National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (NSF DDRI)

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (NSF DDRI) awards recommended by Sociology will not exceed $16,000, a total that includes both allowable direct costs and appropriate indirect costs over the duration of the award. Project budgets should be developed at scales appropriate for the work to be conducted and may only include costs directly associated with the conduct of dissertation research. DDRI awards are not intended to provide the full costs of a student's doctoral dissertation research. DDRI awards provide funding for research costs not normally covered by the student's institution.

Examples of the kinds of expenses that may be included in a DDRI proposal budget are the following:

  • Costs associated with travel and related expenses to conduct research at field sites, archives, specialized collections, and/or facilities away from the student's campus;
  • Costs for data-collection activities, including the conduct of surveys, questionnaires, and/or focus groups or the purchase of extant data;
  • Costs for equipment necessary for the conduct of the project that will be devoted to the project over the duration of the award (any equipment purchased with NSF funds becomes property of the awardee organization);
  • Costs for payments to research subjects and/or informants;
  • Costs for non-routine materials and supplies required for the conduct of the project;
  • Costs for data transcription (a letter outlining service and service costs will be required before an award will be recommended);
  • Analysis and research services not otherwise available;
  • Costs for training in qualitative and quantitative methods required to complete the dissertation.

DDRI awards may be for one or two years in duration. The dissertation does not have to be completed during that time period, but costs associated with research activities to be reimbursed with DDRI funds must be incurred when the award is active.

The total estimated number of DDRI awards per fiscal year is 30 to 35.

Full Proposal Target Date:
October 15, 2019

The Fall 2019 target date for submission of proposals to the Sociology DDRI competition is October 15, 2019. Based on the evaluation of proposals in the Fall competition, some Principal Investigators and co-PIs may be invited to revise and resubmit proposals for the Spring competition (February 28, 2020 and annually thereafter). Proposals to the annual Spring competition will only be accepted from PIs and co-PIs whose proposals were declined in the Fall competition and who are formally invited to resubmit. Those not receiving a resubmission invitation can only reapply to the following Fall target date (October 15).

International students, U.S. citizens, and those with Permanent Resident status are eligible to apply. 

Previous NSF DDRI Grant Recipients:

Laura Adler; Advisor: Frank Dobbin; Project: "Pay-Setting for New Hires"
Kristina Brant; Advisor: Mario L. Small; Project: "Parental Opioid Addiction and Kinship Care"
Jared Schachner; Advisor: Robert J. Sampson; Project: "Skill-Based Sorting into Neighborhoods and Schools"
Blythe George; Advisor: William Julius Wilson; Project: "Employment of Native Americans with Criminal Records"
Barbara Kiviat; Advisor: Frank Dobbin; Project: "The Moral Foundations of the Big Data Economy"
Amy Tsang; Advisor: Michele Lamont; Project: "How People Become Urban"
Linda Zhao; Advisor: Jason Beckfield; Project: "Spatial Inequality in Birth Outcomes - Testing Classes of Proximate Mechanisms"
Nathan Wilmers; Advisor: Bruce Western; Project: "The Role of Employers in Rising Wage Inequality"
Thomas Wooten; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "The Transition to College Experience of Low-Income Students"
Carly Knight; Advisor: Frank Dobbin; Project: "The Development of Corporate Personhood Law In Comparative Perspective, 1886-2014"
Jasmin Sandelson; Advisor: Matthew Desmond; Project: "Unaccompanied Homeless Youth"
Chi Wang; Advisor: Bart Bonikowski; Project: "The Process and Consequences of the Work of 911 Dispatchers"
Christopher Muller; Advisor: Bruce Western; Project: "Racial Disparity in American Incarceration, 1868-1950"
Kimberly E. Pernell; Advisor: Frank Dobbin; Project: "The Causes of Divergent Banking Regulation, 1988-2006"
Eva Rosen; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "Post-public Housing Spatial Concentration"
Jovonne Bickerstaff; Advisor: Orlando Patterson; Project: "How Attitudes and Practices Shape Enduring Relationships"
Nathan Fosse; Advisor: Michele Lamont; Project: "Low-Income Youth and Perceptions of Mortality"
Chana Teeger; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "Apartheid Education and Race Relations"
Christopher Bail; Advisor: Michele Lamont; Project: "A Multi-Level Study of Symbolic Boundaries towards Muslims, 2001-2007"
Jeffrey Denis; Advisor: William Julius Wilson; Project: "Native and Non-Native Group Interactions"
Jiwook Jung; Advisor: Frank Dobbin; Project: "Shareholder Value and the New American Workplace: Investor-Driven Downsizing, 1980-2007"
Laura Tach; Advisor: Christopher Jencks; Project: "The Social Consequences of Neighborhood Economic Diversity"
Simone Ispa-Landa; Advisor: Orlando Patterson; Project: "Urban-to-Suburban Racial Desegregation: A Natural Experiment"
Mark Pachucki; Advisor: Nicholas Christakis; Project: "Health Behaviors and Social Networks"
Lydia Bean; Advisor: Jason Kaufman; Project: "A Comparative Study of Political Socialization in Religious Groups in the United States and Canada"
Maria Rendon; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "Transition Out of School and Into Young Adulthood:The Role of Neighborhoods in Education and Work Outcomes of Mexican American Youth"
Lauren Rivera; Advisor: Michele Lamont; Project: "Hiring and Inequality in High Prestige Professions"
Elisabeth Jacobs; Advisor: Christopher Jencks; Project: "The Perception and Management of Family Economic Risk"
Zoua Vang; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "Spatial Assimilation or Residential Segregation? A Comparative Study of Racial and Ethnic Minority Residential Patterns in Ireland and the U.S."
Jal Mehta;  Advisor: Christopher Jencks; Project: "The Transformation of American Educational Policy, 1980-2001"
Natasha Warikoo; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "Bringing Culture Back In: Cultural Assimilation and the Second Generation in the Global City"
David J. Harding; Advisor: Katherine Newman; Project: "Linking Culture and Structure to Adolescent Outcomes in Poor Neighborhoods"
Dongxiao Liu; Advisor: Theda Skocpol; Project: "How World Conferences Matter: Transnational Influences and Organizational Change in Two National Women's Movements
Tomas Jimenez; Advisor: Mary C. Waters; Project: "The Effects of Mexican Immigration on Mexican American Ethnicity"
Irene Bloemraad; Advisor: Theda Skocpol; Project: "The Political Incorporation of Immigrants: Citizenship and Participation in the United States and Canada"
Ziad Munson;  Advisor: Theda Skocpol; Project: "Mobilization in the American Pro-Life Movement"