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Law: External Funding Opportunities

Various external funding opportunties exist for those interested in Law research. New opportunties are constantly being identified, please continue to visit this site for the most up to date information.

American Bankruptcy Institute: Support for Scholars on Important Research

A Research Grant Committee, chaired by ABI Vice President - Research Hon. Barbara Houser, seeks out proposals and makes decisions on projects for funding. Other committee members include Hon. Mary Grace Diehl, Prof. Michelle M. Harner, Hon. Laurel M. Isocoff and Prof. Lois R. Lupica. Scholars seeking funding should consult the ABI Web site for guidelines and procedures on the grant application process.
Funding: Variable; see Recent Grants of Note
Applications due:


American Psychological AssociationAP-LS Grants in Aid for Early Career Professionals

The purpose of this award is to support AP-LS members who are ECPs in conducting research related to psychology and law.  It is the committee’s desire that these awards are not limited only to members who are psychologists, but instead open to AP-LS members from all backgrounds who want to conduct research related to psychology-law issues.   
Funding: Up to $5,000
Applications due: October


Borchard Foundation Center on Law and AgingAcademic Research Grant Program

The Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging underwrites an Academic Research Grant Program to further scholarship about new or improved public policies, laws and/or programs that will enhance the quality of life for the elderly. Each grant recipient is required to publish an article on the subject of their research in a top flight journal.  The Center expects grantees to meet the objectives of the grant program through individual or collaborative research projects that analyze and recommend changes in one or more important existing public policies, laws, and/or programs relating to the elderly; or anticipate the need for and recommend new public policies, laws, and/or programs for the elderly necessitated by changes in the number and demographics of the country’s and the world’s elderly populations, by advances in science and technology, by changes in the health care system, or by other developments.  Scholars in the fields of health, law, medicine and sociology have been awarded grants. Topics are demonstrated by past recipients. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE RESEARCH PRODUCT WILL BE PUBLISHABLE IN A FIRST-RATE JOURNAL.
Funding: Up to $20,000
Applications due: October


Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property
Leonardo da Vinci Research Grants

The Leonardo da Vinci Research Grant Program provides significant funding for scholarship in intellectual property law. This program is a key component of CPIP’s mission to promote a better discussion about intellectual property rights and their fundamental role in a successful and flourishing economy.  Proposed research topics can be in any IP or IP-related field, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or rights of publicity, among others. The research proposals can address any topic or issue within these fields, providing economic, philosophical, historical, scientific, or doctrinal analysis, among others.
Funding: Grant amounts are in the four- to five-figure range and are determined based on several factors, including, among others: the nature and scope of the proposed research project and resulting work-product (e.g., essay, article, book, or book chapter); whether the project requires data collection or experiments; the timeliness and relevance of the research project
Applications due: Proposals are accepted for review by the Grant Committee on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year.


Charles Koch Foundation: Criminal Justice and Policing Reform

The Charles Koch Foundation requests proposals for research related to criminal justice and policing reform. We are especially interested in research that: analyzes the possible personal/non-economic and economic (including employment) effects of various sentencing reform ideas on individuals, families, and communities; examines the causes, costs, and consequences of police militarization and civil asset forfeiture, including public perception of these topics; collects or creates data sets to fill scholarly gaps related to criminal justice and policing reform issues; determines the causes, costs, and consequences of overcriminalization and the proliferation of laws that carry criminal penalties; assesses the effectiveness of various penalties imposed for nonviolent crimes; analyzes the impact of criminal justice and policing reform policies on different demographic groups and poverty generally; examines the incentives that lead to growing prison populations.
Funding: Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues.
Applications due: Proposals accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis


Fulbright Scholars Program: Opportunities in Law

The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers awards around the world for American legal scholars to advance the study and use of law as a cornerstone for building mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. Opportunities exist to guest lecture, conduct research, network and build collaboration across a wide range of legal fields. In addition, diverse grant opportunities are available for postdoctoral researchers, academics and professional applicants. Grant activity, length, invitation requirements, language requirements and qualifications vary by award, but a Ph.D. or J.D. in law is generally required.
Applications due: September

Laura and John Arnold Foundation Grants

Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) makes strategic investments in criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy and innovation, public accountability, and research integrity. In addition to these core areas of focus, we identify and pursue other high-leverage opportunities through our New Initiatives division. LJAF’s grants are aligned with our Philosophy of Philanthropy and support projects that are intended to produce sustainable and scalable solutions that result in transformational change.  Visit their webpage for solicitations for Letters of Interest and Request for Proposal information.
Applications due:


National Institutes of Health: National Human Genome Research Institute

The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program

On February 10, 2011, Nature magazine published NHGRI's strategic plan for the future of human genome research, called Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside. This plan includes a section on Genomics and Society that outlines four areas that will need to be addressed as genomic science and medicine move forward. Based on these areas, the NHGRI has developed the following broad research priorities.  Genomic Research. The issues that arise in the design and conduct of genomic research, particularly as it increasingly involves the production, analysis and broad sharing of individual genomic information that is frequently coupled with detailed health information. Genomic Health Care. How rapid advances in genomic technologies and the availability of increasing amounts of genomic information influence how health care is provided and how it affects the health of individuals, families and communities.  Broader Societal Issues. The normative underpinnings of beliefs, practices and policies regarding genomic information and technologies, as well as the implications of genomics for how we conceptualize and understand such issues as health, disease, and individual responsibility.  Legal, Regulatory and Public Policy Issues. The effects of existing genomic research, health and public policies and regulations and the development of new policies and regulatory approaches. A more detailed discussion of each of these areas and a list of examples of possible research topics is available at ELSI Research Priorities and Possible Research Topics.
Funding: Variable
Applications due: September


