Many programs in the seven NSF directorates accept doctoral dissertation improvement grant proposals. Requirements vary across programs, so applicants are advised to consult the relevant program's solicitation and instructions.

ProgramDescriptionProposal GuidelinesProposal Due Dates


The Archaeology Program provides funding for research that furthers anthropologically relevant archaeological knowledge.  The program sets no priorities based on time period, geographic region or specific research topic.15-554Accepted anytime

Biological Anthropology

The Biological Anthropology Program supports multifaceted research that works to advance scientific knowledge of human biology and ecology, including the understanding of our evolutionary history and mechanisms that have shaped human and nonhuman primate biological diversity. 18-504January and July annually

Cultural Anthropology

The Cultural Anthropology Program  supports basic scientific research on the causes, consequences, and complexities of human social and cultural variability. Anthropological research spans a wide gamut, and contemporary cultural anthropology is an arena in which diverse research traditions and methodologies are valid. Recognizing the breadth of the field’s contributions to science, the Cultural Anthropology Program welcomes proposals for empirically grounded, theoretically engaged, and methodologically sophisticated research in all sub-fields of cultural anthropology. 19-560January and August annually

Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences

The Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program supports scientific research directed at increasing the understanding and effectiveness of decision making by individuals, groups, organizations, and society. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, doctoral dissertation research improvement grants (DDRIGs), and workshops are funded in the areas of judgment and decision making; decision analysis and decision aids; risk analysis, perception, and communication; societal and public policy decision making; management science and organizational design.


January and August annually


The Economics Program supports research designed to improve the understanding of the processes and institutions of the U.S. economy and of the world system of which it is a part. This program also strengthens both empirical and theoretical economic analysis as well as the methods for rigorous research on economic behavior. It supports research in almost every area of economics, including econometrics, economic history, environmental economics, finance, industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, macroeconomics, mathematical economics, and public finance.


January and August annually

Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences

The Human-Environment and Geographical (HEGS) Program supports basic scientific research about the nature, causes, and/or consequences of the spatial distribution of human activity and/or environmental processes across a range of scales. Projects about a broad range of topics may be appropriate for support if they enhance fundamental geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns.


Accepted anytime

Law & Science

In 2020, Arizona State University (ASU) received an award from the National Science Foundation to administer the Law & Science DDRIG Program. See Special Instructions for Applying to the Law & Science DDRIG Program via ASU.

The Law & Science Program considers proposals that address social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules, as well as studies of how science and technology are applied in legal contexts. The Program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological. Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific theory and understanding of the connections between human behavior and law, legal institutions, or legal processes; or the interactions of law and basic sciences, including biology, computer and information sciences, STEM education, engineering, geosciences, and math and physical sciences. Scientific studies of law often approach law as dynamic, interacting with multiple arenas, and with the participation of multiple actors.


Due to the ASU in May and November annually

Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics 

The Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics (MMS) Program is an interdisciplinary program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences that supports the development of innovative, analytical, and statistical methods and models for those sciences. MMS seeks proposals that are methodologically innovative, grounded in theory, and have potential utility for multiple fields within the social and behavioral sciences. As part of its larger portfolio, the MMS Program partners with a consortium of federal statistical agencies to support research proposals that further the development of new and innovative approaches to surveys and to the analysis of survey data. 19-575January and August annually

Political Science

In 2020, APSA received a grant from the NSF to administer the Political Science DDRIG Program for the next three years. See Special Instructions for Applying to the PS-DDRIG Program via APSA.

The Political Science Program at the NSF supports scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of citizenship, government, and politics. Research proposals are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include, but are not limited to, American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, political behavior, political economy, and political institutions.


Due to APSA in September annually

Science and Technology Studies 

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) Program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines. It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science.


August annually


In 2020, the American Sociological Association (ASA) received a grant from the NSF to administered the Sociology DDRIG Program for the next four years. See Special Instructions for Applying to the Sociology DDRIG Program via ASA

The Sociology Program at the NSF is intended to provide support to improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation projects undertaken by doctoral students enrolled in U.S. universities.  The program supports basic research on all forms of human social organization and processes of individual and institutional change. 



Due to the ASA in November annually

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