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CCSS Seed Grant Program

Faculty can apply for funds to support innovative research and collaborative conferences.

  • Spring Grants

CCSS Seed Grant Program for Cornell Faculty Members

The CCSS Seed Grant program supports social science research by PI-eligible Cornell faculty members and conferences that directly benefit Cornell faculty and students.

  • Program Overview

    The application for Spring 2024 CCSS Seed Grants will open in January.


    • All PI-eligible Cornell faculty in the social sciences are eligible to apply for these awards. Those not already affiliated with CCSS will be required to affiliate when they apply.

      CCSS Research Grants

      A primary goal is to fund research projects likely to lead to external funding. We are particularly interested in jump-starting research by junior faculty. We also support research by faculty teams spanning social science disciplines or units and interdisciplinary projects led or co-led by social scientists. Maximum award of $12,000.

      CCSS Conference/Workshop Grants

      Interdisciplinary conferences/workshops that are eligible for funding are those that are held at Cornell, open to all Cornell faculty members, and openly publicized. Maximum award of $5,000.

    • Have the following information ready to paste into the application portal: 

      • Name, title, departmental and college affiliation

      • Co-PIs (if you have a Co-PI, you must specify a lead PI)

      • Proposal title

      • Total dollar amount requested

      • Proposal type: research or conference

      • Provide your plan for data replication and archiving or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible (see the CCSS data archiving policy here)

      • Pre-registration of experiments, if applicable

      • IRB attestation if human subjects will be used

      • Resubmission: Is this proposal a resubmission to the CCSS? If yes, please discuss your revisions in the proposal narrative.

      • Proposal narrative that is double spaced and no more than five pages in length (see guidelines below). The narrative should include replication details (see above).

      • Budget and budget justification (see guidelines below)

      • CV for the PI, as well as CVs for up to two additional investigators (maximum three pages each) 

        • Each CV should list the researcher’s education, major appointments, and most significant publications, presentations, grants, and honors.

      Proposal narrative guidelines:

      • Should not exceed five pages, should be double-spaced, 12-point font

      • A one-paragraph “publication ready” abstract (45 words max.) for posting on the CCSS website if the project is funded.

      • A comprehensive description of proposed activities and their significance, including details about the research design (if applicable)

      • Data archiving/replicability plan or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible (see CCSS data archiving policy for more info)

      • Plan of future activities with dates corresponding to major outputs (grant submission deadlines, book draft due date, publication draft submission goals)

      • Plans for pursuing additional funding (including a link to RFP), if any

      Budget justification guidelines:

      • Total funding amount requested

      • List of the individual expenses and a brief explanation of each expense 

      • The budget justification does not count against the five-page-long narrative length limit

      • The budget can include replication expenses


      • A brief bibliography (under one page)

      • A brief sample survey or portion of a survey instrument may be included as an appendix and will not count against the narrative page length

      For more information, see the frequently asked questions tab. If you have a question, contact

    • Funding

      The maximum small grant award is $12,000. Faculty receiving a previous CCSS grant research award are eligible for another research award two years after their most recent award. Research grant awardees can submit a conference grant proposal within the two-year wait period, and conference grant awardees can submit a research proposal within the two-year wait period, as these are tracked separately. Likewise, there is a two-year wait period to submit a conference proposal after receiving a CCSS grant conference award.

      CCSS approval is required for the principal investigator to reallocate more than 25 percent of the funds at any point after the award is issued; please contact Funds not used within two years are returned to the CCSS for reallocation to other small grant awardees unless an extension is granted. In the event that the principal investigator resigns from Cornell, the remaining funds are to be returned to the CCSS.

      The CCSS and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Cornell University provide the funding for the CCSS grant program.

      Data Archiving Policy

      CCSS is committed to ensuring that research and data are open and available to support cumulative gains in social scientific knowledge. All CCSS-funded projects must provide a statement describing plans to archive data and/or replication materials in an appropriate and permanent archive, such as CCSS’s Data & Reproduction Archive, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, or the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR), or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible. In addition, CCSS are members of the Qualitative Data Repository and ICPSR, which provides access to their curation services. CCSS’s complete archiving and replication policy can be found here. We encourage applicants to consult with Jonathan Bohan, CCSS’s Data Archive Specialist, if you have questions. 


      If your project will require an IRB, you must receive approval before engaging in the research and provide it to your departmental finance liaison before drawing down funds from your award. 

      Eligible activities

      CCSS grants support direct research expenses. Examples include the costs of collecting data, participant incentives, traveling to and from research or training sites, data replication and archiving costs, meetings with collaborators or potential funders, undergraduate or hourly graduate research assistance (summer grad RA stipends are also acceptable) supporting the faculty project, and specialized hardware or software necessary to conduct the research.

