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RSF Bulletin

RSF Announces 2020-2021 Class of Visiting Scholars

The Russell Sage Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of 17 Visiting Scholars for the 2020-2021 academic year. While in residence at RSF in New York City, they will pursue research and writing projects that reflect the foundation’s commitment to strengthening the social sciences and conducting research to “improve social and living conditions in the United States." Among the research topics of this multi-disciplinary group are immigration and immigrant integration, race and diversity, the politics of policy backlash, employers' labor practices, poverty and income inequality, gender inequality, and climate change and natural disaster recovery.

To read about each scholar’s project, please click the links below or visit the incoming scholars page on our website.

Scott Allard (University of Washington)
Douglas Almond (Columbia University)
Amada Armenta (University of California, Los Angeles)
James Bachmeier (Temple University)
Monica Bell (Yale University)
Max Besbris (Rice University)
Jacob Faber (New York University)
Lori Flores (SUNY-Stony Brook University)
Pilar Gonalons-Pons (University of Pennsylvania)
Diana Hernández (Columbia University)
Heather Hill (University of Washington)
Harry Holzer (Georgetown University)
Daniel Hopkins (University of Pennsylvania)
Mae Ngai (Columbia University)
Eric Patashnik (Brown University)
Kim Phillips-Fein (New York University)
Jennifer Van Hook (Pennsylvania State University)

New Book: Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner City Shapes the Integration of Second-Generation Latinos

A quarter of young adults in the U.S. today are the children of immigrants, and Latinos are the largest group. In Stagnant Dreamers, sociologist and social policy expert María Rendón (UC, Irvine) follows 42 young men from two high-poverty Los Angeles neighborhoods as they transition into adulthood. Based on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with them and their immigrant parents, Stagnant Dreamers describes the challenges they face coming of age in the inner city and accessing higher education and good jobs, and demonstrates how family-based social ties and community institutions can serve as buffers against neighborhood violence, chronic poverty, incarceration, and other negative outcomes.

Neighborhoods in East and South Central Los Angeles were sites of acute gang violence that peaked in the 1990s, shattering any romantic notions of American life held by the immigrant parents. Yet, Rendón finds that their children are generally optimistic about their life chances and determined to make good on their parents’ sacrifices. Most are strongly oriented towards work. But despite high rates of employment, most earn modest wages and rely on kinship networks for labor market connections. Those who made social connections outside of their family and neighborhood contexts are more likely to have higher quality jobs. However, a middle-class lifestyle remains elusive for most, even for college graduates.

Rendón demonstrates the importance of social supports in helping second-generation immigrant youth succeed. To further their integration, she suggests investing in community organizations, combatting criminalization of Latino youth, and better integrating them into higher education institutions. Stagnant Dreamers presents a realistic yet hopeful account of how the Latino second generation is attempting to realize its vision of the American dream.

Read more or purchase a copy of the book.

Upcoming Application Deadlines for 2020 Summer Institutes

In Summer 2020, RSF will sponsor several intensive one or two-week Summer Institutes on various topics for doctoral students and early career scholars. Applications for the Migration Research Methods Summer Institute will be due February 10, 2020. Applications for the Computational Social Science, and Proposal Development Summer Institutes will be due February 25, 2020. Applications for the Behavioral Economics Summer Institute will be due March 13, 2020.

Targeted Grants Competition: Improving Education and Reducing Inequality in the United States

RSF and the William T. Grant Foundation have announced the third round of their targeted small grants competition for early career scholars. We seek research projects on “Improving Education and Reducing Inequality" that will deepen our understanding of educational opportunity and success by analyzing data on academic achievement from the Stanford Education Data Archive (developed by Sean Reardon and colleagues).

Applications will be accepted through February 4, 2020, at 2pm Eastern time. Decisions will be announced in early April 2020.

Read more about eligibility and program guidelines here.

Small Grants Competition in Computational Social Science

RSF is now accepting applications for its small grants competition in Computational Social Science. This initiative supports innovative social science research that utilizes new data and methods to advance our understanding of the research issues that comprise the foundation’s core programs. Limited consideration will be given to research that focuses primarily on methodologies, such as causal inference and innovations in data collection. We are primarily interested in research that explores and improves our understanding of social, psychological, political and economic outcomes.

The next application deadline for small grants in Computational Social Science is March 17, 2020.

Click here for more information on the CSS small grants competition.

How to Apply for Funding at RSF

For more information on RSF’s grant making process, please visit our website or review our grant writing guidelines. You may also view a 5-minute video on how to use our new grants management system.

Call for Papers for National Bureau of Economic Research Conference

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has formed a Study Group on Economic Mobility. The Study Group will convene a research conference, "Economics of Mobility," in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday-Friday, April 16-17, 2020. NBER is seeking scholars interested in making research presentations at the conference. Papers must be submitted by midnight EST on Monday, February 3, 2020, via the following link.

For the full call for papers, please click here. Please direct questions about this conference to

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