Summer Institutes

RSF offers intensive, one-to-two-week summer institutes on various topics for doctoral students and early-career scholars. Most participant costs during the institute, including housing and most meals, are covered, and travel expenses are reimbursed up to a set cap. Participants are required to fully attend all sessions of the program and some institutes require participants to complete some assignments in advance.

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2020 Summer Institutes: Behavioral Economics | Computational Social Science | Migration Research Methods

Behavioral Economics (BE)

Next BE summer institute: June 28 to July 9, 2020 at Waterville Valley, NH

The two-week Summer Institute in Behavioral Economics introduces graduate students and beginning faculty in economics and related disciplines to the findings and methods of behavioral economics—the application of psychological theory and research to economics. The program includes topics on psychological foundations such as decision-making under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choice, biases in judgment, mental accounting, and social preferences, as well as the implications of these foundations for savings behavior, labor markets, development economics, finance, public policy, and other economic topics.


Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences (SIBASS)

Co-sponsored with the JPB Foundation

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

The one-week Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences introduces early-career scholars in a broad range of social science disciplines to the theory, basic biology, and methods needed to collect and analyze biological processes in the service of social science research agendas. The biology of, and minimally-invasive measurement options for, the central nervous system (brain), autonomic nervous system, neuroendocrine, cardiometabolic, immune, and sleep processes will all be covered, and we will also discuss the contributions of genetics and epigenetics. Stress-sensitive biological systems will be emphasized, as such systems are strong candidates as putative mediators between social-contextual experiences and health and human capital outcomes.


Computational Social Science (SICSS)

Co-sponsored with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Next SICSS: June 14-27, 2020 at Duke University

The two-week Summer Institute in Computational Social Science introduces graduate students and beginning faculty in the social and data sciences (broadly conceived) to 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.


Migration Research Methods (SIMRM)

Co-sponsored with the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Next SIMRM: May 27 - June 5, 2020 (dates TBC) at University of California, Berkeley

The 8-day Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods helps to train early career researchers in best-practices and in methodologies particularly relevant to the study of immigration and migrant populations. The 2019 institute will focus on: (1) ethics and best practices for mixed methods research design; (2) estimating causal relationships in research on immigrants and immigration policy; and (3) the use of administrative and linked, longitudinal data sources to study change over time and across generations. The institute will also include sessions on professionalization, including how to increase the impact of research by translating findings for policy discussions and the public.


Social Science Genomics (SISSG)

Co-sponsored with the JPB Foundation

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

The two-week Summer Institute in Social Science Genomics introduces graduate students and beginning faculty in economics, sociology, psychology, statistics, genetics, and other disciplines to the methods of social-science genomics—the analysis of genomic data in social science research. The program will include interpretation and estimation of twin and family studies; the biology of genetics, gene expression, and epigenetics; design and analysis of genetic-association studies; analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; genetic estimation and use of polygenic scores; environmental pathways for genetic associations; ethical issues in social-science genomics; as well as applications of genomic data in the social sciences.


Social Science for Journalists (SSSIJ)

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

There is a long, rich history of journalists writing and reporting compellingly about topics related to RSF’s mission to "improve the social and living conditions in the United States." The growth of economic inequality and its consequences, inequities in educational achievement and attainment, the impact of modern immigration, and recent racial tensions over urban policing are all examples of topics addressed by journalists that are central to RSF programs.

The three-day Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists teaches participants how to locate the best available social science research on their topics quickly, how to identify and interact fruitfully with leading experts, and how to read academic publications for their journalistic relevance.

Learn More about Summer Institutes


RSF: 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.


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