Note: the Spring application period has closed. The next round will open Winter 2021, which will be the only application period during the 2020-2021 academic year.  

The Center for Decision Research is accepting submissions for the spring round of our independent research grant program for emerging scholars. This program is supported by the generosity of CDR Governing Board Member Richard Thaler in honor of Amos Tversky, and provides a limited number of small grants to support new behavioral science research led by University of Chicago PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

The primary motivation for these grants is to support our emerging scholars in conducting independent behavioral science research. Proposals for research jointly pursued with a faculty member are not eligible for these awards, although we do hope that faculty will encourage our emerging scholars to pursue eligible research. Applicants are permitted to have graduate student or post-doc collaborators. Ideal applications will demonstrate conscientious, independent thought, and avenues to expand CDR research efforts beyond the domains being explored in our faculty members' labs. Awardees will receive up to $3,000.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for a grant, please submit a 1-2 page proposal to CDR Executive Director, Amy Boonstra ( with your name, email address, home address, telephone number, year and division, and your CV.

Please use this submission template as it will help to ensure that you address the following critical proposal elements:

  • A research question, in the context of existing literature
  • Hypothesis being tested
  • Proposed method
  • Budget outline

The deadline for this round of submissions is April 24, 2020, 11 p.m. (CT). The next round will be in Winter 2021.

Review Process

Each proposal will be reviewed by at least two members of the CDR's Governing Board (Richard Thaler, Nicholas Epley, Ayelet Fishbach, Bernd Wittenbrink, Devin Pope). Award decisions, which will be sent via email, will be made in time to make funds available early in the following quarter.

The funds need to be used within 18 months following the award date. Please note that there is a limit of one grant per recipient, per year.

If you have any questions, please contact CDR Executive Director Amy Boonstra at