      Examples of expenses ineligible for a CCSS grant award are publication fees or other costs associated with disseminating research (e.g., conference travel), faculty and/or Cornell staff salaries, travel costs for caregivers (for such funding, see here), and general-use hardware or software. We also do not pay for training, such as on an econometric technique. We also cannot support undergraduate or graduate student research projects with faculty CCSS grant funds.

      Review Process

      Each research project application with a budget above $5,000 is reviewed by three Cornell social science faculty members who have submitted within the same round (but are not in the applicant’s department). Every applicant will be asked to review 3-5 applications in the pool. The reviews must be completed by the deadline, or CCSS will disqualify the reviewing candidate’s application for funds. CCSS will internally review research proposals with budgets below $5,000.  

      Acknowledging CCSS

      For projects selected for funding, please acknowledge the Cornell Center for Social Sciences in any presentations or publications resulting from the project. We recommend using the phrase, “This research was supported by a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Grant.” Please also let the CCSS know when papers are accepted and/or publicly available so we can help publicize them.


      Contact CCSS if you have questions about any of these policies.

    • Is my research considered social science?

      By social science research, we tend to take a broad approach to social science. We typically support research that is eligible for funding from social science directorates of the major federal funding agencies. At the National Science Foundation, for example, this includes the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, the Directorate for Social and Behavioral Sciences, and their subsidiary organizations (e.g., Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Social and Economic Sciences, Law and Social Sciences, Human Resource Development, etc.).

      The CCSS funds social scientific research eligible for funding by other federal agencies. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy support social science research. In general, the CCSS follows the federal government’s lead, and any social science research project eligible for funding from a federal agency is also suitable for CCSS support.

      This does not mean that your faculty appointment needs to be in a department that carries the name of one of the disciplines NSF identifies as a social science: Anthropology, Communications, Economics, Linguistics, Government/Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology. Indeed, the CCSS strongly encourages participation by social scientists housed in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary departments across Cornell.

      Finally, we support social scientists engaging in collaborative research with non-social scientists, as long as the social scientist has a lead role in the project and the project has a significant social science component likely to lead to publications in peer-reviewed social science journals or other outlets. For example, CCSS would consider funding a social scientist who is co-leading, along with a geneticist, a study of the relationship between gene activation and social environments. It would not support a geneticist who is the sole investigator in a study of the relationship between gene activation and social environments.

      What constitutes a strong budget justification?

      A detailed budget justification gives the review committee a clear idea of what the funds will support and includes sources for cost estimates. For example, list the model of equipment or software to be purchased and its cost from a particular vendor, like How much does a ticket cost on Expedia or from AAA for car rental or air travel when you estimate you will be in the field? How many hours and at what rate per hour do you plan to hire a research assistant, based on what precedent?

      At the time of submission of the proposal, does the proposed experiment already have to have IRB approval?


      Do all the research project’s team members have to be at Cornell?


      Can the research project include co-PIs, post-docs, or graduate assistants who are not faculty members?

      The lead PI must be a Cornell PI-eligible faculty member. However, the entire research team does not have to be on Cornell’s faculty. The team can include non-tenure-track research associates, post-docs, and graduate students participating as collaborators and/or hired research assistants. However, CCSS grants cannot be used for tuition, stipends, or student fees on graduate assistantship lines. Grants cannot be used for graduate student research projects or dissertation projects.

      If awarded a CCSS grant, when could I expect to receive the funding?

      The PI is asked to complete an award transfer form. Once the award transfer form and any additional paperwork are submitted to the CCSS, small grant awards are typically transferred by the end of the month. CCSS small grant awards must be transferred by the end of the fiscal year.

      Is there a time period restricting when the funds must be spent?

      Grant awards have a term date of roughly two years. At that time, the PI is asked to file a 45-word impact statement and a brief report to the CCSS director regarding research progress, outcomes, and disposition of the awarded funds. If the PI does not request an extension, funds not used within two years are returned to the CCSS for reallocation to subsequent grant awardees.

      What do I do if the research or conference budget needs to be reallocated after receiving my award?

      PIs need CCSS approval to reallocate more than 25 percent of the funds at any point after funding. Please contact to request a reallocation and include the award year, account number, account balance, and reason for the requested reallocation.

      How do I apply for a no-cost extension? 

      If you have not been able to complete your research by your award’s term date, you may request a no-cost extension by filling out this brief CCSS Grant Extension Form. If you have questions, please contact

      How does the CCSS evaluate proposals?

      Projects requesting over $5,000 are reviewed by three peer scholars from the same application round, outside the applicant’s department, who evaluate each proposal based on the following criteria: quality of social science scholarship (including theory and methodology), the importance of the core ideas and whether they are innovative, whether the work is likely to inspire future research, and whether the budget is appropriate. We also consider whether the research design is methodologically sound, the likelihood of the research resulting in publication in peer-reviewed journals, and whether the project is likely to obtain external funding at some point. We fund conferences of interest to social scientists across the university when the budget appears justified and primarily supports Cornell social science faculty members. Projects requesting under $5,000 in funding are reviewed internally.

