Faculty can apply for seed funds to support innovative research and collaborative conferences.
CCSS Grant Program for Cornell Faculty Members
The CCSS Grant program supports social science research by PI-eligible Cornell faculty members and conferences that directly benefit Cornell faculty and students.
There are four types of grants:
- CCSS research grants
- CCSS super-department grants and School of Public Policy grants
- CCSS-Roper Center grants
- CCSS conference grants
All PI-eligible Cornell faculty in the social sciences are eligible to apply for these awards. Those not already an affiliate of the 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 Special Topic for Spring 2023: Super-department and School of Public Policy Collaboration Grants
Building on the Provost’s Review of the Social Sciences, the CCSS is offering support to researchers working in economics, psychology, public policy, or sociology. These special collaborative grants will support the catalyzation of innovative research, a central motivation in the creation of the super-departments and Cornell School of Public Policy. Each proposal should be made up of at least two PI-eligible researchers, including one from each of two of the previous social sciences spaces (e.g., one from psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and one from Human Development in the College of Human Ecology), and new collaborations are highly encouraged. Potential promise for future external funding will be considered as part of the review. Maximum award of $30,000 for each proposal.
CCSS-Roper Center Grants
The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell has identified hundreds of historical public opinion datasets from around the world that are currently in difficult-to-use file formats (e.g., column binary or ASCII). These data include Ronald Reagan’s private polls as well as data from India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, and many other countries. Converting these datasets to usable formats is labor-intensive and can be costly, so the Roper Center is partnering with CCSS.
Suppose Roper Center has a historical public opinion dataset that will strengthen a CCSS Research grant project. In that case, Cornell faculty can apply for up to $12,000 in grant funding to convert these data to usable formats as a part of their CCSS grant. If selected, the Roper Center will match the CCSS grant with an in-kind contribution (i.e., a $12,000 award would equal $24,000 in data conversions). If interested in this opportunity, the PI should identify in their application the dataset(s) they would like to convert for use and briefly explain why their project will benefit from access to the dataset(s). For questions about Roper Center archival data and conversion estimates, contact the Roper Center via email at email@example.com.
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. Awards for conferences rarely exceed $5,000. We do not support conferences organized by non-Cornell affiliated entities.
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)
Total dollar amount requested
Proposal type: research or conference
Indicate if the application qualifies under one of the special topics for the current round of funding OR is applying for Roper Center matching funds
If applying for Roper Center matching funds, PI must identify in the application portal the historical public opinion dataset(s) they would like to convert for use
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
If applying for Roper Center matching funds, the PI must briefly explain why the project will benefit from access to the historical public opinion dataset(s) they would like to convert for use
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
If applying for Roper Center matching funds, the PI must work with the Roper Center to identify the estimated cost for converting the historical public opinion dataset(s) they would like to use and include the estimate as a line item in their budget. (The PI can apply for up to $12,000 in grant funding to convert these data to usable formats. The Roper Center will match the CCSS grant with an in-kind contribution (i.e., a $12,000 award would equal $24,000 in data conversions).)
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 aLs225@cornell.edu.
The maximum small grant award is $12,000. Faculty receiving a previous CCSS grant research award (or former ISS small grant) 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 Amanda King. 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.
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.
The review process for CCSS grants has changed to one modeled after many field conference review formats. 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 applying for a grant 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. Previous recipients of CCSS grants are required to wait two years before they are eligible for another CCSS award.
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.
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 Buy.com. 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 Amanda King 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 Amanda King.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.