Research Grants Approved at November 2020 Trustee Meeting

January 7, 2021

At the foundation’s November 2020 meeting of the board of trustees, twelve new research projects were approved in its programs on Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality, and in its special initiatives on Computational Social Science; Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context; and Integrating Biology and Social Science.

Future of Work

Achyuta Adhvaryu and Anant Nyshadham (University of Michigan) will use data on job seekers’ characteristics and the requirements of posted job vacancies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis to test an artificial-intelligence based intervention that provides job seekers with information about vacancies in occupations and industries they may otherwise overlook.

Dmitri Koustas (University of Chicago) and James Parrott (The New School) will survey taxi and app-based drivers (e.g., Uber, Lyft, and Via) in New York City about the direct impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their livelihoods, including their take-up of benefits available to them under the CARES act and other social safety net programs.

Till von Wachter (University of California, Los Angeles), with a research team at the California Policy Lab, will use administrative data from California to examine the impact of COVID-19 and the expanded unemployment insurance system on workers, firms, and inequality, as well as how the current recession differs from previous ones.

Race, Ethnicity and Immigration

Yoonsun Choi (University of Chicago) and Bongki Woo (University of South Carolina) will draw on a longitudinal study of Filipino Americans and Korean Americans to examine how experiences of discrimination, particularly COVID-related discrimination, affect civic engagement among Asian-American young adults.

Social, Political, and Economic Inequality

David Broockman (University of California, Berkeley), Leah Stokes and Matto Mildenberger (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Columbia University) will use administrative data on constituents’ contact with congressional offices to examine how inequality in communication to Congress perpetuates political inequality.

Ingrid Gould Ellen (New York University) will use administrative data analyze the immediate and longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on residential mobility and relocation patterns and how they differ across socio-economic groups.

Lori Hoggard (Rutgers University), Danielle L. Beatty Moody (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Jamein P. Cunningham (University of Memphis) will examine how African American men’s direct, vicarious, and neighborhood police exposure may influence their socioeconomic wellbeing.

Rebecca Ryan and Anna Johnson (Georgetown University) and Anna Gassman-Pines (Duke University) will extend study on food insecurity and psychological wellbeing begun before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to examine the implications of pandemic-related school closures and social restrictions for socioeconomically disadvantaged families.

Computational Social Science

Matthew Salganik (Princeton University) and Christopher Bail (Duke University) will run a two-week summer institute in Computational Social Science (June 2021) intended to foster the growth of the field, support the development of appropriate ethics and standards, and provide early-career scholars with the opportunity to collaborate on research projects.

Tamara van der Does and Mirta Galesic (Santa Fe Institute) and Dina Okamoto (Indiana University) will draw on ninety years of data from the Congressional record to investigate how immigrant-related rhetoric in political discourse is used to establish citizenship boundaries and to devise policies that shape the social and economic opportunities available to different groups. 

Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context

Crystal Yang and Will Dobbie (Harvard University) will collaborate with courts from several states to test the effectiveness of three experimental interventions in reducing racial disparities in bail-setting decisions.

Integrating Biology and Social Science

Brea Perry, Bernice Pescosolido, and Heather Francis (Indiana University) will examine how the rise in social, economic, and health inequality and the concurrent disruption of social networks during the COVID-19 pandemic interact to adversely affect the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged groups. Cofunded with the JPB Foundation.


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.


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


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