      If I have been funded by the CCSS before, how long should I wait before reapplying?

      Faculty who have previously received a CCSS grant as a lead PI can reapply for funding after a two-year wait. In other words, if a PI received CCSS funding in Fall 2021, the faculty member may reapply in Fall 2023. Exceptions to this are that prior research grant awardees can submit a conference grant proposal and vice versa within the two-year wait period, and responses to calls for research on special topics may not be subject to the two-year rule. Research grant awardees must wait the full two years before submitting another research grant proposal, and conference grant awardees must wait two years before submitting another conference grant proposal. CCSS Faculty Fellowships are not subject to the two-year rule.

      Can CCSS Grants be used to fund graduate student research?

      Not at this time.

      Please see the Overview section for more information on the small grants program. Please direct questions to

  • Funding Highlights

    View past grantees and special topics below, including details for three projects that received funding from CCSS and had a tremendous impact on furthering research in critical areas.

    • Fall 2023

      Leveraging Generative AI for Marketing Research: An Application on Music Album Reviews

      Khaled Boughanmi, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business
      Kamel Jedid, Professor, Columbia University

      The capabilities of Generative AI to extract thematic content from unstructured data make it powerful to understand experiential domains. This research leverages this technology to extract experiential features from expert music reviews to enhance our understanding of album success and aid artists in their designs.

      The Actions of State Medical Boards in the Opioid Prescribing Epidemic

      Colleen Carey, Assistant Professor, Economics, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
      Jetson Leder-Luis, Assistant Professor, Boston University

      A small number of inappropriately-prescribing physicians drove opioid prescribing increases in the first wave of the U.S. opioid epidemic. This project collects a novel dataset of state medical board actions to determine the nature and extent of investigations and disciplinary actions regarding opioid prescribing.

      Empirical Legal Studies in the Sinophone Region

      Yun-chien Chang, Professor, East Asian Law, Cornell Law School

      This conference, titled Empirical Legal Studies in the Sinophone Region, brings together legal scholars doing quantitative works from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The data used in the 20 presentations describe the functioning of the legal systems in the Chinese-speaking region.

      Distance Learning in the Shadow of COVID19 -- Lessons from Cornell University

      Nancy Chau, Professor, Applied Economics and Policy, Dyson School, CALS and SC Johnson College of Business

      This study leverages the natural experimental COVID19 setting at the Cornell campus, constructs a student-specific return-home treatment triplet (geographic distance, internet access, pandemic exposure), and performs an assessment of the impact of the return home treatment on student-assessed academic performance among Cornell undergraduates.

      How Race and Gender Stereotypes Impact Crowdfunding Outcomes

      Cristobal Cheyre, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS
      Anthonia Carter, PhD Candidate, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS

      We study how racial discrimination and gender roles stereotypes influence crowdfunding campaigns’ outcomes. We focus on outcomes experienced by Black female founders and how their chances of success change as product complexity and targeted market vary. Our results will inform policy and platform design interventions.

      The Biography of Discovery: How Discovery of Resources by Humans versus Machines Shapes Preference

      Alexander Fulmer, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Nolan Hotel School, SC Johnson College of Business

      This research builds upon recent work illuminating that biographical elements of a resource’s discovery can influence consumer preference for otherwise identical resources. Specifically, this project explores how consumer preference for resources is influenced by awareness of whether the discoverer was a human or a machine.

      NYC School Match: How Do Design Details Drive Inequity

      Nikhil Garg, Assistant Professor, Operations Research and Information Engineering, Cornell Tech

      NYC matches students to public high schools through an algorithm. We study the process’s design details: what drives educational inequity? What is the role of students’ ranked lists or school policies in prioritizing grades or geography? Our analyses will inform student-side interventions and policy recommendations.

      AI, Rulemaking, and Threats to Scientific Policymaking

      Jillian Goldfarb, Associate Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell Engineering

      Citizens and experts alike can influence regulatory processes primarily through public notice and comment. Generative AI threatens this democratic expression. Can generative AI skew representation by overwhelming response pools with technically sophisticated comments perceived by regulators to be as informative as those written by experts?

      Race, Public Opinion, and the Political Costs of Military Adventurism

      Douglas Kriner, Professor, Government, College of Arts & Sciences
      Aaron Childree, PhD Student, Government, College of Arts & Sciences

      Policymakers assert that broad public support should be a precondition for military action; however, the conditions under which racial/ethnic gaps in war support emerge remain unclear. Using public polling and an original survey, we study the mechanisms producing such gaps across conflicts and over time.

      Data-Adaptive Experiments to Discover Discrimination in Context

      Ian Lundberg, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS

      In what context is discrimination most severe? Using an experimental approach that updates treatment assignment rules as information is learned, this study will discover the contexts in which human decision-makers make especially discriminatory pairwise choices.

