The William R. Waters Research Grant was established in 1999 in honor of William R. Waters, editor of the Review of Social Economy for many years and President of ASE in 1987.

The purpose of the William R. Waters Research Grant Program is to inspire scholars to organize their research in social economics and social economy along the lines suggested by William Waters in his 1988 presidential address to the Association for Social Economics:

“The major concern of social economics is explaining the economy in its broadest aspects; that is, showing how human beings deal with the ordinary business of using human and physical resources to achieve a level of material comfort. Explanation includes cultural, political, and ethical details as they are needed for a full understanding. As in any economics, there are three parts to social economics. First is the philosophical base of the social economist, which may or may not be a reflection of the philosophical base or ethos of the society he/she is studying. Social economics (or any economics) builds upon it. It is the hard core as in the recent popular literature of the philosophy of science. The second part of the discipline is a description of the significant characteristics of the economy. The economist must observe the multiplicity of economic reality and abstract those characteristics that are substantive. The two together, the philosophical premises and the empirical observations, will determine the third part of the discipline, social economic policy. Policy formulation is thus a mix of the first two.”

William R. Waters, presidential address, “Social Economics: A Solidarist Perspective,” Review of Social Economy, 1988, p. 113 ff.

The research grant is for promising graduate students in Ph.D. programs who have not yet completed their dissertation, those holding post-doctoral positions, and for new faculty members who have not yet been granted tenure or who are tenured but have not yet achieved the rank of Associate Professor (or its equivalent outside the US). The current amount of the annual grant is up to $5000.

Calls for applications are publicized each fall, and the deadline for submitting applications for the William R. Waters Research Grant is always around November 1. The recipient is notified in December, and in January the grant is announced at the Presidential Breakfast and awarded. Recipients are expected to write a short progress report about the research done during the grant period, and submit it to the current President-Elect by September 15 of the award year.

The grant can be very beneficial to scholars beginning their career:

“The [William Waters] grant had a very positive impact on my career. It allowed me to buy out time to research the impact that the social turn in economics had on gender and economic development policy at the World Bank. The research resulted in a couple of well-placed publications that influenced debates in the field, and helped me to receive tenure also.”

Suzanne L. Bergeron, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Michigan Dearborn, grant recipient 2004.

Previous Recipients of the William R. Waters Grant:

2022 Babita Srivastava, William Paterson University
Man Xu, University of Minnesota; and Chika Okafor, Harvard University
Abhilasha Sahay, George Washington University
Thereza Balliester Reis, Leeds University Business School
2018 Ana Portocarrero, International Institute of Social Studies, and Chimedlkham Zorigtbaatar, University of Utah
2017 Yasaman Sarabi, University of Greenwich, and Zoe Sherman, Merrimack College
2016 Merve Burnazoglu, Utrecht University School of Economics
2015 Caroline Hossein, York University, and Francisco Fernandez de Castro, University of California – Irvine
2014 Josie I. Chen, Brown University
2013 Daniel MacDonald, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Diksha Arora, University of Utah.
2012 Charalampos Konstantinidis, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Abilasha Srivastava, American University
2010 Emcet Otay Tas, American University; Christopher Jeffords, University of Connecticut, and Marya Hillesland, American University
2009 Wesley Pech, Wofford College, and Parker Wheatley, College of St. Benedict, MN, USA
2008 Aurelie Charles, University of Leeds, UK
2007 Tonia Warnecke, Notre Dame
2006 Kellin Chandler Stanfield, DePauw University
2004 Suzanne L. Bergeron, Notre Dame
2003 Lisa Giddings, University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse
2002 Wilfred Dolfsma, Erasmus University Rotterdam
2001 Ellen Mutari, Richard Stockton College, New Jersey
2000 Diane M. Dewar, University of Albany, State University of New York

To apply for the current round of grant funding, the following materials need to be submitted by 5pm ET on Friday November 3, 2023:

  1. A completed cover sheet.
  2. A 4 to 5 page narrative (in 12 pt Times New Roman font single-spaced) explaining the following:
    1. The purpose of the project: What will be learned from the research to be undertaken, and what will be its contribution to knowledge? What are the expected outputs from the work?
    2. A description of the research project to be undertaken, including the issues to be examined, the research methods to be employed (this needs to be sufficiently detailed), and why this constitutes innovative work in comparison to the available evidence in the field.
    3. The relationship of the project to social economics: What conceptual frameworks, topical concerns, and/or empirical methodologies drawn from social economics will be used in the present project? How is the project expected to contribute to social economics?
    4. The plan of work: Include a timetable for the project, resources to be used, travel plans, etc.
    5. The estimated budget: Indicate all costs that would be covered by the grant (e.g., travel expenses, research costs, summer stipend, etc.)
  3. An up-to-date curriculum vitae
  4. Two letters of recommendation: For students, one letter should be from their dissertation advisor

Questions and application materials including letters of recommendation should be sent by e-mail with the subject line “Application for the William R. Waters Research Grant” to Belinda Román at .