National Science Foundation: Division of Social and Economic Sciences

Law and Social Sciences (LSS) Program

The Law & Social Sciences Program considers proposals that address social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules.  The Program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological.  Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific theory and understanding of the connections between law or legal processes and human behavior.  Social scientific studies of law often approach law as dynamic, made in multiple arenas, with the participation of multiple actors.  Fields of study include many disciplines, and often address problems including though not limited to:crime, violence and punishment; economic issues; governance; legal decision making; legal mobilization and conceptions of justice; litigation and the legal profession; LSS provides the following modes of support: standard research grants and grants for collaborative research; doctoral dissertation research improvement grants; interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowships; workshop and conference awards.
Funding: Variable, see recent awards
Applications due: January


National Institute of Justice: W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship Program

The W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship places particular emphasis on crime, violence and the administration of justice in diverse cultural contexts within the United States.  This program furthers the Department’s mission by advancing knowledge regarding the confluence of crime, justice, and culture in various societal contexts. This year NIJ is growing the W.E.B. Du Bois Program to fund both scholars who are advanced in their careers and seek to conduct research which advances the study of race and crime, as well as fellows who are early in their careers and seek the opportunity to elevate their research ideas to the level of national discussion.
Funding: Variable; recent awards, $45,000- $115,000
Applications due:


National Institute of Justice: Visiting Fellows Program

NIJ's Visiting Fellows Program will bring leading researchers into residency at NIJ to make important scholarly contributions in a specific area of criminal justice research in the fields of social science, forensics and criminal justice technology. A Visiting Fellowship also gives scholars an opportunity to work with the NIJ Director and staff to help shape the direction of NIJ's research programs.  The Visiting Fellows Program is designed to support important foundational scholarship, "capstone" research, or other important work in an established line of research. Alternately, it may support scholarship in an important and innovative research field that has the potential to establish a new area of criminal justice research.  Applicants in all areas of criminal justice scholarship pertinent to NIJ's broad research mission — including the social sciences, forensic sciences and criminal justice technology — are eligible for a Visiting Fellowship. We encourage researchers from a broad range of disciplines to consider how their work in areas related to crime and justice might be supported through the NIJ Visiting Fellows Program.
Funding: Variable; recent awards, $45,000- $500,000
Applications due:


National Institute of Justice

View Solicitations

The National Institute of Justice issues requests for proposals for specifically targeted areas.  View current, forthcoming and expired solicitiations, as well as challenge competitions at
Funding: Varies by program
Applications due: Varies by program


Robert Wood Johnson FoundationPublic Health Law Research

Public health law research spans many health topics, legal domains and research methods. Public health law research is the scientific study of the impact of laws and legal practices on public health in the United States. We fund research that directly tests the effects of law, those that map the law scientifically, that illuminates the health law-making process, documents the implementation of law, and explores the mechanisms through which laws influence individuals and environments.  For more discussion of what constitutes public health law research, see our paper, “Making the Case for Laws that Improve Health: A Framework for Public Health Law Research.”  When applying for a Public Health Law Research (PHLR) grant, please refer to these frequently asked questions.  Questions are listed in the following four categories: Grant Eligibility Requirements, Grant Application Submission Process, Grant Selection Criteria, and Notification and Award.  If you have a question that is not listed among these categories, please contact or call 215-204-2134 to speak with a member of the program office staff.
Funding: Variable
Applications due: Contact program


Russell Sage Foundation: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

The Russell Sage Foundation launched its program on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in the spring of 2015. This new program seeks investigator-initiated research proposals on the social, economic, and political effects of the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population, including the transformation of communities and ideas about what it means to be American. We are especially interested in innovative research that examines the roles of race, ethnicity, nativity, and legal status in outcomes for immigrants, U.S.-born racial and ethnic minorities, and native-born whites.  One of the focus areas is The Role of Legal Status in Immigrant Outcomes.  In 2014, an estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants resided in the United States. How does the lack of documentation affect labor market pathways for undocumented workers and their families, and for other workers? To what extent does undocumented immigration affect the way employers organize their workforce?  What are the long-term effects of deportation, especially on families and children? What are the effects of the implementation of administrative relief policies on immigrant integration outcomes?  How do assumptions about the legal status of the foreign-born affect the attitudes and behaviors of both the foreign-born and the native-born?
Funding: Up to $150,000
Applications due: Letters of Inquiry accepted January, June, September


U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs

The Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs issues requests for proposals for specifically targeted objectives.  Sign up to receive email notifications of these announcements at
Funding: Varies by program
Applications due: Varies by program