Social Science & Environment Seed Grants Program

The Institute for Social Science Research, in collaboration and with co-funding from the School of Earth & Sustainability (SES), was a seed grant competition for interdisciplinary social science research in sustainability, awarding grants in 2017 and 2019.

The Social Science & Environment Seed Grants were competitive awards designed to stimulate new scholarly collaborations for innovative research centered on sustainability themes in the social sciences. These seed grants were intended to support proposals that were not likely to be funded by traditional granting organizations because they were early in development and interdisciplinary in nature. It was anticipated that projects would clearly link to the future research, scholarly, or creative and artistic growth of the Institute for Social Science Research, and advance the aims of the Social Sciences, Humanities and Environment Network at UMass.

These interdisciplinary social science proposals were open to scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise, including, for example, the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, engineering, design, law, business, and education. Proposals provided a two-year plan for how the research project would be continued and further funded (including explicit referencing to external funding). ISSR encouraged collaborative proposals between faculty across colleges, for example between SBS and CNS. Examples of topical areas related to sustainability social science included: human development and inequality, food and water, human health, governance, economic and social drivers of land use change, climate change vulnerability and adaptation, environmental and sustainability communication, and culture and history.