SAGE Concept Grants

Sunday, April 25, 2021



SAGE Concept Grants

Open for applications until 23 May 2021








SAGE’s Concept Grant program provides funding for innovative software solutions that support research in the social sciences.

We are seeking proposals for new technological solutions that support the adoption, development and application of established and emerging research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and computational methods.

Your proposal could:

  • Support social scientists to collect and work with new types of data.
  • Support social scientists to use and apply new methods.
  • Reduce the time researchers spend on the collection, cleaning, or filtering of data, or any other part of the research process that is not publishable.
  • Enable social scientists who do not have programming skills to analyze data at any scale.
  • Enable researchers to get started on their research without much training.
  • Improve existing social science methods or tools.

There are two grant amounts available: £15,000 to scale up, and £2,000 for new ideas.

To qualify for £15,000, you must have:

  • A prototype of your tool that works and that we can test.
  • Evidence that you have already run tests with users outside of your immediate group and that there are researchers using your tool already.

To qualify for £2,000, you must have:

  • Identified and validated a problem or challenge area within social science methods, and have evidence that other researchers have the same problem.
  • A solution for this problem that you have mocked up, and a clear idea of what you need to do next to get it off the ground.

For both grant amounts, we will look favorably on ideas that have wide-scale applicability within the social sciences.

We will not accept:

  • Research project proposals.
  • Proposals for tools that are not useable by researchers beyond you/your team and/or project.
  • Proposals for tools in biology, chemistry, physics, or any other discipline that is not social science. (We might consider, on a case-by-case basis, tools that have been developed within other disciplines and where the applicant has made substantial progress in implementing it within a social science discipline.)
  • Proposals for tools to write, cite or publish papers, for peer-review, to find grants, submit applications, find collaborators, disseminate research or any other task that sits outside the running of the primary research and analysis part of the process. (If you are developing a tool that fits in this space, we may be interested in hearing from you in another capacity: Please contact us at ocean@sagepub.com)
  • Proposals for tools to run bibliographic analysis or literature reviews.
  • Proposals for tools to manage, preserve and archive data.
  • We will not consider proposals that apply for both grants. If you are not sure which one you qualify for, get in touch: ocean@sagepub.com

Apply now

Fill in one of the forms below to submit your application.

The deadline for applications is 23 May 2021.

If you have any questions about the SAGE Concept Grants, you can contact us at ocean@sagepub.com.

SAGE Concept Grants are available to fund direct project costs, but not overheads. Direct project costs include software development, market research, workshops, server'/hosting costs, and equipment. There is no requirement on the license, we accept both open source and commercial applications. Applications are open to all, regardless of country of residence.

2020 Winners








Knowsi empowers social science researchers to manage participant consent in line with data protection regulations. It provides a user-friendly platform for collecting and managing consent agreements, and gives participants full control of their data, with visibility of their consents and the researcher’s data policies. Knowsi was awarded £15,000 in 2020 to scale up the initial prototype and bring the product to a wider academic market.

Watch the webinar recording below to find out how Knowsi is helping researchers design trust relationships in research.

In 2020, SAGE offered five additional seed grants of £2,000 each to enable concept testing and product development:








Oolong is an R package developed by Chung-hong Chan that provides a set of standards and benchmarks that enable researchers to test the validity of their content analysis models.








The Homicide Media Trackerby Nechama Brodie will enable the collection and enhanced digital curation of homicide-in-media data from multiple media sources.








New software for measuring experience in VRdeveloped by Ruth Pijls and Brenda Groen will enable researchers to measure participants’ responses real time in a virtual environment.








Touch Capture Pro is an app for studying the social and cognitive effects of using smart phones and other touch-based devices, developed by Stoo Sepp.


The Exploratory Labeling Assistant (ELA) is a tool developed by Enrico Bertini for visually exploring, labeling and classifying large text corpora.










The SAGE Concept Grants form an integral part of our mission at SAGE Ocean to support the use of computational methods and big data in social science research. Read interviews with the winners to find out how their tools will benefit social research, and how the funding from SAGE will help them.















2019 Winner

Text Wash uses machine learning and natural language processing to anonymize personally identifiable text data, making it accessible to social scientists without compromising its usability for research.

Find out more in this video:

2018 Winners








Quanteda is a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly text analytic software tool that requires no programming experience to use and runs as a web application.








MiniVan is an easy-to-use tool that supports non-specialist social scientists in the visual analysis and in the online publication of networks.


The Digital DNA Toolbox uses bioinformatics techniques to enable researchers to assess the veracity, trustworthiness, and reliability of content (and content producers) in online social networks and beyond.

Read more about the SAGE Concept Grants on our blog