Grants Available for PhD-Level Social Policy Research


Irving Louis Horowitz
Irving Louis Horowitz in 1968 (Photo: Horowitz Foundation)

PhD students at the dissertation level who have an interest in research with a social policy focus are encouraged to apply for a grant from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy by December 1. Over the past 21 years, the foundation has awarded small grants to 250 scholars from more than 100 universities around the world. As the foundation’s website explains, the general purpose of the organization “is to support the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences.”

The was established in 1997 by Irving Louis Horowitz and Mary E. Curtis as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Grants are awarded solely on the trustees’ assessment of merit. All awards are to individuals (not institutions). Every grant recipient has gone on to complete their PhD and gain employment, with around 80 percent moving into academic positions. Nearly all recipients published an article or a book based on the research supported by the grant.

Grants are non-renewable and recipients have five years from announcement of the award to complete their project and claim their final payment. Each grant is worth a total of $7,500 paid in two separate installments. Initially, the recipient receives $5,000. To receive the second installment of $2,500, recipients must achieve either the approval of their dissertation; acceptance of an article based on the research by a peer-reviewed journal; or an invitation to write a book chapter based on the research.

Current PhD candidates from anywhere in the world who are working on their dissertation; applicants who do not already have a PhD; and applicants must have defended their dissertation proposal or had their topic approved by their department, are eligible for a Horowitz grant.

To apply, visit www.horowitz-foundation.org/apply; all application materials, including two letters of recommendations, must be submitted by December 1. To learn more about the foundation or previous winners, please visit our website: www.horowitz-foundation.org.

Irving Louis Horowitz, a student of C. Wright Mills, was a well-regarded radical and humanistic sociologist known for things as varied from popularizing the term “Third World” to being a an expert on state-sponsored violence to seeing the public’s perception of his politics shift from the academic left to the neocon right. He served as Hannah Arendt University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science at Rutgers University from 1992 until his death in 2012, and in that period published his seminal text, The Decomposition of Sociology, in 1994.

He and his wife, Curtis, established the foundation as a result of Horowitz’s experiences working with doctoral students who found it financially difficult to complete their research. Horowitz often supported them out of his own pocket, and later from the Transaction Publishers’ Grants-in-Publication Program, Transaction being a social science publisher he, Alvin W. Gouldner and Lee Rainwater had established in 1973. In 1997, when Horowitz stepped down as president of Transaction and Curtis took over as president, they switched their charitable efforts to the newly founded foundation.