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Meet the Foundation

Mary Curtis Horowitz & Dr. Irving Louis Horowitz, Founders

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy was established in 1997 by Irving Louis Horowitz and Mary Curtis Horowitz and has been funded by contributions from them since its inception. The Foundation received approval as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization in 1998. The Foundation's general purpose is to support the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences. Its specific purpose is to provide small grants to aspiring PhD students at the dissertation level to support the research they are undertaking for their project.

The idea for the Foundation emerged from Irving Louis Horowitz’s experience working with doctoral students. He found that many faced financial barriers to completing their research. Dr. Horowitz initially provided assistance to these scholars personally, and later through Transaction Publishers’ Grants-in-Publication Program. After the termination of that program, the foundation was established in 1997. The first grants were issued in 1999.

Dr. Irving Louis Horowitz, 1968

Board of Trustees

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Cristal Hamilton at APPAM_edited.jpg

Aim and Mission

  • To support emerging scholars through small grants;

  • To promote scholarship with a social policy application; and

  • To encourage projects that address contemporary issues in the social sciences.



Grants are based solely on merit. Each is worth a total of $10,000; $7,500 is awarded initially and $2,500 upon completion of the project.

For grant recipients to be entitled to their second installment, they must show evidence of one of the following:

  1. Acceptance and approval of their dissertation;

  2. Acceptance of an article based on the research by a peer-reviewed journal; or

  3. Invitation to write and publish a book chapter based on the research.


Grants are non-renewable and recipients have five years from announcement of the award to complete their project and claim their final payment.



Beginning in 2023 you CANNOT apply more than once. If you have applied before 2023 and want to apply again, you are still eligible. 

Applicants must be current PhD (or DrPH) candidates who are working on their dissertation;


  • Applicants must not have a PhD; those who do, are ineligible;

  • ​Applicants must have defended their dissertation proposal or had their topic approved by their department;

  • ​Applicants can be from any country and any university in the world. US citizenship or residency is not required.



The foundation supports projects with a social policy application on either a global or local level. 


Applications are evaluated based on the Trustees’ assessment of criteria such as: feasibility, applicability, originality, methodology, theoretically informed or empirically rich research, and letters of recommendation.


No specific weight is given to any one area. Proposals are evaluated based on overall merit of all aspects of the application.


We encourage applicants to look at the kind of projects we have supported in previous years. See Previous Recipients.



  • Awards are made to individuals, not institutions. If processed through an institution, a waiver for overhead is required.

  • ​Recipients are expected to acknowledge assistance provided by the foundation in any publication resulting from their research and should notify the foundation with publication details.

  • Grants are issued immediately on receipt of an acceptance letter from the recipient. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the grant does not conflict with other funding they have secured. Grants are usually administered in June of the year they are decided.

  • Grant recipients will be publicized on the foundation's website, in appropriate professional media, and a press release to university media offices.  

Special Awards

Special Awards

Each year, the Trustees issue special monetary awards for the two most outstanding project. These awards cannot be applied for directly, and are only granted at the discretion of the Trustees. 


Irving Louis Horowitz Award

Overall most outstanding project

This award carries with it an additional $5,000.


Trustees' Award

For the most innovative approach in theory and/or methodology

​This award carries with it an additional $3,000.

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