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Faculty Fellows Program

Providing the time and space for ambitious research projects. 

  • CCSS Portraits and Groups

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. The program is also designed to create an environment of intellectual exchange and an appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship. 

Additional fellowships offered by CCSS:

  • The Accelerated Research Fellows Program provides support for social scientists applying for multi-phase research grants.  
  • The Data Science Fellows Program is designed to give outstanding Cornell graduate students the opportunity to advance their computational social science training within the CCSS’s diverse and intellectually vibrant community.
  • Overview

    The application deadline for the 2022-2023 cohort has passed. Please check back in the fall for information about the following year's program. 

    We are thrilled to announce that our popular and productive fellows program will now be offered every year! The CCSS accepts nominations through the Deans of each college. You can find the specific process and details under the guidelines tab.

    Cohorts include roughly 8–12 faculty from diverse departments and colleges. In-residence fellows meet regularly over lunch to discuss their research and participate in professional development sessions. They have opportunities to engage with colleagues across the university to build working relationships and new collaborations.

    “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,” said Jane Mendle, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and a member of the 2015–16 cohort.

    For others, such as Benjamin Cornwell, Associate Professor in the Sociology Department and a member of the 2012–13 cohort, fellowships provide opportunities to devote significant time to a project. “I wrote an entire book on research methods that I could not have written without the time and resources the CCSS provides,” he said.

    View the current Faculty Fellows below.

  • Submissions

    • Deans are asked to nominate their most promising tenure-line faculty in the social sciences with an eye toward Assistant Professors. The nomination file must be submitted by the Deans, although we do suggest that they consult with department Chairs to identify viable candidates and work with Chairs and candidates to create the nomination files. Candidates may also speak to their own Chairs and/or Deans to request to be nominated. The CCSS does not limit the number of nominations a college submits.

      The process and internal college timelines for considering faculty for nomination and compiling nomination files varies 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 input information about the nominee in the Qualtrics application form and upload the nomination file at the end of the form. The nomination file includes several pieces: the Dean’s cover letter, recommendation letter, and nominee’s letter/research proposal. 

      Below is the information the Dean’s office will need to have ready to paste and upload to the application portal. The Chair or Director 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 (2/2, 3 courses/units per year, etc.).
      • 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 administrative 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:

      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).

      Letter of recommendation & information for the application form: 

      The recommendation letter is written by the Chair, Director, or Dean depending on the preferred process of the college. It should indicate the support of the Chair and department if written by the Dean. 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 chair or director of the nominee should provide the information that the Dean’s office will enter in the application form, as needed. Please see Qualtrics Application Form above for details.

      Items from Nominee:

      These pieces are usually sent to the Chair or Director, 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 project and goals, 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.
      • Data archiving and replicability plan: Please describe your data plan per the CCSS data archiving policy.
      • Nominee CV: A complete and up-to-date CV.
    • Roughly 8-12 fellows will be selected for the program. The applications will be reviewed by the Directors of the CCSS 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; 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

    Like other highly prestigious fellowship programs (e.g., the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences [Stanford], the Russell Sage Foundation Fellows Program, and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study), the CCSS Faculty Fellows Program does not expect fellows to work on a common topic as a group.

    The CCSS Faculty Fellows Program will occur every year.

      • 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 semester.
      • Thus, fellows are expected to be granted one-half year of teaching release by their Deans and Chairs to coincide with their residency semester.
      • Fellows are also excused from heavy administrative responsibilities for their residency semester.
      • Fellows attend regular meetings during the entire academic year of the fellowship, at which they discuss each other’s research, professional development issues, and current topics 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, with a special focus toward supporting the research of early-career faculty.
      • 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, leading to external funding and book manuscripts.
      • The program is also designed to create an environment of intellectual exchange and an appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship.
      • Fellows can request research funds up to $8500 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.
      • The CCSS will provide $10,000 to partially offset course reductions. This support is provided to the primary department or primary college of the Fellow, depending on the practice of the Fellow’s college/school.
  • FAQs & Help

    • What constitutes a strong budget?

      A detailed budget and budget justification give the review committee a clear idea of what the funds will support and include 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 at the same time 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?

      How are fellowship funds disbursed?

      The CCSS transfers fellowship funds usually during August of the Fellowship year 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 Anneliese Truame to request a budget review and provide a brief explanation for the change, a revised research plan (2-5 sentences), a simple revised budget, a revised timeline (if impacted), and a revised project title (if impacted).

      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, the CCSS will transfer $500 to the Fellow as thanks for participating in reporting.

      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 us with questions about the CCSS Fellows Program.

​​​​​​​Welcoming This Year's Faculty Fellows Cohort

We are pleased to welcome next year’s cohort of ten CCSS Faculty Fellows from six colleges and schools. 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 the CCSS. During this semester, the fellows are released from teaching and administrative duties so that they can focus on their chosen research project.

Meet the 2022-23 Faculty Fellows and read about their research projects this year!

2022-23 Faculty Fellows

  • Jerel Ezell

    Africana Studies and Research Center

    Headshot of Jerel Ezell
  • Will Hobbs


    Will Hobbs
  • Pauline Leung

    Public Policy

    Leung headshot
  • Janet Loebach

    Design and Environmental Analysis

    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

2021-22 Faculty Fellows

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