Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics (June 11-23, 2017)

Deadline: Monday, February 13 at 11am Pacific Standard Time

From the evening of Sunday, June 11, to the morning of Friday, June 23, 2017, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) will sponsor the 2nd Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics, to be held at the Pepper Tree Inn in Santa Barbara, California.

The purpose of this two-week workshop is to introduce 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 different concepts of heritability; the biology of genetic inheritance, gene expression, and epigenetics; design and analysis of genetic-association studies; analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; estimation and use of polygenic scores; as well as applications of genomic data in the social sciences.

The co-organizers and principal faculty of the Summer Institute are Daniel Benjamin (USC) and David Cesarini (NYU), who will be in attendance for the full program. Visiting faculty include Dalton Conley (NYU), Tõnu Esko (University of Tartu and Harvard-MIT Broad Institute), James Lee (University of Minnesota), Michelle Meyer (Geisinger Health System), Aysu Okbay (Vrije University Amsterdam), and Patrick Turley (Harvard-MIT Broad Institute).

The instructional program will be highly quantitative. Participants will be expected to learn relevant software packages and solve problem sets throughout the workshop. The schedule is designed to provide opportunities for students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, visiting faculty, and other participants. For last year’s schedule and example problem sets, see

Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and untenured faculty within 10 years of the Ph.D. Most participant costs during the workshop, including housing and most meals, will be covered, and economy-class travel expenses will be reimbursed by the foundation up to a set cap (covering most, but not all, of anticipated travel costs). No more than thirty applicants will be invited to participate. Participants will be required to complete one problem set in advance, and to fully attend and participate in all sessions of the program.

There is no application form beyond this announcement. To apply, send (i) a curriculum vitae (please list the statistical software, programming languages, and operating systems you have used), (ii) a statement (maximum three pages, single spaced, 11 point font) describing both any current research, and your interest in social-science genomics, especially as it relates to RSF research priorities (e.g., behavioral economics, social inequality, future of work, immigration), (iii) one writing sample of no more than 35 pages. For Ph.D. student and postdoctoral researcher applicants only, please also provide: (iv) an (unofficial) course/grade transcript for doctoral studies, (v) two letters of recommendation from faculty advisors, and (vi) a one-page (bullet point) list of mathematics and statistics courses you have taken while in graduate school/during your postdoctoral training, together with a brief statement (maximum one paragraph) outlining your quantitative background and skills. Letters of recommendation should be as informative as possible about your standing in the program (i.e., approximate rank in your doctoral class), general ability, research potential, and (if applicable) special interest in social-science genomics.

All applications must include an e-mail address and phone number. Send your curriculum vitae, statement, course/grade transcript, and writing sample (all collapsed into a single pdf file) to Ask your recommenders to send their letters to the same email address, with the following subject line: RSF recommendation letter for APPLICANT NAME. We anticipate a large pool of highly qualified applicants – applications and letters must be received by the deadline in order to make final decisions quickly.

Complete applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by Monday, February 13, 11am Pacific Standard Time.

We will notify applicants solely through e-mail, by Monday, March 13, and will ask participants to confirm their participation very soon thereafter.  Inquiries can be sent to


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