Law and Social Science (Program Description)
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.
Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):
- Full Proposal Target Date(s):
Primary Program Contact
Standard eligibility criteria as defined in the Grant Proposal Guide apply to this program. There are no additional limitations.
Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.
Proposal Preparation Instructions
Standard Preparation Guidelines
Standard GPG Guidelines apply.
This program adheres to the budget definition and preparation instructions described in the Grant Proposal
Guide and has no additional requirements or limitations.
Cost Sharing is not required.
Proposal Review Information
Merit Review Criteria:
National Science Board approved criteria apply.
Award Administration Information
Standard NSF award conditions apply.
Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.
Program Description Number: