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Faculty Fellows Program

Providing the time and space for ambitious research projects. 

  • Group photo of 13 of the 2023-2024 CCSS Faculty Fellows in Gates Hall
  • Candid photo of Faculty Fellow
  • Candid photo of Faculty Fellow
  • Candid photo of Faculty Fellow

“A CCSS fellowship offers exactly what junior faculty need most: time, space, resources, and community. The support and investment in the fellows made it easy to be productive and creative. Being at CCSS is easily one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had at Cornell.”
-Jane Mendle, Associate Professor, Psychology and 2015–16 Faculty Fellow

Faculty Fellowship

The CCSS Faculty Fellows Program nurtures the careers of Cornell University’s most promising faculty members in the social sciences. The goal is to provide time and space for high-impact social scientific scholarship while creating an environment of intellectual exchange and an appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship.

The fellows will meet throughout the academic year to exchange feedback on current research and participate in professional development. The fellows will also spend a semester in-residence with  CCSS. During this semester, the fellows are released from teaching and administrative duties to focus on their chosen research project.

Deans are asked to nominate their most promising faculty in the social sciences. In the past, Deans’ offices have often worked with department Chairs to identify viable candidates and to create the nomination files. Candidates may also speak to their  Chairs and/or Deans to request to be nominated. CCSS does not limit the number of nominations a college submits, though the total number of fellows is limited.

The process and internal timelines for considering faculty for nomination and compiling files vary by college. As a result, it is best practice for Chairs and candidates to be in touch with their Dean or appropriate Associate Dean early in the search process.

The Dean’s office will complete the Qualtrics application form, entering information about the nominee and uploading the nomination file at the end of the form. The nomination file includes several pieces:

  1. Dean’s cover letter,
  2. Recommendation letter from Chair or Dean, and
  3. Nominee’s letter, research proposal, and CV

Below is the information the Dean’s office will need to have ready to paste and upload to the application portal. The Chair of the nominee will provide this information, as needed, to the Dean.

  • Nominee’s research project title
  • Nominee’s hiring date
  • Nominee’s upcoming review (third-year reappointment review, tenure review, promotion to full) and estimated semester of that review
  • Identify which semester the candidate is requesting as the semester in residence at the CCSS.
  • Describe the normal teaching load of the nominee
  • Describe the plan for excusing the nominee from teaching while in residence, including how many courses they will be excused from, the resulting proposed teaching load, how the teaching release will be covered, and other pertinent details.
  • Describe the plan for excusing the nominee from service obligations while in residence.
  • Confirm that the faculty member can take course and service release during the residence semester, will not incur a teaching deficit, is not beginning the fellowship with an existing deficit, and can be in residence at the CCSS during the requested semester.
  • Should the course off-set support be transferred to a department account or college account? (practice varies by college/school) Please provide a contact name and email if it is a college account.
  • Name and email address of the nominee’s department financial manager

At the end of the application form, please upload a nomination file containing all the pieces for a single nomination. The completed nomination file itself is composed of several parts:

1. Dean’s cover letter:

The cover letter should indicate the Dean’s support for the nomination from the college and support for the terms of the fellowship as indicated on the CCSS website and the information entered in the application form (see above for the application information details).

2. Letter of recommendation from Chair or Dean: 

The recommendation letter is written by the Chair or Dean depending on the preferred process of the college. The letter should:

  • Detail the ambitions of the project and describe how the candidate meets the following selection criteria: (1) quality of nominee’s scholarly publications; (2) level of productivity of nominee thus far; (3) creativity of the overall research agenda; (4) current impact of the candidate’s work; and (5) the potential for future significant contributions to the field.
  • Explain how this opportunity will help the nominee’s chances to achieve the goals of the project, in what way(s) the nominee stands out compared to peers, and how the nominee contributes to the intellectual community at Cornell.

Information for the application form:

  • The Nominee's Chair should provide the information that the Dean’s office will enter in the application form, as needed. Please see Qualtrics Application information for details.

3. Nominee's letter, research proposal, and CV:

These pieces are usually sent to the Chair, who writes the letter of recommendation and sends all of these materials on to the Dean to prepare the cover letter.

  • Nominee letter: A letter from the nominee outlining the proposed project and goals, and potential career impact, with a statement justifying that the work is at a level of scope and ambition that would make it difficult or impossible to achieve without the fellowship. 
  • Research proposal: The nominated faculty member prepares a short research proposal (no more than 5 double-spaced pages), including a project title, 45-word abstract, a project description, and a brief itemized budget for $8,500. The proposal should include a data archiving and replicability plan, per the CCSS data archiving policy.
  • Nominee CV: A complete and up-to-date CV.

