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CCSS Grants

Faculty can apply for seed funds to support innovative research and collaborative conferences.

  • CCSS Grants

    • CCSS Grant Program for Cornell Faculty Members

      The deadline for the Fall 2021 round of grants is Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Please check back this summer for the online application. 

      The CCSS Grant program supports social science research by PI-eligible Cornell faculty members and conferences that directly benefit Cornell faculty and students. For the Fall 2021 round there are three types of grants: CCSS research grants, CCSS-Roper Center grants, and CCSS conference grants. All PI-eligible Cornell faculty in the social sciences are eligible to apply for these awards. Those that are 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-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at Cornell has identified hundreds of historical public opinion datasets from around the world that are currently in outdated file formats. 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. Cornell faculty can apply to 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). As with standard CCSS Research Grants, primary goals include funding projects that are likely to lead to external funding and to jump-start junior faculty research. For questions about Roper data and conversion estimates, contact the Roper Center.

      CCSS Conference/Workshop Grants

      We provide funding for interdisciplinary conferences, held at Cornell, open to all Cornell faculty members, and publicized. Awards for conferences rarely exceed $5,000. We do not support conferences organized by non-Cornell affiliated entities.

    • The deadline for the Fall 2021 round of grants is Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Please check back this summer for the online application. 

      Have the following information ready to paste into the application portal: 

      • Name, professorial title (Assistant, Associate, Full Professor), departmental and college affiliation

      • Co-PIs (if you have a Co-PI, you must specify a lead PI)

      • Proposal title

      • Total dollar amount requested

      • Proposal type: research or conference

      • Indicate if the application intends to use Roper Center matching funds OR qualifies under one of the special topics for the current round of funding

      • Provide your plan for data replication and archiving

      • 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 abstract (150 word max.) that is “publication ready” 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 availability/replicability plan (see guidelines for more info)

        • All funded grants, when appropriate, are expected to comply with CCSS policies on pre-registration, replication, and public data accessibility. Funded PIs will be given guidance on these matters in the award letter. 

      • 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 link to RFP), if any

      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

      • Replication expenses can be included in the budget


      • A brief bibliography (under one page)

      • 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

    • Funding

      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. Funds not used within two years are returned to the CCSS for reallocation to other small grant awardees. In the event, the principal investigator leaves Cornell, 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 archive data and replication materials for any published analysis in a permanent archive, such as the CISER data archive, Dataverse, ICPSR, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, or the Qualitative Data Repository. Published analysis includes books, academic articles, and more popular outlets such as op-eds and blog posts. CCSS also strongly encourages pre-registration of all research with a goal of hypothesis testing.

      For advice on internal data archiving options, contact Lynda Kellam, CCSS Data Librarian, for more information.


      The goal of making data available may sometimes be in tension with other critical goals. If this is the case, CCSS requires researchers to articulate how they balance these competing concerns. When possible, research proposals to CCSS should anticipate and address these competing goals. In cases where data and research materials cannot be made available, whenever possible, the data/materials should still be archived (just not publicly available), replication/reproduction code should still be made available, and a third-party reviewer should verify the code or analysis guidelines reproduce all results.


      Preregistering research means the research plan is specified in advance and submitted to a registry, such as the Center for Open Science. CCSS strongly recommends pre-registration of all confirmatory (i.e., hypothesis-testing) research and requests that when relevant, such details are included in grant proposals.


      For support with data archiving best practices and recommendations, contact our CCSS Data Librarian.

      CCSS can also help you archive your data and you can include the cost of verifying and archiving your results in internal and external grants. Contact us for pricing details.


      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. 

      Eligible activities

      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), or general-use hardware or software. We also do not pay for training, such as on an econometric technique. We also are unable to support undergraduate or graduate student research projects with faculty CCSS grant funds.

      Review Process

      The review process for CCSS grants has changed to a reviewing process 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 who 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 the reviewing candidate’s application for funds will be disqualified. Research proposals with budgets below $5,000 will be internally reviewed. Previous recipients of CCSS grants are required to wait two years before they are eligible for another CCSS award. 

      Application Deadlines

      The deadline for Fall 2021 is Tuesday, September 14, 2021 with awards announced Tuesday, November 9, 2021.


      Contact CCSS if you have questions about any of these policies.

    • Is my research considered social science?

      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, Department of Energy, and other agencies all 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 eligible 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 large 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 on 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 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?

      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 members of the faculty?

      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.

      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 that are 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 I receive my award?

      PIs need CCSS approval to reallocate more than 25 percent of the funds at any point after funding. Please contact Anneliese Truame to request an extension and include the award year, account number, account balance, and reason for requested extension.

