Social Sciences Research Institute

The Social Sciences Research Institute is a research funding entity for Rice Social Sciences' faculty and graduate students. It provides funding and other awards to promote cutting-edge research in the social sciences.


The Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI) was founded in 2007 and consists of the following funding opportunities:

  • Collaborative Research Grant
    encourages collaboration of Rice Social Sciences faculty across disciplines for the development of larger projects leading to research grant proposals to outside funding agencies.

  • Seed Money Grants
    provides funding to full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty at all ranks so that they may collect preliminary data or perform preliminary research that will enable them to submit a more competitive proposal to an external funding agency.

  • Pre-Dissertation Research Grants
    provide support to graduate students who are conducting preliminary research related to their dissertations so that they may prepare stronger dissertations and/or submit more competitive dissertation research applications to other funding sources.

  • Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
    help alleviate the burden graduate students face when performing their dissertation research. Just like faculty, students have costs associated with their research, such as travel expenses for fieldwork or compensation for human subjects, and this grant program helps defray those costs.

  • Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants
    provide funding to graduate students in the Social Sciences who are presenting a paper or a poster as an author at a conference or meeting.

  • John W. Gardner Award
    is awarded to one graduate student with the best dissertation in the Social Sciences, in the judgment of the Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI) Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC).