Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (SICSS)

Application Deadline: February 11, 2022

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.

Overview

The co-organizers are Christopher Bail (Duke University) and Jason Rhody (SSRC). The summer institute is currently offered annually. The location of the SICSS in 2022 will be at Duke University. The program accepts about 20 participants. Most participant costs during the institute, including housing and most meals, are covered, and travel expenses are reimbursed up to a set cap.

The instructional program involves lectures, group problem sets, and participant-led research projects. There are also outside speakers who conduct computational social science research in academia, industry, and government. Topics covered include text as data, website scraping, digital field experiments, non-probability sampling, mass collaboration, and ethics. There are ample opportunities for students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, other participants, and visiting speakers.

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 oFf 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 before the institute.

Eligibility

Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and untenured faculty within 7 years of their Ph.D. There are no restrictions based on citizenship, country of study, or country of employment.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and fields of study, especially applicants from groups currently under-represented in computational social science. We evaluate applicants along a number of dimensions: 1) research and teaching in the area of computational social science 2) contributions to public goods, such as creating open source software, curating public datasets, and creating educational opportunities for others 3) likelihood to benefit from participation 4) likelihood to contribute to the educational experience of other participants 5) potential to spread computational social science to new intellectual communities and areas of research. Further, when making our evaluations, attempt to account for an applicant’s career stage and previous educational opportunities.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted via the RSF online application portal, Fluxx.

  1. Create an account or log in to your existing account. **Account registrations are approved manually, please allow up to 48 hours for a new account to be approved**
  2. Start a new "Summer Institute" application and select “Computational Social Science.”
  3. Submit the following documents:
    1. a curriculum vitae
    2. a statement (maximum three pages) describing both any current research and your interest in CSS (especially as it relates to RSF research priorities)
    3. one writing sample (maximum 35 pages). Co-authored work is acceptable for the writing sample, but if you submit co-authored work, we recommend that you include a few sentences describing the contributions of each individual author.

Learn more about the Institute and its satellite locations here: https://sicss.io/

Inquiries can be sent to rsfcompsocsci@gmail.com

Technical questions about the application portal (Fluxx) can be sent to grantsmgt@rsage.org

RSF

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.

Grants

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

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