      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 contacting Anneliese Truame. Please include the following in your request:

      • year and season of your funding (i.e. Fall 2018)

      • amount of funds remaining

      • progress thus far

      • revised timeline for completion of the project

      • revised research plan if the research is being tackled in a different way than originally proposed (due to Covid or other factors)

      • reallocation above 25% of the original award amount, if applicable (due to Covid or other factors)

      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 as opposed to faculty from other institutions. 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 or received CCSS Faculty Fellow funding can reapply for funding after a two-year wait. In other words, if CCSS funding was received in Fall 2017, the faculty member may reapply in Fall 2019. Exceptions to this is that prior research grant awardees are able to 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 the two years before submitting another conference grant proposal.

      Can CCSS Grants be used to fund graduate student research?

      Not at this time.

      For more information on the small grants program, please see the Overview section. Please direct questions to

  • CCSS Awards and Conferences

    For Chronicle coverage on the most recent CCSS awards, click here

    • Spring 2021

      To be announced April 14, 2021. 

    • Fall 2019


      Multigenerational Neighborhood Effects

      Inequality in life chances is often rooted in the opportunity structure of previous generations. This project examines whether two successive generations of childhood exposure to neighborhood disadvantage is associated with respondents’ future adult well-being outcomes and the childhood health outcomes of their children. In addition, this project examines two potential sources of variation for neighborhood effects: (1) the timing of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods in childhood and (2) race and ethnicity. Studying the timing of exposure has the potential to uncover particular stages of childhood development when neighborhood-level policies and interventions may be most effective. Studying variation in neighborhood effects by race and ethnicity can also direct policy and intervention resources to particularly vulnerable population sub-groups.


      What is the Advantage of Medicare Advantage? Supply and Demand Factors in Medicare Beneficiaries’ Enrollment in Private Insurance

      Historically, the U.S. government’s Medicare program directly paid health-care providers for delivering medical services to elderly and disabled beneficiaries. But over the past decade, more and more Medicare beneficiaries have chosen to instead enroll in private health insurance via the Medicare Advantage program. As of 2018, 32% of the U.S. government’s $731 billion in Medicare spending is routed to Medicare Advantage insurers. Colleen Carey (Cornell, Department of Policy Analysis and Management) and Marika Cabral (University of Texas) combine a state-of-the-art statistical technique with large geographic variation in the Medicare Advantage enrollment rate to determine what market features predict high Medicare Advantage enrollment. Since Medicare Advantage plans differ from traditional Medicare in limiting beneficiaries to a network of physicians, the authors develop a novel measure of Medicare Advantage network breadth to determine how plan networks affect enrollment. The research will help improve the design and regulation of the Medicare Advantage program.


      Returns to Mechanization through Rental Equipment Markets

      In this project, we study misallocation in equipment rental markets and its impact on agricultural productivity. Mechanization is one of the main inputs in modern agriculture, and the lack of it, an important contributor to the low productivity observed in poor countries. Mechanization is particularly difficult for smallholder farmers, because mechanized practices require scale and equipment purchases that are large, relative to a farmer’s wealth. The development of rental markets for equipment is a key mechanism to grant access to mechanization to smallholder farmers. Yet, not much is known about their workings and their impact for farmers’ livelihoods and agricultural productivity. This project fills the gap by gathering the first systematic detailed transaction information, leveraging a government intervention in India. With this information we aim to answer: What is the extent of misallocation in equipment usage across farms? What type of market arrangements can improve upon the current ones? In developing countries, most rental contracts are relational, lack enforcement mechanisms, and tend to disadvantage smallholder farmers with long delays in service provision. The government of Karnataka has set up a first-come-first-serve (FCFS) rental provider to improve accessibility to this market. We combine administrative data from that intervention with our own survey data from 7000 farming households. We show that delays in service provision are costly, particularly so for smallholder providers. We structurally simulate a market arrangement where equipment owners rent their own equipment and compare outcomes with the FCFS allocation calibrated to fit the data. The solution to the optimal service queueing problem and the computation of productivity losses require evaluation of our structural model in 45 hubs over 90k transactions.


      The Moral Psychology of Public Life: An Interdisciplinary Conference

      In recent years, interdisciplinary inquiry into the effects of human psychology on morality has exploded, engaging researchers from across the humanities and sciences in the rapidly coalescing discipline of moral psychology. At the same time, increasing technological and social complexity has heightened contemporary ethical challenges, and scientifically informed solutions to these challenges are sought by the public and policy-makers alike. The interdisciplinary conference The Moral Psychology of Public Life features leading experts in moral psychology who employ agenda-setting research to investigate topics in moral psychology—including group conflict, moral judgment and decision-making, outrage, and empathy—with connections to contemporary social issues. Cornell faculty in allied fields will present their work and commentary. The conference, on April 17–19, 2020, will further offer an understanding of morality as it unfolds in the transforming of the public domain, and will spark dialogue across the university and wider Cornell community.