      Mapping US Food Systems: A Stakeholder Database and Pilot Visualization Tool

      Daniel Mason-D'Croz, Senior Research Associate, Department of Global Development, Cornell CALS

      Food systems actors are fundamental for transformation, yet exhibit diverse priorities, preferred pathways, and power. We intend to build a stakeholder database and pilot visualization tool of several thousand actors across US food systems, serving as a rich resource to support future research and outreach.

      Redistribution in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

      Marcel Preuss, Assistant Professor, Strategy and Business Economics, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business
      Nicolas Bottan, Assistant Professor, Economics, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

      Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT promise significant productivity improvements, but they may also reduce the importance of human capital and labor, further concentrating power and wealth in the hands of the rich. The authors investigate views on inequality and support for economic policies in an AI dominated economy.

      The Efficacy of For-profit Teacher Training Programs

      Evan Riehl, Assistant Professor, Economics, ILR School
      Christa Deneault, PhD, Economics

      To combat teacher shortages, a growing number of states are allowing teachers to complete training programs at for-profit companies. This project explores the efficacy of for-profit training programs by examining their impacts on the quantity and quality of teachers in Texas.

      Child Welfare Operations Research Symposium

      Vincent Slaugh, Assistant Professor, Operations, Technology & Information Management, Nolan Hotel School, SC Johnson College of Business

      This symposium aims to connect operations academics with child welfare leaders and facilitate conversations about how operations research approaches can help improve child welfare. Approximately 30 attendees will meet at Cornell on November 9 practitioner panels, brief research presentations, and roundtable discussions.

      Fostering Consumer Creativity in Metaverse Virtual Retail Spaces with Psychological Virtuality

      So-Yeon Yoon, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design, Cornell Human Ecology
      Jaleesa Reed, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design, Cornell Human Ecology
      Woo Bin Kim, Post Doctoral Researcher

      At the forefront of retail innovation, the metaverse offers extended brand-consumer experiences that stimulate creative abilities. Grounded in self-expansion theory, this project develops virtual retail spaces infused with psychological virtuality and unveils the mechanisms that amplify consumer creativity in our proposed retail settings.

      Understanding Household Experiences and Inequities in Wind and Flood Insurance Coverage

      John Zinda, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Development, Cornell CALS
      Sharon Tennyson, Professor, Economics, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
      Hannah Friedrich, PhD Student

      Insurance is a key tool for disaster recovery. Current research poorly explains how homeowners address complicated uncertainties and inequities in purchasing and using insurance. We will assess available insurance policy and claims datasets and examine homeowners’ experiences to better understand insurance decisions and their uneven impacts.

      Spring 2023

      Hearing the Forest Through the Trees: Collaborative Science and Indigenous Sonic Entanglements in East Kalimantan

      Shorna Allred, Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment and Global Development, Cornell CALS
      Walker DePuy, Visiting Fellow, Southeast Asia Program
      Wendy Erb, Postdoctoral Associate, Lab of Ornithology

      Working with frontline Indigenous communities, this team of social and natural scientists brings anthropological, bioacoustic, and Indigenous knowledges together to investigate: 1) The impacts of Indonesia's emerging new capital, Nusantara, on surrounding peoples and landscapes, and 2) how collaborative soundscape research can reveal novel multi-species entanglements and advance Indigenous territorial monitoring.

      Adaptation, Social Coordination & Pragmatic Inference

      Helena Aparicio, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, The College of Arts & Sciences

      Linguistic interactions display spontaneous self-organizing behavior, pragmatic inference being the epitome of such coordinative behavior. However not much is known about cognitive mechanisms supporting coordination. The current project argues that adaptation is one of the mechanisms deployed by listeners to resolve pragmatic coordination problems.

      Against Humanity: Race, Empire, and the Liberal International Order

      Oumar Ba, Assistant Professor, Government, College of Arts & Sciences

      This project reconstructs the emergence of the current global justice regime and argues that the Liberal International Order is built upon the denial of humanity through a layered racial hierarchy of humanness. Using archival research, it focuses on the drafting and adoption of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights amidst the French campaign of “pacification” in Madagascar; the UN Trusteeship Council as a site of legislation and contestation of nuclear imperialism in the Pacific; and the prosecution of the crimes against peace at the Tokyo Tribunal.

      The Politics of Labor Market Outsiders in the Middle East and North Africa: Insights from Tunisia

      Dina Bishara, Assistant Professor, International and Comparative Labor, ILR School
      Ferdinand Eibl, Political Economy, King’s College London

      This project aims at unpacking the political and social policy preferences of labor market outsiders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We will conduct a pilot survey in Tunisia, which will serve as the foundation for a larger grant proposal.

      Creators, Platforms, and the New Politics of Visibility

      Brooke Erin Duffy, Associate Professor, Communication, Cornell CALS

      Drawing upon in-depth interviews with participants in the digital Creator Economy, this research examines the promises, perils, and paradoxes of the platform-dependent labor. In so doing, this project considers how platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch may enable—or, conversely, thwart—a new politics of visibility.

