” button and create an account
  2. Complete the two-question Eligibility Form 
  3. Complete the Application Round, including:
    • Personal Details​ – short answer questions
    • Project Overview – a brief snapshot                                             
    • Your Project – 750 word description
    • Upload Your CV
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation – provide contact information
  4. Click the “Review & Submit” button (on or before the deadline – December 1, 2020)

Additional Information:

  • All applications must be submitted through the application portal;
  • All forms and documents must be in English;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Applications without letters of recommendation cannot be submitted;
  • Letters of recommendation must be specific to the applicant’s project;
  • Award winners will be announced in late May;
  • See our FAQ page for more!

Apply here. More information on Official website.

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