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CCSS Fellows Program

Providing the time and space for ambitious research projects. 

  • Fellows Spotlight

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

The CCSS also sponsors the Accelerated Research Fellows Program, which provides support for social scientists applying for multi-phase research grants. For more information about that program, visit the Accelerated Research Fellows Program page.  

  • Fellows Overview

    Application process for the 2021-22 cohort is now closed. We'll begin accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort in late fall 2021. 

    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. Announcements calling for nominations are typically sent to Deans, Chairs and all affiliates in October.

    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

    Application process for the 2021-22 cohort is now closed. We'll begin accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort in late fall 2021. 

    Deans are asked to nominate their most promising tenure-line faculty in the social sciences with an eye toward Assistant Professors. The nomination files 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.
    Complete nomination files should be emailed to Anneliese Truame by the deadline for that program’s search.

    Please send one pdf file containing all pieces for a single nomination. The completed nomination file itself is composed of several parts:

    Items from Dean and Chair:

    Dean’s cover letter/email: One letter may be sent to affirm the nomination of the whole group of candidates from a college, or separate letters may be submitted for each candidate, as each Dean prefers. In either case, this cover letter should indicate the Dean’s support for the nomination(s) from the college and support for the terms of the fellowship as indicated on the CCSS website and in the letter of recommendation. The letter should:

    • identify which semester the candidate is requesting as the semester in residence at the CCSS.

    • include a basic plan of how the applicant’s teaching and service obligations will be covered while in residence as an indication of support for the leave. The letter should describe the nominee’s normal teaching load and the extent to which they will be excused from teaching by the department.

    • 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 semester requested.

    Letter of recommendation: 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.

    • indicate if/when the candidate’s upcoming review is estimated to occur.

    • indicate whether the course off-set support should be transferred to a department account or college account (practice varies by college/school.)

    Items from Nominee:

    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 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 75-100 word abstract, a research project description, and a budget for $8,500.

    • Nominee CV: A complete and up-to-date CV.

    The Selection Process:

    Roughly 8-12 fellows will be selected for the program. The applications will be reviewed by the Co-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.

    Please contact Anneliese Truame with questions about the CCSS Fellows Program.

  • Guidelines


    Program Purpose

    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 quality 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.

    Program Description

    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 lunches 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.

    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.

    This year, 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.

    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.

    The CCSS Faculty Fellows Program will occur every year. 

  • FAQs

    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?

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

    Research funds are typically transferred in August of the fellowship year. If a Fellow could benefit from receiving the transfer earlier to support summer research, please contact Anneliese Truame.

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

    Fellowship awards have a term date of roughly three years. If the PI does not request an extension, funds that are not used within three years are returned to the CCSS for reallocation to subsequent grant awardees. Please contact Anneliese Truame to request an extension and include the award year, account number, account balance, and reason for requested extension.

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

    Fellows need CCSS approval to reallocate more than 25% of the funds at any point after funding. 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).

    What are the reporting requirements for the fellowship?

    Every year for three years, each Fellow is asked to file a 45-word impact statement and a brief report to the CCSS director regarding research progress, outcomes, and disposition of awarded funds. After the completion of each report, the CCSS will transfer $500 to the Fellow’s account to thank the Fellow for participating in reporting.

2021-22 Faculty Fellows

  • Dina Bishara

    International and Comparative Labor

    Ives Hall

    Dina Bishara
  • Alexandra Cirone


    317 White Hall

    Alexandra Cirone
  • Kathryn Fiorella

    Public Health

    S2-004 Schurman Hall

    Kathryn Fiorella
  • Cristina Florea


    450 McGraw Hall

    Cristina Florea
  • Jenny Goldstein

    Global Development

    251B Warren Hall

    Jenny Goldstein
  • Marlen Gonzalez

    Human Development

    Martha Van Rensselaer Hall

    Marlen Gonzalez
  • Nicholas Klein

    City and Regional Planning

    214 W. Sibley Hall

    Nicholas Klein
  • Barum Park


    323 Uris Hall

    Barum Park
  • Evan Riehl


    266 Ives Hall

    Evan Riehl
  • Nicholas Sanders

    Policy Analysis and Management

    Kennedy 422

    Nicholas Sanders
  • Katherine Sender


    485 Mann Library Building

    Katherine Sender
  • Simone Tang

    Hotel Administration

    Statler Hall

    Simone Tang
  • Eleanor Wilking


    120 Myron Taylor Hall

    Eleanor Wilking

View past CCSS Fellows cohorts on our Grant Database.


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