      Dancing with Stars or Crowded out by Stars: Superstar Firms’ Effect on AI Adoption

      Chris Forman, Professor, Applied Economics and Management, Dyson School, CALS and SC Johnson College of Business
      Hongyuan Xia, PhD student, Economics

      Does the superstar firms’ adoption of AI foster or deter other firms’ adoption of AI? There are two competing mechanisms: imitation and competition. By using comprehensive job posting data and a novel instrumental variable, this study will examine the empirical salience of these competing effects of superstar firms on the AI adoption process.

      Transforming Asia with Food: Women and Everyday Life (April 2024 Conference)

      Chiara Formichi, Associate Professor, Asian Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
      Suyoung Son, Associate Professor, Asian Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

      This conference explores how women effected change across Asia engaging in everyday practices of food production, handling, preparation and consumption; participants will bring to light how such “domestic” practices had significant impact on “public spaces,” and created spaces for women’s autonomy and agency.

      How do Parents See the World? Using Virtual Reality to Assess Perception of infants’ Environments (Super-department grant)

      Michael Goldstein, Professor, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Human Ecology
      Adam Anderson, Professor, Psychology,  College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Human Ecology
      Emma Murrugarra, PhD student

      How does becoming a parent change how we see the world? Here we propose a novel virtual reality paradigm investigating what shapes parents’ perception of the environment around their infants. We will explore cognitive mechanisms that facilitate parental decision-making surrounding infant wellbeing.

      Relational and Well-being Outcomes of (Non) Reciprocity in Attachment Networks

      Cindy Hazan, Professor, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Human Ecology
      Vivian Zayas, Professor, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Human Ecology
      Randy Lee, PhD student, Psychology
      Wicia Fang, PhD student, Psychology

      How do people fulfill their attachment needs across people in their networks, and how do people also meet the needs of others in their network? Proposed studies test novel hypotheses on how reciprocated ties confer unique benefits for individuals (security), dyads (satisfaction), and networks (status).

      Intergroup Loss Aversion

      Amy Krosch, Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Human Ecology

      This research uses an economic model of choice behavior and psychophysiological measures of arousal to examine sensitivity to losses for racial ingroup vs. outgroup members, with a discussion of implications for racial disparities at the interpersonal and national level.

      Tolerance for Sharing Polarizing Content on Information Platforms

      Aija Leiponen, Professor, Strategy & Business Economics, Dyson School, CALS and SC Johnson College of Business
      Joy Wu, Postdoctoral Researcher, LMU Munich
      Giulia Solinas, Assistant Professor, LMU Munich
      Tobias Kretschmer, Professor, LMU Munich

      We seek to understand users' preferences for spreading polarizing content on an information platform, which is informative for the design of effective platform governance strategies.

      Financial Language, Communication, and Competition Across US Industries

      Benjamin Leyden, Assistant Professor, Strategy & Business Economics, Dyson School, CALS and SC Johnson College of Business

      We study whether and how companies use a sanctioned form of public communication—quarterly earnings calls—to communicate strategic information with their competitors to coordinate strategic actions and lower competition, thus circumventing antitrust laws. This work will inform policy regarding firm communication and market competition.

      Advancing Trans-Atlantic Research on Renewable Energy Transitions: The Case of Deep Geothermal

      Katherine McComas, Professor, Communication, Cornell CALS
      Dominic Balog-Way, Postdoctoral Associate, Communication
      Catherine Lambert, Lecturer/PhD candidate, Communication

      Transitions to renewable energy systems will falter if inadequate attention is paid to public engagement with promising new technologies like deep geothermal systems. This project investigates public opinion about deep geothermal to advance social science research on this topic and solidify a policy-engaged, trans-Atlantic collaboration.

      How and When Sponsored Ads on Social Media Deter Social Interactions

      Marie Ozanne, Assistant Professor, Services Management, Nolan Hotel School, SC Johnson College of Business

      People are bombarded with ads on social media. This research questions whether the number of ads displayed on newsfeeds impacts passive (vs. active) social media usage. Given that passive usage is negatively associated with well-being, this research offers important implications for marketing researchers and policymakers.

      Assessing the Impact of School-Based Health Centers on Healthcare Access in Rural Communities

      Sharon Tennyson, Professor, Economics, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
      Wendy Brunner, Bassett Research Center
      John Sipple, Professor, Global Development, Cornell CALS

      This project evaluates the effectiveness of School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) to address health disparities among underserved rural youth using de-identified individual-level panel data on patient visits to healthcare providers. The study focuses on 4 high-poverty rural counties in New York, comparing healthcare for children in 16 school districts with SBHCs to those in 22 school districts without. We will assess how SBHCs help poor rural communities by bringing health services directly to children to enhance rural community health.

