Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics (SISSG)


The co-organizers and principal faculty are Daniel Benjamin (University of Southern California) and David Cesarini (New York University). Patrick Turley (Massachusetts General Hospital) will join as co-organizer in 2019. The summer institute is expected to be offered every other year. The program accepts about 30 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 is highly quantitative. Participants should come prepared to engage with both mathematical derivation and computational analysis. 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.

The SISSG is focused more narrowly and deeply on genomics; applicants who want to get a taste of a broad range of biomarkers should instead consider the RSF Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences (co-organized by Greg Miller, Thomas McDade, and Emma Adam).

Participants will be required to complete one problem set in advance.


Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and untenured faculty within 10 years of the Ph.D. There are no restrictions based on citizenship, country of study, or country of employment.

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 “Social Science Genomics.”
  3. Submit the following documents:
    1. a curriculum vitae (please list the statistical software, programming languages, and operating systems you have used)
    2. 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
    3. one writing sample (maximum 35 pages) 

For Ph.D. student and postdoctoral researcher applicants only, please also provide:

  1. an (unofficial) course/grade transcript for doctoral studies
  2. two letters of recommendation from faculty advisors. These 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.
  3. 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.

Inquiries can be sent to

Technical questions about the application portal (Fluxx) can be sent to


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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