The Social Science Research Council’s Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences support projects from across the social sciences and related fields that address the social, economic, cultural, psychological, and political impact of Covid-19 in the United States and globally, as well as responses to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects. These grants are offered in partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation, and with the generous support of the Wenner-Gren, Ford, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded across the globe, virtually no dimension of social life has been untouched—from individual decisions about safety to governmental decisions on public health and economic policy; from households to the workplace; and from technology-mediated human interaction under conditions of “social distancing” to the circulation, uses, and impact of information and disinformation. While essential public health and economic research in measuring and modeling Covid-19 and its effects is underway, the full range of the social sciences—its questions, analytical frameworks, and methods—needs to be drawn upon to understand the pandemic as a social phenomenon, and to inform responses based on knowledge of human interactions and institutions.
While new knowledge is urgently needed, in the present moment many social science research methodologies are either not possible or require adaptation in order to protect the health and safety of both researchers and research subjects. The SSRC’s Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants thus support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term effects of Covid-19 across a range of issues.