      Semantic Mapping of Indigeneity Through Computational Modeling of Nineteenth-Century French-Language

      Imane Terhmina, Assistant Professor, Romance Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
      Laurent Dubreuil, Professor, Comparative Literature

      We intend to build a digital corpus of French-language documents related to indigeneity in the 19th century, and use both computational methods (NLP/CL) and interpretive tools to understand the ideological biases associated with textual representations of “indigeneity”, from its colonial genesis to its post-colonial recuperation.

      Making AI Explainable to Community Health Workers in Rural India

      Aditya Vashistha, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS

      AI-driven diagnostic applications are increasingly deployed to support low-skilled community health workers (CHWs) in hard-to-reach communities. This work aims to examine how CHWs in rural settings engage with AI explanations and what they need to know to safely operate such systems in high-stakes healthcare contexts.

      On Our Own: Deinstitutionalization and the Politics of Care

      Stephen Vider, Assistant Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences

      On Our Own traces the impact of deinstitutionalization—the release of people with mental illnesses and disabilities from state-run institutions—to reveal how efforts to repair state systems of mental healthcare were reshaped by the convergence of patient activism and privatization after World War II.

      Quantifying the Property Value and Land Use Impacts of Utility-Scale Solar Farms in New York State

      Wendong Zhang, Assistant Professor, Applied Economics and Policy, Dyson School, CALS and SC Johnson College of Business
      Richard Stedman, Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment, Cornell CALS
      David Kay, Sr. Extension Associate, Global Development

      Large solar facilities are critical to meet the New York State’s ambitious climate and energy goals. This research will evaluate the monetary impacts of large solar farms on nearby farmland sales prices, and assess land use and crop choice changes following solar farm constructions using satellite data.

    • Fall 2022

      Amiel Bize, Anthropology 

      Indexing Environments: Risk, Value, and Experimentation in the Era of Climate Change 

      This project examines “index-based insurance” (IBI)—a response to climate-induced risks for farmers and herders in the Global South. Examining IBI as an experimental technology that straddles development and finance, it explores the implications of IBI’s framing of risk, environment, and social life.

      John H. Blume, Law; Erin York Cornwell, Sociology 

      Prosecutorial Discretion & Perceptions of Place: How Neighborhoods Matter in Juvenile Cases 

      Through in-depth interviews and participatory mapping, this study investigates the process of prosecutorial discretion, focusing on the influence of spatial stigma on charging offers for juvenile offenders and answering the question: how do attorneys perceive the role of neighborhoods in their approach to prosecuting juvenile cases?

      Sara C. Bronin, City and Regional Planning 

      Exploring the National Zoning Atlas (Conference) 

      Zoning functions mostly the same in jurisdictions across the country, but zoning data have heretofore been scattered and highly heterogeneous. This conference convenes experts engaged in the standardization and publication of cross-jurisdictional zoning data to explore the methodology underlying the production of the National Zoning Atlas.

      Richard T. Clark, Government 

      Accountable to Whom? Public Opinion of Aid Conditionality in Recipient Countries 

      When donors extend foreign aid, they often attach requirements on how funds can be spent. Conditions are intended to increase the effectiveness of aid, but recipient governments can perceive them to infringe on sovereignty. How do publics and elites in recipient countries view aid conditionality?

      Mara Yue Du, History 

      Citizenship, Nationalism, and Non-Territorial Sovereignty in Modern China 

      This project investigates the historical origins of the fusion of territorial and non-territorial forms of sovereignty in China, which are critical to our understanding of the implications of China’s citizenship policies on Chinese nationalism, Sino-foreign relations, and the lives of Chinese overseas in a polarizing world centering on China as its epic center.

      Matthew Evangelista, Government; Uriel Abulof, Government 

      Unexplored paths to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

      What makes certain conflicts intractable, and how can we resolve them? To attain coexistence, we must understand why and how conflicts, like the Israeli-Palestinian one, become existential – being not merely about “us vs. them,” but about both sides believing “it’s either us or them.”

      Sean Fath, Organizational Behavior; Chadé Darby, Organizational Behavior  

      Black Employees’ Allyship Needs 

      In general, fulfilling relationships with coworkers can foster positive work outcomes for employees. Expanding on this broad framework, we demonstrate that when Black employees’ allyship needs are met by their white coworkers, they experience higher attachment to coworkers, higher organizational commitment, and lower turnover intentions.

      Ding Fei, Global Development 

      Afterlives of Pandemics: Disrupted Mobility and New Transnational Habitus of Chinese Labor 

      The project investigates how stringent Covid-19 prevention measures in China generate new forms of (im)mobility and transnational life aspirations among Chinese migrant workers in “Belt and Road” countries, and how workers' encounters with different pandemic control regimes produce alternative visions and interpretations of state-led development.

