Through its research activities, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation supports work in the social and natural sciences and aligned disciplines to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence in the contemporary world.

Signature research awards include the Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholars, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholars, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim African Fellows.  

The Foundation also conducts, commissions, and publishes original research on contemporary problems of violence. It organizes conferences, seminars, briefings, and other convenings to explore particular issues of violence. 

Priority is given to work that addresses urgent, present-day problems of violence—what produces it, how it operates, and what prevents or reduces it.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – OCTOBER 21: Members of the South Korean Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team are surrounded by smoke October 21, 2004 during a ceremony to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the national police in Seoul, South Korea. President Roh Moo-Hyun urged police to increase alertness to head off any terrorist attacks on the country by Islamic insurgents who oppose South Korea’s deployment of troops to Iraq. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The Foundation is interested in violence related to many subjects, including but not limited to the following:

  • War
  • Crime
  • Terrorism
  • Family and intimate-partner relationships
  • Climate instability and natural resource competition
  • Racial, ethnic, and religious conflict
  • Political extremism and nationalism

The Foundation supports research that investigates the basic mechanisms in the production of violence, but primacy is given to work that makes a compelling case for the relevance of potential findings for policies and approaches intended to reduce these ills. Likewise, historical research is considered to the extent that it is relevant to a current situation of violence. Examination of the effects of violence are welcome insofar as a case is made that these outcomes serve, in turn, as causes of future violence.

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for support.


The Foundation awards the following research grants and fellowships to scholars studying the origins and effects of violence in the U.S. and abroad.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholars

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar Awards (formerly the Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Grants) recognize leading researchers who propose to make a substantive contribution illuminating an important issue of violence. Applications are submitted by August 1 of each year and awarded in December.

Application | Past Grants

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholars

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Awards (formerly the Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowships) acknowledge promising graduate-student researchers in their final year of writing a doctoral dissertation that examines a salient aspect of violence. Applications are submitted by February 1 of each year and awarded in June.

Application | Past Grants

The Harry Frank Guggenheim African Fellows

The Harry Frank Guggenheim African Fellows (formerly the Harry Frank Guggenheim Young African Scholars) recognize promising doctoral-candidate researchers who are from, and studying on, the African continent and who propose to illuminate an issue of violence in or related to Africa. Applications are submitted by March 1 and awarded in July, biennially.

Application | Past Grants

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge

Selected by Pembroke College, this three-year award supports post-doctoral research proposing to make a significant contribution to the study of violence. Candidates are drawn from the disciplines of human, political, and social sciences, international relations, and aligned fields. The fellow is resident at, and admitted as a fellow of, Pembroke College during the fellowship.


Commissioned Research

The Foundation commissions research on topics of violence that are timely and important when a particular need or opportunity to advance understanding or dialogue arises. Recent examples of commissioned research include “Explaining the Past and Projecting Future Crime Rates” and “Projecting Illinois Crime Rates and the Impact of Further Prison Population Reductions.

Self-Initiated Research

The Foundation and its staff undertake research of its own design on violence issues of note as occasions to contribute to scholarly or public discourse arise. Recent examples of self-initiated research include “Did De-Policing Cause the 2015 Homicide Spike?


The Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge

During the Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Fellow’s tenure, the Foundation convenes a conference at Pembroke College on an aspect of the Fellow’s work with particular relevance for both the academic community and the realms of policy and practice.  

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Foundation’s flagship annual conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice brings together researchers and policymakers with journalists to deepen public understanding and conversation related to the most pressing crime issues in the United States.  

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Masters Seminars

The Foundation regularly gathers experts to critique a scholarly or policy-oriented violence manuscript in progress to help focus and sharpen its arguments and enhance the value of the final product to academic or practitioner audiences.

Capitol Hill Briefings for Members of Congress and Staff

Since 2018, the Foundation has partnered with the Center on Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University to conduct Capitol Hill briefings for members of Congress and staff on timely issues related to violence and crime. Briefings have featured leading scholars discussing research that should inform the work of federal policymakers.  

The Council on Criminal Justice Violent Crime Working Group

The Foundation supports the work of this interdisciplinary group formed in 2021 to address the rapid rise in homicides in the U.S. and the need for policymakers and practitioners to identify and implement effective responses that are grounded in solid research. The group hosts online discussions about violent crime in the U.S. and publishes regular bulletins sharing its findings.

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