The National Science Foundation issued a Dear Colleague letter encouraging proposals related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) through existing funding channels and the NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism. RAPID proposals may be for up to $200,000 for a one-year duration, but NSF will consider well-justified proposals that exceed that limit. The CARES Act provided the NSF $75 million in additional funding for projects related to the novel coronavirus.
NSF has already awarded funding to two projects led by political scientists. Sara Goodman, Thomas Pepinsky, and Shana Gadarian will collect public opinion data related to the pandemic to “measure public understanding of coronavirus as well as public support for various policy responses to contain or manage the severity of the crisis.” Hank Jenkins-Smith, Scott Robinson, Carol Silva, Joseph Ripberger, and Kuhika Gupta will also collect data related to “protective action behavior, trust in key actors, perceptions of risk associated with the outbreak, and perceptions of information accuracy/inaccuracy.” This survey data will integrate with Twitter data collected by the National Institute for Risk and Resilience, and “will permit testing of hypotheses about the dynamic relationships between the spread of information in social media, broader public beliefs and behaviors, and effects on protective behaviors that may influence the spread of contagious diseases.”