Russell Sage Foundation Small Grants in Behavioral Economics

There is no deadline for the Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Russell Sage Foundation offers small grants to support high quality research in behavioral economics and to encourage young investigators (Ph.D. students and recent graduates) to enter this developing field.

There are no limitations on the disciplinary background of the principal investigator, and the proposed research may address any topic in behavioral economics. However, projects must contribute to the Foundation's mission to improve the social and living conditions in the U.S. Appropriate projects will demonstrate explicit use of psychological concepts in the motivation of the research design and the preparation of the results. Experimental projects which do not have substantial behavioral content (such as market experiments testing neoclassical ideas) or substantial economic content (such as psychology experiments with no economic choices or strategic or market implications) will not be funded.

There is a $7,500 lifetime limit for these small grants.

To apply:

  • Visit our on-line application portal, create an account, and start a new "BE Small Grant" application;
  • Submit a proposal (1000 words max.);
  • Submit a budget;
  • Submit an up-to-date abbreviated CV (maximum of 5 pages);
  • Submit a fiscal agent letter;
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from faculty advisor (doctoral students only);
  • Submit official transcripts (doctoral students only).


Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or post-docs/junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for two or fewer years. All nationalities are eligible to apply.


Proposals should be submitted through the online application portal. The maximum length for the text of a proposal is 1,000 words, excluding budget and bibliography. Proposals should outline the basic rationale of the research, the question under study and the methods and analytic approach to be employed. The proposal should briefly discuss how the project would contribute to the Foundation's mission to improve the social and living conditions in the U.S.


There is a lifetime limit of $7,500. Representative categories of expenditure include acquisition of data, research assistance (but not including payment to any researchers who will be co-authors on the project), and payments to subjects in experiments. No funds will be granted for researchers' time. No funds can be spent on computer hardware or software. No overhead or indirect costs will be paid on these awards.

A budget that appears to be excessive will be grounds for rejecting a proposal.


Please note that there is no deadline for the small grants programs; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Review Process

Applications are generally reviewed within 6-8 weeks (conditional on funding availability). Grants will be accepted or rejected with no possibility of subsequent negotiation.

Administrative Procedures

The award will be administered by the grantee's university which will act as the fiscal agent. The Russell Sage Foundation will pay the entire award in advance.

At the conclusion of the grant period, investigators must send a final substantive report of up to 1,000 words to the Foundation along with an official financial report from the fiscal agent and copies of all research papers supported by the award.

Social sciences : Economy, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences