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Data Science Fellows Program

Graduate Assistantship Appointments

  • Group photo of Drew Margolin, Remy Stewart, Kimberly Williamson, Jonathan Chang, and Christian Sprague

What is a CCSS Data Science Fellowship?

The goal of the data science fellowship is to give PhD students an opportunity to enhance their skills in a collaborative, hands-on activities. Fellowships are equivalent to GA positions and provide students with full funding (including stipend plus health care) for one or two semesters.   

Data Science Fellows propose a project or set of activities that align with CCSS needs as defined by the roles (below). The project/activities should align with the student’s long term goals and must be approved by the student’s thesis advisor before applying.    

All Data Science Fellows work closely with the Data Science Faculty Lead, Drew Margolin.

Past CCSS Data Science Fellows have come from disciplines such as Sociology, Communication, Government, Computer Science, Information Science, and Engineering

CCSS is not currently accepting applications; updated details will be included on this page when the next application round is open.

Candidates will be asked to affiliate with CCSS if they have not already.

Fellowships Roles

Currently there are three broad roles for Data Science Fellows (described below). Students interested in a role are encouraged to reach out to the relevant contact person to develop their proposal to fit CCSS needs and expectations.   

Role 1: Workshop Leader and Developer 

CCSS runs several workshops each semester introducing students and faculty to data science techniques. Students with an interest in teaching courses in data science can develop their skills as Workshop Leaders. Workshop Leaders will be expected to: 

  • Run existing workshops in areas where they are competent  
  • Provide consulting support throughout the semester for individuals who have questions on the topic 
  • Propose and develop either one new workshop or a set of enhancements (such as adding tutorials or documentation) to existing workshops   

Current ongoing workshops are in Stata, Python, R and Qualitative Analysis. Past Data Science Fellows have developed workshops in: Machine learning, natural language processing, API, web scraping, Linux and parallel computing and Intro to Python and R.  

Inquiries about existing workshops or potential new workshops should be directed to Jacob Grippin

Role 2: Computing Infrastructure Developer 

CCSS operates a sophisticated infrastructure to support computational social science with a focus on cloud computing. Students with an interest in developing such infrastructures can get hands on experience in this process. Infrastructure Developers will be expected to: 

  • Parse the computing systems logs and generate reports that identify user behavior and resources used 
  • Analyze and model software usage trends by CCSS clients (social scientists) to help optimize resource allocation 

Inquiries about the specifics of the CCSS computing infrastructure, or to develop a more specific proposal, should be directed to Cassian D'Cunha.

Role 3: Data Science Disseminator 

CCSS is always looking for ways to expand the data science community at Cornell and beyond, getting more social scientists involved in computational work.  Students with an interest in expanding the reach and/or inclusiveness of data science may propose a project for doing so.  Such projects might include a CCSS hosted conference, a survey or interview study of social scientists at Cornell, or other ideas.  

Proposals for Data Science Disseminator projects should be made in consultation with the data science faculty fellow lead, Drew Margolin.  

How to Apply

CCSS is not currently accepting applications; updated details will be included on this page when the next application round is open.

Students should write an approximately 500 word proposal describing the role and activities they will undertake as a DSF and how these activities will further their PhD education and professional development. The proposal must be approved by the thesis advisor. Candidates will be asked to affiliate with CCSS if they have not already.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is a letter of intent required, in addition to the project proposal?  

A. No, there is no separate letter of intent required. Please submit one document (the project proposal) explaining what you would like to do and why.  

Q. Is deferment an option?

 A. Deferment is not an option. We encourage applicants to apply for a later semester instead of deferring.

Have questions?

For questions about this program, please contact Katie Anderson

Did your research benefit from a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Data Science Fellowship?

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 Data Science Fellowship.” 


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