The Volokh Conspiracy

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Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) Offering $200K in Research Grants


From FIRE's call for proposals:

Summary: The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, seeks research proposals related to freedom of expression and academic freedom.

Grant information: A total pool of $200,000 will be available in 2023, with a maximum amount of $65,000 per grant and no minimum amount.

Applicant eligibility: Applicants must currently be one of the following:

  • Faculty — tenured, tenure-track, adjunct or otherwise — at an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A Ph.D. student at an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A postdoctoral researcher at an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A researcher or fellow at a governmental or independent scholarly institution such as a laboratory or think tank….

International eligibility: We accept grant applications from outside of the United States. …

Eligible fields: We currently have the capacity to evaluate grant applications related to freedom of expression and academic freedom in the following fields: economics, education, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

We are open to proposals in other fields and, should we receive them, will seek evaluators for that field. If we are unable to find evaluators in said field, you will unfortunately not be eligible to receive a grant. Projects with an output consisting of a discrete piece of art—such as a film, painting, or poem—will not be eligible for funding through this grant program.

Eligible uses of grant funds: Research expenses, paid access to polling and datasets, interviews and data collection, software, travel for the purpose of interviewing subjects, travel for the purpose of accessing archival materials, wages for research assistants paid hourly to work on grant project, journal submission fees and/or publication fees.

Any questions about whether expenses are eligible for funding may be directed to FIRE.

Ineligible uses of grant funds: Retroactive funding of expenses prior to grant disbursement, computer hardware expenses, living expenses, salary supplementation….

Grant timeline and relevant deadlines: Applications must be submitted for consideration before 11:59 p.m. PST on October 1, 2023. Funding decisions will be made and sent to applicants no later than December 15, 2023. Funding will be disbursed shortly thereafter, upon return of Grant Agreement.

Application evaluation: Grant applications will be evaluated for relevance and adherence to methodological rigor and standards of the field by scholars in the field of study indicated in the grant application. Grant applications approved by the scholars will be selected for funding by FIRE….

Outside funding policy: Grant recipients are free to seek and receive funding from other sources to expand the scope of the proposed project or to meet unanticipated shortfalls in cost between the granted amount and actual project costs. In these cases, we ask that you keep FIRE informed and up to date….

Reporting requirements and deliverables: Projects are expected to have a duration of no longer than 18 months. Extensions may be granted provided detailed documentation of the reason for the delay is provided to FIRE.

A short progress report on the state of the grant-funded project must be submitted every 4 months, with the first report due May 2, 2024 and every four months thereafter until completion of the funded project.

At the end of the grant term or upon completion of the grant-supported project — whichever comes first — a final report along with a complete research paper in a publishable format is due and should be shared with FIRE. For longer or longitudinal projects, a report of preliminary data in a publishable format will suffice.

Submission requirements: All applications must include:

  • An abstract summarizing the research project (no more than 300 words).
  • An explanation of how the project will advance the understanding of freedom of expression or academic freedom (no more than 300 words).
  • A detailed outline of the methodology of your proposed project (no more than 5 pages, single-spaced).
  • A proposed itemized budget detailing how the requested funding will be used.
  • Your CV/resume.
  • Two suggestions for grant reviewers within the same field of your proposal who do not have a conflict of interest with your receipt of the grant.

Forms must be submitted here….

There are more details; please review them before submitting proposals.