Call for Proposals: 2021-2022 Matrix Research Teams

Social Science Matrix, UC Berkeley’s leading cross-disciplinary social science incubator, invites proposals from faculty, students, and affiliated researchers for Matrix Research Teams for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Matrix Research Teams are groups of scholars who gather regularly to explore or develop a novel question or emerging field in the social sciences, which may also intersect meaningfully with disciplines in the humanities and sciences more broadly. Successful research teams integrate participants from several disciplines, address a compelling research question with real-world significance, and deploy or develop appropriate methodologies in innovative ways. Ideally, all research teams — whether faculty- or student-led — will also contain members of diverse ranks (i.e. faculty, post-docs, and graduate students). Research Teams are expected to be active at Matrix and to use their funding to support their meetings and research activities. 

Matrix supports two different kinds of Research Teams:

  • Faculty-led Research Teams receive funding in the amount of $5000. They run for two semesters, meeting at least once a month around a defined research problem. Led or co-led by tenure-track faculty from UC Berkeley, Project Teams are expected to actively pursue extramural funding and will receive Matrix’s support in this, so that by the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, the team will have applied for one or more grants to support their research.

  • Student-led Research Teams receive funding in the amount of $1500. Coordinated by one or more graduate students, they will meet regularly, around 5-10 times over the course of the academic year, and explore an emerging field — a new area or question of inquiry — and assess whether it has potential for further investigation.

Matrix Research Teams are intended to support Social Science Matrix’s goals of advancing transdisciplinary research and building community across campus. We are especially interested in projects that align with campus signature initiatives.

In partnership with Social Science Matrix, the Berkeley Population Center (BPC) will fund up to two Faculty-led Research Teams. BPC seeks population-based research in new, emerging areas as well as its current mission areas: demographic processes and trends related to health disparities, formal demography, data science, and socioeconomic policies relevant for families and reproduction/HIV.

Please note that funding for Faculty-led Research Teams is intended to be used as seed funding for exploratory research collaborations that will ideally lead to future grant applications. The funding can be directed toward events, like conferences and symposia, to the extent that they contribute to furthering this goal. We are especially interested in research groups that want to grow beyond their current constituency and promote their work beyond the UC Berkeley campus.

Funding for Student-led Research Teams is intended to further collaboration among graduate students, provide professional development, and create opportunities for faculty engagement and mentorship.

In addition to funding, all Matrix Research Teams receive administrative support in coordinating, scheduling, and, after campus reopens, reserving space in our offices on the top floor of the Social Sciences Building (formerly Barrows Hall). Matrix provides communications support to help publicize each group’s work, and Research Teams receive assistance with administering funding, as well as identifying and applying for further funding. All research teams are expected to submit a report at the conclusion of their term. For more information—including overviews of past examples of Matrix Research Teams—see For questions, please contact Eva Seto, Associate Director, at

How to Apply

Download and complete the proposal template (available as MS Word or PDF) and upload it (through the "Submit Your Application" button below) by March 31, 2021 at 11:59pm.