Call for proposals: Special Projects Fund grants of up to $25,000 to advance the political science discipline

Special projects to advance the political science discipline
Proposals for grants of up to $25,000
DEADLINE: February 15, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT.

The American Political Science Association seeks proposals from groups of members for projects aimed at advancing the political science discipline and/or a tackling a challenge facing the discipline. Projects must be evidence-based and provide wider benefits for the profession and the discipline. Projects must be collaborative and can be focused on any area of disciplinary work, inclusive of teaching, research, service, and public engagement. Proposals that are for a traditional scholarly project (e.g. production of a single author book or journal article) will not be accepted. We encourage proposals for teaching and learning related projects, especially those that facilitate cross-institutional sharing of expertise, and are especially interested in activities that advance the development of pedagogical resources that can be disseminated widely. We welcome and encourage proposals involving scholars from a diverse and varied set of backgrounds, approaches and fields of study.

Sample projects may include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Regional or local teaching & learning conference or mini-conference;
  • Graduate student and early career professional development workshops, including for career development connected to political science-related careers outside academia;
  • Cross-institutional collaborative projects, especially those that draw faculty from across universities, colleges, and community colleges;
  • Research projects that incorporate interdisciplinary, intersectional, mixed-method approaches, or big data;
  • Research or projects that bring faculty and students from the Global South together with faculty based in the US and/or globally around topics of mutual interest;
  • Research projects, conferences, workshops or colloquia that advance diversity and inclusion, recruitment and retention in the discipline, gender equity, accessibility, and the professional advancement of First Generation, Indigenous, and LGBTQ scholars, and scholars from underrepresented backgrounds;
  • Projects that involve faculty and student collaboration and co-authorship opportunities, and mentoring components;
  • Projects that connect researchers with user and/or public communities to co-produce reports, trainings, or other civic benefits.

To apply, please prepare the following materials and upload them to the APSA website at: Applications are due at 11:59pm EDT, 15 February 2020.


  • Project Abstract (1 page)
  • APSA Member number for PI or Co-PI’s.
  • Detailed Budget (1 page). If the funds requested from APSA cover only part of the project costs, please specify the additional project costs and how they will be covered.
  • Project description (3-5 pages). The project description should explicitly address how the proposed project will have wider benefits for the profession.
  • Discipline impact plan (1 page). Detail specific steps you will take to maximize the project’s impact on the discipline. For example, your project may involve a conference aimed at addressing a challenge facing the discipline, but which will only actively involve a small portion of political scientists. How will you ensure that those activities are accessible to and benefit the broader discipline? How can you ensure that participants are drawn from a wide pool of applicants? Can you live-stream the event, or a portion of it? How will you disseminate results? In what formats? Will you produce resources or materials that others could make use of? Will you hold a follow-up panel or event at a future annual meeting? These are just some examples, and we expect that plans will vary based on the proposed project and topic.
  • CV’s for the PI or Co-PI’s.


  • Letter(s) of support from collaborative institutions (e.g., agreement of a university, college, or association to make space available for the workshop/meeting/etc.)
  • Letter(s) identifying any additional in-kind contributions from any collaborative institutions.

Further guidance: All grants made will be subject to the same terms and conditions of APSA grants through the Small Research Grants Fund and Centennial Grants. Full guidance can be found [here]. In summary:

  • Applications from members who have not previously received a Special Projects Fund grant will be prioritized.
  • APSA membership for all PI’s must be active for the duration of the grant period, normally 12 months.
  • Grant funds may be used for direct costs in support of the described projects, such as travel, hotel, meals (with restrictions), funding RA or organizational staff support, or office supplies. Further details are available here: under the ‘what costs does a Centennial Center grant cover?’ bar.
  • Grant funds for faculty time buyouts will be made on a case-by-case basis, with buyouts for faculty at BA or AA granting departments receiving the highest priority.
  • Grant funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs.
  • At the time that grants are made, a timeline for fund use will be agreed upon. Normally, grants are for a period of 12 months with the option of a 6-month extension, as needed and if requested prior to the expiry of the grant.
  • Proposals that are for a traditional scholarly project will not be accepted.
  • Applications received by the deadline will be reviewed, and we anticipate applicants will be notified of final decisions in early summer 2020.


We strongly encourage members to get in touch with any questions or for more information! Contact Amanda Grigg at You can also reach us at or 202-483-2512.