Ron Kassimir

Grant Type

Global Initiatives

Institutional Affiliation

Social Science Research Council

Grant number

Gr. GIG-6

Approve Date

August 20, 2020

Project Title

Kassimir, Ron - Wenner-Gren/ Social Science Research Council collaboration to fund 16 “SSRC Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19“

In April 2020, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) launched a Request for Proposals to support Rapid Response Grants (RRG) on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences. A key component of the SSRC’s Virtual Research Center on Covid-19– which received a start-up grant from the Henry Luce Foundation–was the RRG, open to PhDs in the social sciences and related fields across the globe. Unexpectedly, this call received a staggering 1308 applications. Given the size of the pool and limited funding available, the SSRC requests support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to fund 16 anthropological and ethnographic projects that an interdisciplinary selection committee, with strong representation in the field of anthropology, nominates as finalists. The goal of the SSRC’s Virtual Research Center, and in particular the RRG competition, is to ensure that the social sciences are a central part of generating knowledge on the effects of Covid-19 and participants in dialogues of how to respond to those effects–which are cultural, political, social, economic and psychological, as well as medical, in nature. Research conducted by RRG awardees will not only shed light on these questions and call attention to longer-term and more structural dimensions of the crisis, as well as the current moment. It will also pioneer new ways of doing research that are necessitated by conditions the pandemic imposes. Thus, the capacity built by the RRG will be both substantive and methodological–applicants are expected to address both of these issues in their proposal. This will enable an extensive and diverse group of anthropologists to be part of national and global debates about how the pandemic both affects and reflects broader social, structural, historical, and cultural dimensions of life.