Student Research Grants

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion offers annual research grants to assist graduate students in their research. Although these grants are normally used for dissertation support, other significant research is eligible. The ordinary maximum award is $3,000. Grants are intended to cover research expenses, travel, research assistance, and up to $1,500 in stipend for the researcher's own time. Grant recipients have two years to spend their awards and are expected to submit a brief report on their research. SSSR student research funding is transferred to the principal investigator’s university unless other arrangements are made. Please note that SSSR does not allow for any indirect cost recovery. 

Applicants must be SSSR members at the time they submit their proposals and must not have won the award in the previous three years. Applicants should describe the project they wish to undertake in no more than 3 single–spaced pages, discussing its significance for the social scientific study of religion and briefly identifying the literature on which they are drawing. The applications should include an abstract of no more than 100 words and an annotated budget that describes the rationale for proposed expenditures, as well as information about any other sources of support. The application should be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages) listing the most recent research and publications.

Via the submission form above, candidates should submit PDF files of the abstract, three page proposal, annotated budget, and two page CV. All application packages must be received by May 1, 2023.


Alison Halford (University of Coventry)

Jeffrey Guhin (UCLA)

Andrew Lewis (University of Cincinnati)

Jessica Hamar Martinez (University of Arizona)


Elizabeth Johnson (Duke University), "Clergywomen and Gendered Harassment in Mennonite Church USA and the Episcopal Church"
Even in denominations that ordain women, clergywomen face unequal treatment compared to their male colleagues, including increased rates of workplace harassment. This research will compare clergywomen’s experiences with gendered workplace harassment in two denominations, Mennonite Church USA and the Episcopal Church, which differ in how they structure power and clergy-lay relationships. These differences in hierarchy and clerical authority may influence the perpetrators, forms, and outcomes of gendered harassment. This mixed-methods dissertation will use survey data and qualitative interviews to explore how power shapes harassment and will be of interest to anyone wishing to support women in ministry.

Febi Ramadhan (Northwestern University), "How to Do Things with God: The Making of Incommensurability between Same-Sex Sexualities and Islam in Indonesia"
This research examines a community of Muslims with same-sex attraction (henceforth SSA) in Indonesia who believe that their sexuality is a divine test from Allah when such teaching is scripturally absent in the Qur’an and the Hadith. I argue that this belief stems from heteronormative structuration of religious knowledge that is inherently social, political, and historical. Through ethnographic fieldwork, 30 semi-structured interviews, and comparative historical analysis, this research examines social and political determinants of the belief that “SSA is a divine test from Allah” and micro-practices among Muslims with SSA that sustain this religious knowledge.

Rachel Brown-Weinstock (Princeton University) “Our (Often Imaginary) Black Friend: Racial Harmony as Racial Domination" 
Through a rich ethnographic, historical, and interview-based study of race relations in a rural Bible Belt county, my dissertation explores how white domination is maintained through racial paternalism—a white ideology promoting interracial kindness within racial hierarchy. Classic theories attribute white domination to intergroup conflict, anti-Black animus, and racial resentment. New scholarship on white evangelical racism portrays white evangelicals as militant guardians of racial hierarchy animated by Christian nationalism. My research connects, extends, and critiques these literatures by instead exploring how the rhetoric and practice of “Christian love” obscures racism and entrenches white domination.

William Campbell (University of Victoria), "The Economic Ethics and Practices of a Southern Alberta “Mormon” Community" 
Social scientific research has shown that liberal economic ethics are the inheritance of Protestant practices, and that even in contemporary society, religious ethics can inform economic practices. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares some characteristics with Protestantism, and it also shares many characteristics with Catholicism, in addition to having many unique characteristics of its own. By examining the tensions between LDS economic practices and contemporary liberal economic practices in a rural Canadian town, an economic ethic specific of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be identified.

Ernesto Fiochetto (Florida International University), "The agency of faith actors in the reception and integration of lgbtiq+ latin americans claiming asylum in Spain and the USA" 
This study focuses on the agency of Faith Actors (FAs) in the reception and integration of forcibly displaced Latin Americans who claim asylum based on their SOGIESC in Spain and the US. It argues that, when intersecting with SOGIESC-based asylum claimants, FAs both enable and constrain the reception and integration of these individuals. At the same time, they are enabled and constrained in their agency on behalf of these refugees by religious and political actors in the international arena. Thus, the study problematizes the mainstream dichotomous understanding of religion as either beneficial or detrimental to LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers.

Syed Haider (University of Notre Dame), "Local Expressions, Global Arenas: Ritual, Space, and Culture in the Arba’een Pilgrimage"
The Arba’een pilgrimage in Iraq is an annual destination for nearly 18 million Shia Muslims, bolstered by global institutions such as tourism. Although millions of pilgrims come together with common purpose, Pakistani Shia pilgrims perform localized versions of their rituals while recognizing the legitimacy of other variations. How do Pakistani Shias perform local religious rituals successfully in a sacred global space that contains pluralist expressions of religious rituals? This dissertation will provide insight into the role of pilgrimage in global religion, and the emergent nature of religious practice in the face of increased interaction amongst pilgrims.