American Sociological Association

Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline- FAD

Thinking About Applying for a FAD Grant?

Submission Details:

Deadline: December 15th, 11:59pm ET

For questions or clarification, please contact:

Nicole V. Amaya

FAD Program Manager
(202) 383-9005 - Ext. 313

Margaret Weigers Vitullo

FAD Program Director
(202) 383-9005 - Ext. 323

Apply Online

Click here for application details

Deadline: December 15, 2020

Program Announcement

The American Sociological Association (ASA) invites submissions for the last round of the Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD). The goal of this program is to nurture the development of scientific knowledge by funding small, groundbreaking research initiatives and other important scientific research activities such as conferences. FAD awards scholars with “seed money" for innovative research that has the potential for challenging the discipline, stimulating new lines of research, and creating new networks of scientific collaboration. The award is intended to provide opportunities for substantive and methodological breakthroughs, broaden the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and provide leverage for acquisition of additional research funds. The ASA encourages submissions from individuals who are early in their careers, at community colleges, or based at other institutions without extensive support for research, as well as collaborations with 2-year institutions.

*The December 15, 2020 round will be the final round of the FAD program. After 30 years of support from NSF’s Sociology Program, the program comes to an end as NSF’s priorities for funding such ongoing initiatives has shifted.

Selection Criteria

Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the importance of the proposed research project. Within this context, specific evaluation criteria include the following elements:

  • Innovativeness and promise of the research.
  • The potential of the study as a building block in the development of future research.
  • Appropriateness and significance of the research hypothesis.
  • Feasibility and adequacy of project design.
  • Plans for analysis of data.
  • Plans for dissemination of results.
  • Appropriateness of requested budget.
  • Conference proposals should include a discussion of activities that will lead to networking, new paradigms, and dissemination.

Principal investigators (PI) and co-PI(s) must have a PhD or equivalent. While ASA membership is not a criterion for applying or being selected for this award, if and when an award is received, the recipient must be a current ASA member. ASA membership involves acceptance of and adherence to the ASA Code of Ethics, which is critical to the implementation of the funded project. Awardees must also provide documentation of pertinent IRB approval for the project.

Preference is given to applicants who have not previously received a FAD award. The selection committee consists of members of the ASA Council.


The current funding rate is about 10%. Awards shall not exceed $8,000 and payment may go directly to the PI or to the PI’s institution, as long as no institutional overhead is charged. Award money may not be used for ASA convention expenses, honoraria, or PI’s salary, which includes buying out of courses. Budgets that include purchases of laptop computers or other hardware will be carefully reviewed. The most frequent use of FAD money is to fund research assistants. Awardees must agree to the reporting requirements of the award.

Notification of funding for the December 15th round will be sent in late March and checks will be disbursed starting in mid-April. 

Awardees are encouraged to continue the tradition of donating to FAD any royalty income derived from projects supported by the grant.

Applicants are required to notify the ASA if other funding is received for the project.

Professional Development Webinar

In April 2019, ASA offered a professional development webinar to support applicants to the FAD program. Watch the recording below to gain exclusive insights from a recent FAD grant reviewer and two FAD recipients on what makes a successful proposal, including how to build an argument that the research or conference will advance the discipline, what to emphasize, and how to incorporate evaluations received from the FAD committee. The webinar is intended to demystify the application process, especially for scholars in the early stages of their careers and those in departments without extensive research support.




This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1458469. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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