Linguistics Program - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Next deadline: Jul 15, 2024

Later deadlines: Jan 15, 2025, Jul 15, 2025, Jan 15, 2026

Grant amount: Up to US $12,000

Fields of work: Linguistics

Applicant type: College / University

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States


NOTE: All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. 

The Linguistics Program supports basic science in the domain of human language, encompassing investigations of the grammatical properties of individual human languages, and of natural language in general. Research areas include:

  • Syntax,
  • Linguistic semantics and pragmatics,
  • Morphology,
  • Phonetics, and
  • Phonology.

The program encourages projects that are interdisciplinary in methodological or theoretical perspective, and that address questions that cross disciplinary boundaries, such as (but not limited to):

  • What are the psychological processes involved in the production, perception, and comprehension of language?
  • What are the computational properties of language and/or the language processor that make fluent production, incremental comprehension or rapid learning possible?
  • How do the acoustic and physiological properties of speech inform our theories of language and/or language processing?
  • What role does human neurobiology play in shaping the various components of our linguistic capacities?
  • How does language develop in children? What social and cultural factors underlie language variation and change?
  • What social and cultural factors underlie language variation and change?

The Linguistics Program does not make awards to support clinical research projects, nor does it support work to develop or assess pedagogical methods or tools for language instruction. 


The anticipated funding amount is $300,000 to $400,000 per fiscal year. During a fiscal year, the Linguistics Program expects to recommend (either on its own or jointly with one or more other NSF programs) a total of 25 to 35 Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) awards.

Project budgets should be developed at scales appropriate for the work to be conducted. Proposal budgets cannot exceed $12,000 in direct costs for the entire duration of the award; indirect costs are in addition to this maximum direct cost limitation and are subject to the awardee's current Federally negotiated indirect cost rate. The maximum project duration is 24 months. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

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This page was last reviewed February 26, 2024 and last updated August 02, 2023