Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics (SISSG)

Application Deadline: TBD

The Russell Sage Foundation, in conjunction with the JPB Foundation, will sponsor the fourth Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics from August 8 – August 20, 2021 at the Stoweflake Mountain Hotel in Stowe, Vermont, unless circumstances require us to change it to an online event. 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 the 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 (UCLA), David Cesarini (NYU), and Patrick Turley (Harvard-MIT Broad Institute) who will be in attendance for the full program. Visiting faculty are still to be determined, but in past years have included Paige Harden (UT Austin), Matt Keller (UC Boulder), 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), Jonathan Beauchamp (George Mason University), and Philipp Koellinger (Vrije University Amsterdam).

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. Assuming the event is held in-person, 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). If the event is in-person, to maintain social distancing, no more than twenty applicants will be invited to participate. (If the event is held online, then more than twenty 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.

Please create an account at to access the online application. Account registrations are approved manually so please allow up to 48 business hours to gain access to the system.

The application must include:

  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 (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:

  1. an (unofficial) course/grade transcript for doctoral studies,
  2. (iv)  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.

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.

The Russell Sage Foundation is also hosting another Summer Institute in Biology and Social Science, namely the Summer Workshop on Biological Approaches in the
Social Sciences (co-organized by Greg Miller, Thomas McDade, and Emma
Adam). The Summer Institute in Social Science Genomics is focused more narrowly and deeply on genomics—and applicants who want to get a taste of a broad
range of biomarkers should instead consider the other RSF workshop.

Complete applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by Friday, April 9, 11am Pacific Standard Time.

We will notify applicants solely through e-mail, by Monday, May 10, and will ask participants to confirm their participation very soon thereafter.  Inquiries can be sent to


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


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