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Law and Social Science

This program has been archived.

The Law & Social Sciences Program Solicitation (NSF 12-507) has replaced this Law and Social Sciences Program Description (PD 98-1372).
Name Email Phone Room
Christian  A. Meissner-Program Director (703) 292-7808  995 N  
Susan  Sterett-Program Director (703) 292-7267  995 N  
Allison  Smith-Program Specialist (703) 292-7094  995 N  


PD 98-1372

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




The Law and Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation supports social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules, institutions, processes, and behaviors. These can include, but are not limited to, research designed to enhance the scientific understanding of the impact of law; human behavior and interactions as these relate to law; the dynamics of legal decision making; and the nature, sources, and consequences of variations and changes in legal institutions. The primary consideration is that the research shows promise of advancing a scientific understanding of law and legal process. Within this framework, the Program has an "open window" for diverse theoretical perspectives, methods and contexts for study. For example, research on social control, crime causation, violence, victimization, legal and social change, patterns of discretion, procedural justice, compliance and deterrence, and regulatory enforcement are among the many areas that have recently received program support. In addition to standard proposals, planning grant proposals, travel support requests to lay the foundation for research, and proposals for improving doctoral dissertation research are welcome.

The Law and Social Science Program continues to solicit proposals that take account of the growing interdependence and interconnections of the world. Thus proposals are welcome that advance fundamental knowledge about legal interactions, processes, relations, and diffusions that extend beyond any single nation as well as about how local and national legal institutions, systems, and cultures affect or are affected by transnational or international phenomena. Thus, proposals may locate the research within a single nation or between or across legal systems or regimes.

The review process for the Law and Social Science Program is approximately six months. It includes appraisal of proposals by ad hoc reviewers selected for their expertise from throughout the social scientific community and by an advisory panel that meets twice a year. The target dates for the submission of proposals are January 15 for proposals to be funded as early as July and August 15 for proposals to be funded in or after January.

Besides information on the Law and Social Science Program, please also visit the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities web site. For program specific guidelines on the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants for the Law and Social Science Program, please visit the Doctoral Preparation Checklist.

American Anthropological Association

American Law and Economics Association

American Political Science Association

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Society

American Psychology Law Society

American Society of Criminology

American Sociological Association

Curiae: Digitizing U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant Guidelines

Inter-University consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Law and Society Association

National Consortium on Violence Research

National Gallery of the Spoken Word

Public Choice Society

State Supreme Court

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program