Research Grants & Paper Prize

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CSLS Frances S. Coles Summer Research Grants

CSLS Graduate Student Paper Prize

CSLS Frances S. Coles Summer Research Grants

Applications must be submitted via this Google form on or before April 15, 2022.

The CSLS Frances S. Coles Summer Research Grants are designed to assist graduate students who are pursuing independent research related to law and society.  Grant funds are to support research-related expenditures, including living expenses, for graduate students who are conducting research during the summer term. Awards are intended to allow for a period of time free from other work obligations during which the student will produce a substantive research product, such as a journal article, dissertation chapter, or similar research product, and submit it for evaluation. Research products may be part of a larger dissertation. Examples include an empirical article or book chapter submitted for publication, a completed dissertation chapter that is submitted to the student’s dissertation committee, or a completed paper submitted to a conference. After completing their summer research projects, grant recipients are required to file a one-page report along with a copy of the specific research product they produced and evidence of submission before receiving the final installment of their grant.

Eligible students must submit an application that includes:

    • A brief summary of their overall research interests and goals; the research they plan to pursue with the summer grant, including the project’s contribution to the field and substantive importance; and an explanation of how their project’s research questions fit into the law and society tradition, including the project’s empirical components broadly defined (e.g., ethnography, qualitative interviews, historical or archival research, survey data etc.).  Summaries may be up to two pages, double-spaced, typeface no smaller than 12-point font;

    • A description of the specific product that will be produced from their summer grant-supported research, including where it will be submitted (up to one page single spaced);

    • A CV (up to two pages);

    • A one page budget plan indicating the amount the student is requesting and how the funds will be used (living expenses are permitted); 

    • A list of all other sources and amounts of financial support for the academic year (including summer);

    • An unofficial UC Berkeley transcript;

    • The name of one faculty member who is willing to serve as a reference, preferably the dissertation adviser or presumptive adviser


Open to any full-time UC Berkeley graduate student, although the summer grant is intended to provide support to mid-career and advanced graduate students. Preference will be given to research proposals that are clearly focused on empirical work in the law and society tradition, as described here. Students from all departments are eligible.

Applicants can receive a maximum of one grant during their graduate careers.

Award Amount

Up to $7,000.

Questions about the CSLS Frances S. Coles Summer Research Grants should be submitted via email  and with the subject line: Questions re: Frances S. Coles summer research grants.

CSLS Graduate Student Paper Prize

Nominations must be submitted via this Google form on or before Monday, May 2, 2022. Nominations received after May 2, 2022 will not be considered. 

The Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce our inaugural Graduate Student Paper Prize.  Beginning in 2022, the CSLS Graduate Student Paper Prize will be awarded annually to a current Berkeley graduate student whose nominated paper, written while a graduate student at Berkeley within 18 months prior to the nomination deadline, best represents outstanding law and society research, as described here.  Competitive papers also will speak to one or more of the Center’s areas of scholarly focus: criminal justice, democracy and civil society, and/or inequality.  The award carries a prize of $1,000; students must meet registration requirements to receive the cash prize.

Papers nominated for the prize must be (1) not yet accepted for publication at the time of nomination; (2) include an empirical component, broadly defined (e.g., ethnography, qualitative interviews, historical or archival research, survey data etc.); and (3) be no longer than 25,000 words, including references, in a minimum of 12 point font (papers that exceed this limit will not be considered).  Submissions must be in English. Self-nominations are welcome, or papers may be nominated by a CSLS affiliated faculty member. Nominations by CSLS affiliated faculty members should include a brief letter of support. Nominators submitting the paper for award consideration must include the date and title of the course (or similar academic context) at Berkeley for which the paper was written.

A paper will only be considered once for the prize.  Only one paper per author, whether sole author or coauthor, will be considered per award cycle. Coauthored work is eligible if both authors are registered Berkeley graduate students and there are no more than two coauthors. (Papers with more than two authors are not eligible.)  Coauthors will split the cash prize if their paper is selected.  Work coauthored with faculty members or with scholars outside UC Berkeley is not eligible.

Questions  about the CSLS graduate student paper prize should be submitted via email  with the subject line: Question about CSLS graduate student paper prize.