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Law and Science Dissertation Grant


Research Topics

The Law & Science Dissertation Grant Program considers proposals that address social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules, as well as studies of how science and technology are applied in legal contexts. The Program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological. Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific theory and understanding of the connections between human behavior and law, legal institutions, or legal processes; or the interactions of law and basic sciences, including biology, computer and information sciences, STEM education, engineering, geosciences, and math and physical sciences. Scientific studies of law often approach law as dynamic, interacting with multiple arenas, and with the participation of multiple actors. Relevant topics include, but are not limited, to research questions dealing with:

  • Crime, Violence, and Policing
  • Cyberspace
  • Economic Issues
  • Environmental Science
  • Evidentiary Issues
  • Forensic Science
  • Courts
  • Human Rights and Comparative Law
  • Information Technology
  • Legal and Ethical Issues related to Science
  • Legal Decision Making
  • Legal Mobilization and Conceptions of Justice
  • Litigation and the Legal Profession
  • Punishment and Corrections
  • Regulation and Facilitation of Biotechnology (e.g., Gene Editing, Gene Testing, Synthetic Biology) and Other Emerging Sciences and Technologies
  • Use of Science in the Legal Process

Fields of study include many disciplines, such as anthropology, criminology/criminal justice, economics, empirical legal studies, forensic science, history, organizational science, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology. Research incorporating theories and methods from multiple disciplines is encouraged.

Who May Apply

Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students in a doctoral program at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education. They need to have achieved doctoral candidacy (i.e., have completed their comps/qualifying exam) prior to their award’s start date. Prior institutional approval of the dissertation proposal is also preferred. The LSDG Program is designed to support students’ dissertation research, and not other research projects on which they might be engaged.

Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens. However, they must be pursuing a doctoral degree at a U.S. institution.

 Documentation of eligibility will be required prior to making an award.