Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars

UPDATE: SRCD received a record number of proposals this year. As a result, we have extended the review phase to ensure all applications receive a thorough evaluation. We expect to notify all applicants by mid-May.

Supporting the Next Generation of Scholars

The years immediately following completion of the terminal degree are critical for scholars launching their own independent program of research. However, availability of funding to initiate exploratory, pilot, or extension research on which a new research program can build, varies depending on the position and institution of the researcher.

  • One facet of SRCD’s Strategic Plan is capacity building—supporting the next generation of scholars is fundamental to building capacity for the future of developmental science.
  • The Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars launched in 2018 and, along with SRCD’s Dissertation funding awards, reflects SRCD’s commitment to supporting the scholarship of tomorrow’s leaders.

Grants of up to $7,500 USD are available on a competitive basis for research projects conducted by SRCD Early Career Members who completed their degrees in the past five years, regardless of their appointment, institution or country of residence.

The funding priorities for these grants include a proposed project that:

  1. Exemplifies exceptional scientific merit,
  2. Will contribute to the applicant’s competitiveness for external funding and/or career advancement, and
  3. Furthers SRCD’s strategic goals.

Frequently Asked Questions


2021 Call for Submissions

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

Applicants must be SRCD members conducting child development research and must have completed the doctoral degree (or equivalent) no earlier than January 1, 2016 and/or will have completed the degree no later than June 1, 2021. Proposals are welcome from eligible applicants regardless of the nature of the appointment (faculty, post-doc, research scientist, etc.), type of institution, or country of residence, provided that the employer has the infrastructure to oversee fund dispersal and IRB/IACUC (or equivalent) review.

Proposals from eligible applicants (see above) will be reviewed for:

  1. Scientific merit (including degree of innovation and feasibility),
  2. Impact of the funds on the applicant’s research program/professional development, and
  3. Relevance of proposed activity to SRCD’s strategic goals.

Proposal materials

  1. Applicant information to be submitted via the application portal.
  2. Description of proposed research (Microsoft Word). Criteria includes:
    • A limit of 1,000 words, excluding references;
    • Overview of research question, motivation, and hypotheses;
    • Description of method or approach (Note: Submissions must include any contingency plan(s) for potential COVID-related restrictions that may affect your project);
    • Planned activity with the small grant;
    • Anticipated impact of the grant (e.g., pilot data for a grant proposal, publishable manuscript; placement or promotion of the applicant); and
    • Relevance of proposed activity to SRCD’s strategic priorities.
  3. Itemized budget and budget justification (PDF)
  4. CV (PDF)

All components of the proposal package must be submitted through the application portal for the proposal to be reviewed.

For inquiries, please contact


2021 Call for Reviewers

We are looking for reviewers who:

  • Have obtained a doctoral degree (or equivalent) (required)
  • Are scholars from international settings, or whose work is situated in international contexts (ideal)
  • Are scholars from underrepresented communities (ideal)

**Note: SRCD membership is NOT required. **

Given the wide range of research areas covered in the applications year-to-year, we are also looking for reviewers from diverse areas of expertise within developmental science/human development.

Small Grants reviewers will be expected to review eight to ten 1,000-word applications from late February to late March. We ask potential reviewers to fill out an Interest Form (linked below) to help our office best match reviewers’ expertise with the applications should they be selected to serve. Filling out the Interest Form is not a formal commitment to review.

The deadline for reviewer recruitment will be February 17, 2021.

Reviewer Interest Form


Past Recipients of the Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars