Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (June 17-30, 2018)

Complete applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by Monday, February 19.

Sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation

From the evening of Sunday, June 17 to the morning of Saturday, June 30, 2018, the Russell Sage Foundation will sponsor the second Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, to be held at Duke University. The purpose of the Summer Institute is to bring together graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and beginning faculty interested in computational social science – the use of digital-age data sources and methods to conduct social research. The program will highlight issues about access, privacy, and confidentiality that are raised by the emergence of computational data and methods. The institute will also introduce participants to a network of scholars across disciplines with similar interests in these new data and methods. The co-organizers and principal faculty of the Summer Institute are Christopher Bail (Duke University) and Matthew Salganik (Princeton University).

The instructional program will involve lectures, group problem sets, and student-led research projects. There will also be outside speakers with relevant expertise from academia, industry, and government. Topics covered will include text as data, website scraping, digital field experiments, non-probability sampling, mass collaboration, and ethics. There will be ample opportunities for students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, other participants, and visiting speakers. Because we are committed to open and reproducible research, all materials created by faculty and students for the Summer Institute will be released open source.

Eligibility: Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and untenured faculty within 7 years of receiving their Ph.D. However, there are no restrictions based on citizenship, country of study, or country of employment. Most participant costs during the workshop, including housing and most meals, will be covered, and most travel expenses will be reimbursed up to a set cap. We expect that about 30-35 participants will be invited. Participants with less experience with social science research will be expected to complete additional readings in advance of the Institute, and participants with less experience coding will be expected to complete a set of online learning modules on the R programming language. Students doing this preparatory work will be supported by a teaching assistant who will hold online office hours during the two months before the Institute. Accepted applicants must agree to attend all sessions of the two-week program.

How to Apply: Please visit

The google form asks for some basic information about the application and his/her academic background. To be considered, all applicants must submit the following documents via the link above (i) a curriculum vitae, (ii) a statement (maximum three pages) describing both any current research and interest in computational social science (especially as it relates to RSF research programs in Social Inequality, Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, and Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration), (iii) one writing sample (no more than 35 pages). Applicants who are graduate students or postdoctoral researchers must submit two letters of recommendation from faculty advisors. Letters of recommendation should be as informative as possible about the applicant's standing in their program, general ability, research potential, and (if applicable) special interest in computational social science. All applications must include an e-mail and an alternative means of contact (e.g., phone number).

Letter writers may submit their evaluations of candidates here:

We anticipate a large pool of highly qualified applicants and to make final decisions quickly, so applications and letters must be received by the deadline. Complete applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by Monday, February 19. We will notify applicants solely through e-mail, by Wednesday, March 14 and will ask participants to confirm their participation very soon thereafter.

For more information, please visit the summer institute’s website. Inquiries can be sent to

The Russell Sage Foundation
Journal of the Social Sciences

The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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