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Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal Fellowship

Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International PhD Students and
Post-Doctoral Researchers for Projects on Religion and American Politics

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Social Science Research Council (SSRC)

Deadline Date:

04/06/21 5:00 PM ET


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Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers for projects on the connection between religion and American politics. Funding is intended for research-related expenses, including travel, supplies, equipment, support for research assistants, and more. The RSDR fellowship program invites proposals for research at the intersection of religion, spirituality, and democracy in the United States.

The Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal (RSDR) Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aims to bring knowledge of the place of religion and spirituality into scholarly and public conversations about renewing democracy in the United States. Through research on the intersection of religious and/or spiritual identities, behaviors, attitudes, and organizations with social and political structures, processes, and institutions, RSDR fellows will deepen understanding of the evolving relationships among religion, spirituality, and democracy at this moment in US history. This year's RFP especially seeks projects that examine religious traditions and institutions that are influential in shaping democratic participation, debates, and institutions, as well as public policies. Given the urgency and ongoing relevance of these themes, fellows will be expected to make their findings accessible to a broad range of audiences.

Doctoral candidates will receive funding toward research-related expenses. Fellowship funds will typically be used for activities directly related to research, such as travel expenses and accommodations, research equipment and supplies, support for research assistants, and costs for access to publications or proprietary databases. In exceptional cases, and in consultation with program staff, award funds may be used to cover other expenses.

Given the uncertainty with regard to the feasibility of travel and in-person activities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, applicants are encouraged to consider the potential of virtual research methods. 

For research themes, see the URL for Full Text.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194205

Estimated Size of Grant:

Doctoral candidates will receive up to $15,000 and postdoctoral researchers up to $18,000.

Term of Contract:

Proposed projects may be between three and twelve months in duration, and must be completed within twelve months of the fellowship start date. Fellowships will provide support for research beginning as early as August 1, 2021, ending no later than August 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The fellowships offer research support to doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy and to postdoctoral researchers within five years of their PhD. Applications are welcome from scholars at either of these career stages from any country around the world.

Advanced doctoral candidates and recent PhD recipients from all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and theology are eligible to apply. Doctoral candidates must complete all requirements for the PhD degree except for the dissertation by June 2021. Recent PhD recipients are eligible if they were granted their PhD during or after Spring 2016.

The fellowship is open to applicants from all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and theology, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, ethics, geography, history, political science, psychology, religious studies, and sociology.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due April 6, 2021, 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Notification of award status will occur on or before June 1, 2021.

If you do not receive an automatic email confirmation within 24 hours of submitting your application, please contact the Religion and the Public Sphere staff.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Contact the Religion and the Public Sphere staff at

Social Science Research Council
300 Cadman Plaza West, 15th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 212-377-2700 • Fax: 212-377-2727

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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