Our continued commitment to researchers, students and the public value of science

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Supporting researchers, students and institutions adversely affected by the pandemic.

January 26, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in so many ways.

Over the course of the pandemic, the National Science Foundation has worked to support researchers through funding flexibilities and deadline extensions, and those efforts continue across all of NSF. Within our many academic and research communities, the pandemic has created greater uncertainty in a number of areas affecting our personal and professional lives. This is particularly true for those who are early in their careers or working at historically under-resourced institutions.

To face these challenges and seize the opportunities before us, our research community must continue doing the scientific work that creates opportunities, spurs innovation and improves quality of life for individuals, families and communities across the U.S.

In recognition of the distinct circumstances of this moment and in support of NSF’s vital public mission, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences offers several opportunities that can help support early-career researchers, students, members of historically under-resourced institutions and others adversely affected by the pandemic.

If you work within any SBE-supported discipline, we urge you to review the opportunities below and spread the word to your colleagues.

To everyone working in the social, behavioral and economic sciences, we thank you for your tremendous work and look forward to the many discoveries and innovations yet to come.


Arthur Lupia
NSF Assistant Director, SBE

Postdoctoral research fellowships

SBE supports early-career scientists as they embark on research projects exploring a range of topics critical to our daily lives and communities. Proposals are welcomed from postdoctoral researchers in any of the social, behavioral or economic science disciplines. See SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF).

Graduate student supplements

Graduate students are an integral part of the U.S. research enterprise. Many standard research grants include supplemental funding opportunities to support graduate students, if justified with respect to the proposed research. Such support is available in all SBE disciplines and programs, including interdisciplinary programs with other NSF directorates. Contact your program officer for details.

Undergraduate research experiences

SBE supports undergraduate students actively participating in scientific research as part of the NSF-wide Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Funding is available for the creation of educational sites devoted to the social, behavioral or economic sciences through the SBE Research Experiences for Undergraduates Sites program (SBE REU Sites).

Funding supplements to include undergraduate student participation in active research awards are also available. If your research can include undergraduates in meaningful ways, contact your program officer for details.

Minority-serving institutions and partnerships

Through the Build and Broaden program, SBE provides support for cutting-edge research and research infrastructure at minority-serving institutions. Researchers at minority-serving institutions working in any SBE discipline are invited to submit proposals. Researchers at other institutions are also invited to submit proposals if they are collaborating with scientific staff at a minority-serving institution and if their proposal includes a focus on fostering scientific partnerships or capacity-building at those institutions. See Build and Broaden 2.0: Enhancing Social, Behavioral and Economic Science Research and Capacity at Minority-Serving Institutions (B2 2.0).


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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