Roughly 10-12 fellows will be selected for the program. The applications will be reviewed by the CCSS Director and a review committee. Selection will be based on the following criteria: quality of scholarly publications; level of productivity; creativity and intellectual merit of the applicant’s work; the current impact of the work; and the potential for future significant contribution to the field. The selection process will also take into account the diversity, on many dimensions, of the fellows’ cohort. We hope to share decisions with the Deans by early February.

Expectations & Deliverables

  • The CCSS Faculty Fellows program is a year-long fellowship with one semester in- residence at the CCSS. 
  • Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time working on a chosen research project during their residency.
  • Fellows are released from one semester of teaching during their semester in residence (this usually equals a 50% reduction in their annual course load).
  • Fellows are excused from heavy administrative responsibilities for their residency semester.
  • Fellows attend regular meetings during the entire academic year of the fellowship, where they discuss each other’s research, professional development topics, and current themes and new directions in the social sciences.
  • The primary purpose of the CCSS Faculty Fellows Program is to nurture the careers of Cornell University’s most promising faculty members in the social sciences.
  • The goal is to provide time and space for high-impact social scientific scholarship with the potential to result in the completion of ambitious projects.
  • The program is also designed to create an environment of intellectual exchange and an appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship.
  • Fellows can each request research funds up to $8,500 to be used for expenditures directly related to the research and scholarly activities proposed in their applications.
  • Fellows will also receive $500 per year for three years following the fellowship to compensate them for reporting on their results and progress.
  • CCSS will provide $10,000 to the primary department or primary college of the Fellow, depending on the practice of the Fellow’s college/school, to partially offset costs associated with course release.


What is the course release policy/agreement?

Fellows are expected to be granted one semester of course release by their department and college. This is the semester that they will spend in-residence at CCSS. The exact units of the course release vary by college.

Are there any collaborative fellowships or opportunities?

Deans are welcome to nominate individual fellows and note that they will be pursuing collaborative work with another nominee. The Faculty Fellows program is an excellent opportunity to pursue individual work and/or collaborative projects.

How are fellowship funds disbursed?

CCSS transfers fellowship funds to a new account in the Fellow’s department. Please work with your departmental finance liaison to access your funds. Please note that CCSS Fellowship funds are subject to the same restrictions as any other university spending. During your account term, the University may restrict some expenditures, such as travel. Please work with your finance manager to ensure your expenditures are in line with evolving policy. For reference, see here

What do I do if my project budget needs to be reallocated after I receive my award?

At any point after funding, Fellows need CCSS approval to reallocate more than 25% of the funds in the original budget. Please contact the program coordinator at to request a budget review and provide a brief explanation for the change, updates in the relevant areas: a revised research plan (2-5 sentences), a simple revised budget, a revised timeline, and a revised project title.

How do I request an extension on my funds?

Fellowship awards have a roughly 2-year term. Funds not used by the term date will be returned to the pool of funds that the CCSS uses to award grants unless an extension is requested and granted. You may request an extension by using this Qualtrics form.

What are the reporting requirements for the fellowship?

Every year for three years after the completion of the fellowship, each Fellow is asked to provide an updated 45-word impact statement and brief information regarding research progress, outcomes, and disposition of awarded funds. After completion of each report, CCSS will transfer $500 to the Fellow as thanks for participating in reporting. 

When Fellows publish research supported by the CCSS Fellowship, CCSS should be acknowledged using the phrase, “This research was supported by a Cornell Center for Social Science Faculty Fellowship.”

What is the CCSS Data Archiving and Replication Policy that all Fellows must adhere to?

The CCSS Data Archiving and Replication Policy can be found here

Please contact the CCSS program coordinator with questions about the Faculty Fellows Program.

2024-2025 Faculty Fellows

2023-2024 Faculty Fellows

2022-23 Faculty Fellows

  • Jerel Ezell

    Division of General Internal Medicine

    Headshot of Jerel Ezell
  • Will Hobbs


    Headshot close-up of Will Hobbs smiling
  • Pauline Leung

    Public Policy

    Leung headshot
  • Janet Loebach

    Human Centered Design

    Loebach Headshot
  • Laura Niemi


    Niemi Headshot
  • Devon Proudfoot

    Human Resource Studies

    Proudfoot headshot
  • Ivan Rudik

    Applied Economics and Management

    Ivan headshot
  • Landon Schnabel


    Landon Schnabel

Summer 2023 Collaborative Fellowship

Summer 2024 Collaborative Fellowship

Did your research benefit from a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Faculty 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 Faculty Fellowship.” 


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