      Kathryn Fiorella, Public and Ecosystem Health 

      Mapping Aquaculture and Wild Fishery Interactions in a Changing Aquatic Food System 

      Aquatic food systems are rapidly transforming: aquaculture now produces over 50% of aquatic foods. This proposal examines the synergies and trade-offs between wild fisheries and aquaculture resource access and value chains amid this transformation around Lake Victoria, Kenya, a context emblematic of change in global aquatic food systems.

      Misha Inniss-Thompson, Psychology 

      Exploring Black Girl Literacies: A Qualitative Study of Book Clubs & Identity Development  

      This phenomenological qualitative study explores how Black adolescent girls enact Black Girl Literacies (ways of knowing, doing, and creating to affirm themselves; (Price-Dennis et al., 2017) in a monthly book club focused on Black girl-centered young adult literature. This study will leverage focus group discussions, participant observation, and sociodemographic surveys to examine the following inquiry: what role can a book club space play in fostering the development of self-definition and critical consciousness among Black girls?

      Allison Koenecke, Information Science 

      Dialectal Fairness in Korean Speech-to-Text Technology 

       Using a Korean corpus of five regional dialects plus “standard” Korean speech, we address the problem of speech-to-text fairness in commercial technology. Will non-standard dialects have worse error rates, and what are the drivers and remedies for disparities? Comprehensive linguistic analysis of Korean dialects follows.

      Chuan Liao, Global Development 

      The Sustainability Justice of Socio-Environmental System Transitions in the Drylands  

      This research aims to investigate how to ensure a just transition of socio-environmental systems to achieve food security and rangeland sustainability in the drylands. It focuses on the Kenyan drylands that support hundreds of thousands of pastoralists whose livelihoods are directly tied to the land.

      Janet Loebach, Human Centered Design

      Environmental Barriers and Facilitators of Health-promoting and Equitable Youth-friendly Communities 

      This study examines how the community-built environment impacts the development and well-being of youth in 2 US cities, and their experience of their community as youth-friendly. Potential inequities in the provision of environmental resources which support positive youth development will also be examined.

      Matt Marx, Johnson Graduate School of Management; Hongyuan Xia, Economics 

      Attention to Exploration: The Effect of Technology Clusters on Scientific Knowledge Production 

      Do technology clusters of firms affect the direction of local university researchers’ academic research and inspire more applied, commercializable research? By taking advantage of the announcement of previously unanticipated entry of high-tech firms, we will identify the causal effect of technology clusters on scientists’ research direction.

      Bryn Rosenfeld, Government 

      Rallying Behavior in Response to War: Lessons from Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

      This study investigates the dynamics of rally-around-the-flag in a nondemocracy, drawing on evidence from Russia's war against Ukraine.

      Daniela Scur, Applied Economics and Management 

      Dampening Natural Disasters' Disruptive Effects on Firms and Labor Markets 

      There is still a dearth of evidence on disruptions from "day-to-day" climate shocks such as harsher seasonal flooding. As climate change intensifies these regular events, understanding their impact, how governments and firms can invest in mitigation strategies and how they can handle recovery and reconstruction is key.

      Wesley Sine, Johnson Graduate School of Management; Grady Raines, Johnson Graduate School of Management 

      Effect of Neighborhood Stigma on Entrepreneurship 

      In this study, the authors attempt to demonstrate how the location of a firm, when stigmatized, can impact the firm's ability to acquire capital.

      Katherine Tschida, Psychology; Nicole Pranic, Psychology 

      Developmental Emergence of Social Communication 

      Infant mammals produce reflexive distress vocalizations and later produce social vocalizations in response to social partners. We will characterize the emergence of social vocalizations in wild-type and autism spectrum disorder model mice, which will help identify brain mechanisms that underlie the emergence of social communication.

      Kaitlin Woolley, Johnson Graduate School of Management; Marie Ozanne, Hotel Administration 

      How the Use of a Non-native (vs. Native) Language Shapes Food Preferences 

      Can the use of a non-native (vs. native) language change people’s preference for healthy (vs. unhealthy) food? We investigate whether and how linguistic context (native vs. non-native) influences food choices, advancing literature on bilingualism and health, with practical implications for policymakers. 

      Wenfei Xu, City and Regional Planning 

      A New Picture of Segregation 

      In an era of increasingly granular location data, quantitative measures of segregation in the social sciences remain reliant on the residential Census. This project collects observed social context using mobile phone location data across the United States to create a dynamic “new” picture of segregation.

      Yiran Zhang, Labor Relations, Law, and History 

      Public Compensation for Family Caregivers: The Governance of Care Work in Consumer-Directed Care 

      Examining administrative law judge decisions, this project studies the everyday legal struggles and the state’s governance of care work in Medicaid-funded Consumer Directed Personal Care Programs, an emerging healthcare delivery model that pays a family member to provide long-term in-home care.


      Spring 2022

      Matthew Baron, Johnson Graduate School of Management

      Real Estate Cycles and Banking Crises

      This project aims to analyze the role of real estate cycles in causing banking crises by creating a new historical database of the stock returns of real estate-related firms and investment vehicles since 1870 across 17 economies.

