Ford School PhD candidate receives Horowitz Foundation grant for social policy research

June 23, 2021

Ford School PhD candidate Shoshana Shapiro has received one of the highly-competitive grants for research in the social sciences from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. 

“The 678 applications we received in 2020 represented a wide range of policy areas and  approaches,” said Chairman Mary Curtis Horowitz. “Given the events of the last year, the need  for evidence-based policy is clearer than ever. Our Trustees were glad to be able to support this  group of twenty-five young scholars pursuing innovative and urgent policy research.” 

Shapiro's research looks at "Human Services Deserts?: Mapping the Safety Net in Possible Low Service Provision  Counties." She previously worked in the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and as a middle school English teacher. Wide geographic variation exists in access to the nonprofit human services safety net. In her dissertation, Shapiro uses IRS-990 data to identify counties that appear to have  extremely low levels of human services provision, many of which are small and rural, and interviews local officials and service providers in these counties to learn more about  the human services landscape. This research supports the policy goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to critical social safety net services such as food banks, homelessness shelters, emergency cash assistance, transportation assistance, and high quality, affordable housing, no matter where they live.

Established in 1998, the Horowitz Foundation now approves approximately twenty-five grants each year. Awards are for $7,500; proposals in certain targeted areas receive additional amounts. In addition, the Irving Louis Horowitz Award is given to the overall most outstanding project proposal, and the Trustee’s Award is given to the project proposal that is deemed most  innovative in theory and/or methodology. Awards are granted for policy-related research in all major areas of the social sciences. Only doctoral students whose dissertation proposals have been  approved by their committees are eligible to apply. Awards are approved solely on merit and are  not allocated to ensure a representative base of disciplines. 

Research grants are open to researchers in all social science disciplines. Projects must deal with  contemporary issues in the social sciences, particularly issues of policy relevance. Applicants  need not be citizens of the United States, and grants are not restricted to U.S. residents. 

The Foundation will begin accepting applications for 2021 awards later this month.  

Additional information, including a list of previous recipients, is available on the Horowitz Foundation website 

This press release was prepared by the Horowitz Foundation.