Small Grants Program
The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) launched in 2017 the Small Grants Program (SGP) on the themes of “Youth” and “Urban Spatial Inequalities.” The ACSS Small Grants Program is a funding opportunity that aims to support scholars and professionals in the Arab region undertaking five kinds of activities: conference presentations, internships, pilot studies, dissemination events, and organizing workshops.
This competition is funded by grants provided to ACSS by the Ford Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Small grants of $4,000 on average will be available to individual Arab researchers and activists residing in the Arab region, and whose work focuses on Arab societies. Grants are intended to provide support in a flexible and timely manner.
The two themes of the Small Grants Program are “Youth” and “Urban Spatial Inequalities.” The first topic, “Youth”, encompasses topics related to youth (defined roughly as those between the ages of 14 and 25) in the Arab world, and issues related to this age group (health, education, family, employment, civic engagement, etc.). The second topic, “Urban Spatial Inequalities”, focuses on systems, processes, and policies that increase or mitigate unequal access to housing, land, property and services in urban settings.
The dual themes of the program are intended to be broad enough to encourage applications from a wide range of applicants who are working on these issues. The SGP targets professionals, activists and researchers whose work builds on social science perspectives and methods to achieve change. The proposed activity or research could focus on one or more Arab countries. Applications or plans to do work that adopts or allows the applicant to learn about qualitative or quantitative approaches to the social sciences are encouraged and we are particularly interested in proposals that work at the intersection of both themes of the program.
The aim of the program is to provide small amounts of funding ($4,000 on average) in a timely manner. The program funds five kinds of activities:
- Travel grants (conferences/workshops)
- Internship support
- Organizing workshops
- Pilot studies
- Dissemination events
We accept applications to fund travel to present a paper at academic conferences, namely disciplinary conferences (e.g. the Middle East Studies Association, the American Sociological Association, or the European Educational Research Association, to name only a few) or conferences that are not disciplinary but focus on the Arab region or issues related to the Arab region. Please note that we will not fund attendance at a conference without presenting.
We also welcome travel grant applications to attend training workshops in special methodologies, skills, and approaches. Applications to attend workshops that are designed to explore the intersection of theory and practice are particularly encouraged.
Internships provide opportunities to gain meaningful hands-on experience or to immerse oneself in an intensive research environment. The ACSS will welcome applications for supplemental funding for those who have already secured an internship at an NGO/research organization/university within the region. We welcome applications for internships outside the applicant’s country of residence. Funding should mainly be used to cover costs of travel and accommodation. Other expenses may also be eligible.
Workshops bring together participants to engage on a particular theme, to explore new topics, exchange ideas, influence policy, or to plan future activities. The selection committee is particularly interested in proposals that introduce or explore innovative methods and approaches in research and activism.
The Small Grants Program will provide seed funding to conduct pilot studies (no longer than 6 months) that will lead to larger projects or collaboration. A pilot studyis a small-scale preliminary study conducted in order to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, and effect size in an attempt to predict an appropriate sample size and improve upon the study design prior to performance of a full-scale research project. (Please note: For funding of larger, longer-term projects, please consider applying to our Research Grants Program.)
Dissemination events are ones in which findings of a completed research are presented. These are not conferences at which a paper or research are presented. Dissemination events are targeted at a wide audience ranging from policy makers, teachers, industry workers, schools, colleges, universities, students, parents and more. Members of the public are also invited to attend the events.
- Applicants must be citizens of an Arab League member state or nationals of an Arab country (defined as long-term residents, even if they do not hold citizenship as in the case of refugees or stateless residents).
- Applicants must reside in the Arab region. This program does not fund applicants who reside, work, or study outside the region.
- Priority will be given to scholars and professionals who are marginalized, at risk, or dispossessed.
- Applicants must hold at least a Master’s degree in a core social science or a field allied to the themes of the Program. The core social science fields are anthropology, demography, economics, education, political science, psychology and sociology. Allied disciplines include architecture, cultural studies, development studies, gender studies, geography, law, and urban planning/studies.
- Preference will be given to applicants under the age of 40.
ACSS grantees (principal and co-investigators) who have benefited previously from another ACSS grant are only eligible if their grants were closed one year prior to submitting their application for the Small Grants Program.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.