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Research Grants

Yankelovich Center Call for Seed Funding Grants 2018 Now Closed

The Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research provides seed funding to UC San Diego faculty for research projects that show promise of significant impact in addressing pressing social problems.

Currently the Center is focusing on how to increase upward mobility in the United States. Examples of research topics that reflect this focus include (but are not limited to):

  • Expanding access to high-quality early childhood education or K-12 education
  • Enhancing college enrollment or completion among students from less-advantaged backgrounds
  • Improving school-to-work transitions
  • Developing "full service" programs in communities with large populations of disadvantaged families
  • Reducing prison incarceration rates
  • Increasing employment rates or employment persistence
  • Raising pay levels in low-end jobs
  • Improving colleges' effectiveness at upgrading skills for middle- and lower-income jobs

Who can apply

Projects can have a single or multiple principal investigators from UC San Diego and may also include researchers at other universities or research institutions.

Criteria on which proposals will be judged

  1. Fit with the Center's substantive focus on upward mobility.

  2. Focus on solutions. Projects should aim to discover or verify one or more feasible solutions that promise to make a significant contribution to increasing upward mobility.

  3. Quality of the proposed research, especially the appropriateness of the design and methods to be used.

  4. Proposals should explicitly address how the solution(s) they examine could be brought to national scale.

  5. Our grants are intended to fund the initial stages of potentially larger projects with significant prospects for raising extramural funding, including formulating promising hypotheses and gathering preliminary evidence on their potential for making a major impact. Possible funding sources and research capabilities for next steps should be clearly specified in the proposal.

  6. Proposals that indicate a partner, or written expression of interest in the study, from government institutions (local, state, and/or federal), schools, nonprofits, and/or business organizations will receive special consideration.

  7. Please write clearly and simply, and be as concise as possible.

Maximum funding amount



Recipients of grants will agree to write a 1-3 page write-up of results and lessons for policymakers, even if preliminary, for posting on the Yankelovich Center website. In addition, where appropriate, recipients may be asked to participate in a briefing regarding the research with appropriate audiences in the policymaking or media sectors.

Proposal length

Proposals should be no more than 10 pages single-spaced, not counting the budget and any appendices.

Submission deadline

Application period is now closed.

How to submit

Email your submission as a pdf document to center director John Skrentny at

Selection committee

Yankelovich Center Executive Committee