Democratic Innovations Research Fund

The Democratic Innovations program aims to promote new ideas and rigorous theoretical and empirical research on how to achieve honest, efficient, representative, and effective government. Examples of research topics in this spirit include, but are not limited to, methods for controlling political corruption, the effects of alternative voting systems, methods for encouraging high-quality candidates, the political economy of evidence use in policy-making, the empirical properties of deliberative assemblies, development of new technologies for collective decisions, studies of existing innovative institutions, or pilot demonstrations or experiments to assess the properties of proposed innovations.

ISPS invites Yale faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students to submit proposals. We especially encourage proposals from ISPS-affiliated faculty and researchers.

Application information 

ISPS especially encourages early career faculty and researchers to apply for this funding, although we will give full consideration to proposals from faculty at all career stages.

The grant is designed to cover a 12- or 18-month project, with an expectation that at least one publication-quality research report will emerge within 2 years.

The proposal includes a 3-page project description, a budget, and a budget justification. The typical award is between US$5,000-10,000, and the maximum award is US$50,000.

UPDATE: The deadline for proposals is April 5, 2024, and we expect to update applicants on their application status by early May, 2024. Proposals received after April 5, 2024 will be reviewed on a rolling basis subject to available funding.

Each proposal will be reviewed based on the soundness of the research design and the importance and innovativeness of the study given the size of the budget request. Pilot projects and projects with the potential to evolve into larger collaborative studies are especially welcome. If an award is granted, some further steps, including a data archiving plan and IRB approval, must be completed before any funds are released. Further details on the project proposal and other requirements are provided on the ISPS website. For logistical questions about funding proposals please email ISPS Associate Director for Research & Strategic Initiatives, Limor Peer, limor.peer(at)

Before applying

Scholars interested in applying for an ISPS Survey Research Fund should review ISPS guidelines,

To apply

Fill out the ISPS Grant Application Form.