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The Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal (RSDR) Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aims to bring knowledge of the place of religion and spirituality into scholarly and public conversations about renewing democracy in the United States and around the world. These fellowships are offered by the SSRC Program on Religion and the Public Sphere with the support and partnership of the Fetzer Institute. 

Applications for this year’s fellowship are due March 20, 2023. Apply online at

The RSDR fellowships offer research support over a period of up to 12 months to doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy and to postdoctoral researchers within five years of their PhD. Applicants working as professional researchers or university faculty without the PhD outside of the United States may be eligible, if they are not concurrently enrolled in an MA program, and are within five years of the commencement of their professional position, as demonstrated by their curriculum vitae. We welcome proposals from across all fields in the social sciences (including, but not limited to: anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology), as well as the humanities, theology, and other relevant fields. Research projects using any social science methodology—quantitative, qualitative, or mixed—are eligible. Projects focusing on any global context may be considered for funding.

This year, the program is especially interested in projects that shed light on 1) the religious and spiritual dimensions of political polarization, 2) the ways religious ideas, actors, and institutions may (or may not) be contributing to more inclusive and civil democratic politics, and/or 3) the roles of religious and spiritual movements in democratic societies. While projects that critically analyze problematic or negative cases are eligible, this year’s competition especially seeks projects that shed light on positive examples of democratic renewal or the measurable increase of democratic social action.

More information on eligibility, research themes, and application materials can be found on the program’s website.