Summer Institutes


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have canceled the Summer Institute in Behavioral Economics, the Proposal Development Summer Institute, and the Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods. 

The Summer Institute in Computational Social Science will be conducted online only.

RSF offers intensive, one-to-two-week summer institutes on various topics for doctoral students and early-career scholars. Most participant costs during the institute, including housing and most meals, are covered, and travel expenses are reimbursed up to a set cap. Participants are required to fully attend all sessions of the program and some institutes require participants to complete some assignments in advance.

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2020 Summer Institutes: Behavioral Economics | Computational Social Science | Migration Research Methods | Proposal Development Summer Institute

Behavioral Economics (BE)

Next BE summer institute: June 28 to July 9, 2020 at Waterville Valley, NH CANCELLED

The two-week Summer Institute in Behavioral Economics introduces graduate students and beginning faculty in economics and related disciplines to the findings and methods of behavioral economics—the application of psychological theory and research to economics. The program includes topics on psychological foundations such as decision-making under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choice, biases in judgment, mental accounting, and social preferences, as well as the implications of these foundations for savings behavior, labor markets, development economics, finance, public policy, and other economic topics.

Computational Social Science (SICSS)

Co-sponsored with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Next SICSS: June 14-27, 2020, this Summer Institute will be conducted online
Application deadline: February 25, 2020

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.

Migration Research Methods (SIMRM)

Co-sponsored with the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Next SIMRM: Tentatively scheduled for August 3-7, 2020 at University of California, Berkeley CANCELLED
Application deadline: February 10, 2020

The ten-day Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods helps to train early career researchers in best-practices and in methodologies particularly relevant to the study of immigration and migrant populations. The 2020 program will focus on: (1) conceptualizing, measuring and imputing legal status in migration studies; (2) studying immigration through social media and computational analysis; and (3) current frontiers in research on migration and health. The institute will also include sessions on research ethics and professionalization.

Proposal Development Summer Institute

Co-sponsored with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Next Proposal Development Summer Institute: May 31 – June 6, 2020 CANCELLED

The institute will bring together about 25 early career social science faculty interested in workshopping and developing research ideas into grant proposals. The institute seeks to promote diversity in the social sciences broadly, including racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity. This Institute is designed to help develop participants' research ideas into a completed funding proposal for future RSF (and/or other potential funders’) application deadlines. The program will involve lectures, meeting with program officers from a range of foundations, writing time, group work, peer review, panel discussions, one-on-one consultations, and networking opportunities

Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences (SIBASS)

Co-sponsored with the JPB Foundation

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

The one-week Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences introduces early-career scholars in a broad range of social science disciplines to the theory, basic biology, and methods needed to collect and analyze biological processes in the service of social science research agendas. The biology of, and minimally-invasive measurement options for, the central nervous system (brain), autonomic nervous system, neuroendocrine, cardiometabolic, immune, and sleep processes will all be covered, and we will also discuss the contributions of genetics and epigenetics. Stress-sensitive biological systems will be emphasized, as such systems are strong candidates as putative mediators between social-contextual experiences and health and human capital outcomes.

Social Science Genomics (SISSG)

Co-sponsored with the JPB Foundation

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

The two-week Summer Institute in Social Science Genomics introduces 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 twin and family studies; the biology of genetics, gene expression, and epigenetics; design and analysis of genetic-association studies; analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; genetic estimation and use of polygenic scores; environmental pathways for genetic associations; ethical issues in social-science genomics; as well as applications of genomic data in the social sciences.

Social Science for Journalists (SSSIJ)

The next summer institute is expected in 2021 (TBC)

There is a long, rich history of journalists writing and reporting compellingly about topics related to RSF’s mission to "improve the social and living conditions in the United States." The growth of economic inequality and its consequences, inequities in educational achievement and attainment, the impact of modern immigration, and recent racial tensions over urban policing are all examples of topics addressed by journalists that are central to RSF programs.

The three-day Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists teaches participants how to locate the best available social science research on their topics quickly, how to identify and interact fruitfully with leading experts, and how to read academic publications for their journalistic relevance.

Learn More about Summer Institutes


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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