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Steven H. Sandell Grant Program

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Scholars for
Research on Retirement and Disability

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Boston College - Center for Retirement Research (CRR)

Deadline Date:

01/31/21 5:00 PM EST


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Grants of $45,000 to USA, Canada, and International non-tenured and junior scholars for innovative research on policies related to retirement and disability. Funding is intended to promote the work of scholars from all academic fields who are employed at an institution full time and are within seven years of receiving their doctorate.

Research focal areas include:

  • Trends in disability;
  • Determining disability;
  • Requirements of work in the modern economy;
  • Informing long-term projections and models;
  • Improving communication and outreach;
  • State and local pensions for non-covered workers;
  • Modernizing totalization agreements;
  • Economic security of SSA beneficiaries;
  • Work-activity retention of disabled beneficiaries with overpayments; and
  • Improving service delivery.

Eligible costs include:

  • Personnel: salary and benefits for PI and, if applicable, Co-PI and research assistants.
  • Materials and Supplies: e.g. research materials and computers. Researchers seeking to purchase a computer must provide a detailed justification for its specific use on the project. A computer cannot be taken outside of U.S. jurisdiction and will be considered federal property until the end of 2021.
  • Other: e.g. postage, printing.
  • Indirect Costs: capped at 10% for institutions.
  • Any item costing over $5,000 is considered equipment. Equipment is not allowed under the Sandell Grant Program. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177626

Number of Grants:

Up to three grants are awarded based upon the quality of the applicant’s proposal and the proposed budget.

Estimated Size of Grant:


Term of Contract:

Applicants are required to complete the research outlined in the proposal within one year of the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), if applicable, are required to have a Ph.D. or comparable professional certification. Grants are not intended to fund dissertation research.

The PI and the Co-PI(s) must be junior or non-tenured scholar(s) who are within 1-7 years of completing their Ph.D. or comparable professional certification. Please note that applications with senior or tenured co-authors may be disqualified. The scholar(s) must be employed fulltime at an academic or research institution. The applicant must be affiliated with an institution (with accreditation equivalent to U.S. standards) willing to enter into a sub-agreement with Boston College.

International scholars are eligible to apply, but proposals must have some relevance to U.S. policy.

Pre-Application Information:

Submissions must be received through the online system by 5:00pm (EST) on Sunday, January 31, 2021.

Grant recipients will be notified in April 2021.

The CRR offers the opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about topics, datasets, and research design. The goal of this service is to strengthen the quality of the applications and ensure that proposals closely align with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s research focal areas. Please contact CRR Economist Gal Wettstein during the month of November to schedule an opportunity to discuss your proposal.

Grant recipients may be required to present their work to the Social Security Administration in Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

Please contact Marina Tsiknis with any questions about the Sandell Grant Program at 617-552-1092 or

CRR Economist Gal Wettstein:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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