      Sara Bronin, City and Regional Planning

      A Historic Preservation Local Law Census: Where and Why  

      People interact with preservation law predominantly at the local level, through historic commissions that opine on proposed rehab projects. Yet there is neither a census of local governments that regulate historic places, nor any scholarship that ties adoption to demographic characteristics, political inclinations, and state enabling authority features. My research will identify where historic districts have been adopted and explore how rates of adoption change from state to state depending on various independent variables.

      Douglas Kriner, Government 

      Presidential Politics in an Era of Democratic Disruption Conference

      This conference examines how presidential politics have helped precipitate and in turn been shaped by troubling trends in democratic governance in the United States and around the world. Papers will be published in a special issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly.

      David Mimno, Information ScienceWill Hobbs, Psychology 

      The 12th annual New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data (TADA) meeting will take place at Cornell Tech. TADA is the premiere venue for computational social science work involving documents, social media, and other text.

      Shaun Nichols, PhilosophyJohn Thrasher, Chapman University

      The Nature and Emergence of Property Norms 

      Where do ideas of private property come from? This project will examine how territorial instincts might generate property norms through biases in cultural learning. The project will also investigate how people think about property norms, e.g., whether they are fundamentally moral or conventional.

      Laura Smith, Public and Ecosystem Health 

      Incorporating “Zunde Ramambo” into Sustainable Nutrition Interventions to Improve Child Health 

      Zunde Ramambo is a community-initiated solution to looking after vulnerable children and households through the practice of sharing resources and we propose to engage the same cohort of households involved in the CHAIN trial to explore ways to incorporate it into sustainable nutrition interventions to improve child health and development.

    • COVID-19 Grants

      Social science played a crucial role in understanding the crisis of COVID-19 and future crises. Please view the list of COVID-19 Grant Awardees on the Past Grantees & Fellows page to learn more about the projects funded for this special grant topic.


      Incarceration's Impact on Families Website

      An interdisciplinary team from Policy Analysis and Management, Government, and Sociology studied the level and extent to which incarceration affects families in the US. In addition to producing the first estimates of family-level contact with prisons and jails (at the national level, state level, and by demographic group), this research considered criminal justice contact beyond incarceration, current as well as historical family incarceration, and types or levels of family incarceration. Findings include the staggering revelation that nearly half of all people living in the United States have experienced incarceration in their family. One in seven adults has had a close family member spend more than one year in jail or prison—over 35 million people. This data, broken down by race, gender, and family income, provide policymakers, service providers, employers, and researchers with a much more nuanced and detailed understanding of how incarceration impacts American society.


      Social Media TestDrive Website

      Social Media TestDrive is an interactive educational platform created by researchers in Cornell's Social Media Lab in collaboration with Common Sense Education and with input from educators in Cornell’s Cooperative Extension and 4-H. TestDrive is an educational program that enables young people to learn and practice digital citizenship skills through a social media simulation. Like a driving simulator for young people learning to drive a car for the first time, TestDrive provides a simulated experience of realistic digital dilemmas and scenarios that young people may encounter as they enter the social media world. Each module is designed to teach a specific social media skill, such as managing privacy settings, smart self-presentation, upstanding to cyberbullying, and news literacy. TestDrive looks and feels like a real social media site, but all the content on the site has been created for instructional purposes. Young people interact with the content through instructions that lead them to build new knowledge and skills, allowing them to practice critical social media skills without worrying about negative consequences. The TestDrive platform is now publicly available to kids, parents, and educators--with 40,000 users worldwide so far--and offers an important tool to teach youth to become prosocial, productive members of the digital world.


      Freedom on the Move Website

      An interdisciplinary team led by a Cornell historian with collaborators from universities in five states is building an ever-expanding digitized database of fugitives from American slavery. Freedom on the Move (FOTM) is an effort to collect, transcribe, and analyze all of the existing advertisements placed by North American enslavers attempting to coerce and capture self-liberating African and African American people. Taken collectively, these runaway ads, with their details of individual lives and agency, constitute a rare source of information about the experiences and resistance of enslaved people that does not appear elsewhere in the historical record. The free, open-source site has been designed so users can transcribe the text of an advertisement, contributing to the trove of information available for scholars, genealogists, and historians. Edward Baptist, the Lead PI on the project, notes that many will see in the surveillance of Africans and African Americans, including the pursuit of runaways, the historical roots of today’s policing of African Americans. In the modern era, both professional and volunteer attempts to police Black movements seem to continue the long tradition of stopping, questioning, reporting, disciplining, and seizing Africans and African Americans—actions for which ordinary white citizens were rewarded for doing under slavery, from the 1600s to 1865.

Did your research benefit from a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Grant?

Please acknowledge CCSS with the following language when publicizing or presenting your research results: “This research was supported by a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Grant.” 


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