      Community Needs Assessment on Facilitators and Inhibitors of Food Security in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico

      Fifteen million U.S. children live in “food-insecure” households, which means children within these households have limited access to nutritious foods due to cost, proximity and/or other types of resources. Families in predominantly minority and low-income neighborhoods are at increased risk for food insecurity. In Puerto Rico (P.R.), a Latin American country within a U.S. territory and of predominantly Latino residents, food insecurity affected 1.5 million people in 2017. That same year, childhood food insecurity rates in P.R. were nearly triple the average for the rest of the U.S. (56%). In the aftermath of hurricane Irma and Maria in the second half of that same year, Puerto Rican families are still facing contextual challenges across many levels (i.e., cultural, environmental, social, political) that exacerbates the food insecurity issues among many residents in the island. Since tackling food insecurity requires an examination of the contextual factors that ultimately shape such an issue, community-centered approaches to build capacity offer a promising model to address both social determinants of health inequalities and familial health outcomes in at-risk community settings. The purpose of this study is to conduct a community needs assessment to identify facilitators and inhibitors to building capacity towards sustainable food security efforts in an underserved community setting in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. This study is part of a larger community-based participatory research (CBPR) project, which will employ a community engaged collaborative process to develop a culturally-sensitive, family-centered intervention for Puerto Rican parents and their children (aged 0–8) to improve food accessibility, affordability, availability, and intake.


      Democratic Representation: Acts, Aesthetics, Institutions

      On May 15–16, 2020, Cornell will host its first annual conference of the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought. CSPT is the oldest scholarly organization dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the history of political thought. Originally founded in Toronto in 1967 by J.G.A. Pocock, Melvin Richter, and Neal Wood, CSPT is now composed of an extensive international network of affiliated groups and scholarly organizations. The organization aims to hold one major conference each year on a topic of broad theoretical and political significance, drawing together scholars from political science, political and social theory, intellectual history, philosophy and related fields. This year’s conference is titled “Democratic Representation: Acts, Aesthetics, Institutions.” The political crisis of our time—sometimes described as the international “populist explosion”—is often attributed to a systemic crisis of political representation. There are multiple symptoms of this crisis: the breakdown of traditional party systems, the polarization and paralysis of parliaments and legislatures, the degeneration of established systems of electoral accountability, the proliferation of extremist micropublics fueled by new social media, and the rise of charismatic authoritarian leaders claiming to speak on behalf of the “real people.” Political theorists have responded with a renewed interest in the normative and institutional underpinnings of political representation in constitutional democracies. Moving beyond preoccupations with what Hanna Pitkin described as the “mandate-independence controversy,” recent scholarship is considering not only how political representation can best reflect already constituted preferences, interests, constituencies, or identities, but also how different forms of political representation give shape to, mobilize, or enact those interests, preferences, and identities. This year’s CSPT conference at Cornell expands and elaborates on these questions by exploring the theoretical, historical, and empirical dilemmas internal to the very idea of democratic representation, which poses distinctive difficulties arising from the fraught nature of its constituent subject—the people—as well as from the concept and practice of representation itself. A group of distinguished scholars will explore the diverse challenges of democratic representation along three interdependent dimensions—acts, aesthetics, and institutions—that together articulate a complex and dynamic ecology of democratic representation, where no single agent, activity, or embodiment can claim final democratic authority, and where contest among and between them animates the agon of democratic politics.


      Whose America? U.S Immigration Policy Since 1986

      Immigration scholars from across the disciplines will come together in April 2020 for a one-day conference to examine the impact of post-1980 immigration laws and policies on U.S. society and transnational immigrant communities. The demographic changes brought about by the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, the political realignments of the post-Cold War period, and global neoliberal economic policies have elicited a corresponding impulse to reinforce borders, reassess humanitarian commitments, and privilege particular forms of labor. Today’s policies and practices—the dramatic shift toward border militarization, family separation, and deterrence practices such as expedited removal, for example—have been decades in the making and have their ideological and discursive origins in the 1980s and 1990s. The conference presentations (and the anthology that will follow) will address such issues as the deterrence and detention of undocumented workers and asylum seekers; the technologies of border enforcement; the privileging of high-skilled labor; diversity lotteries; racial, gender-based and ideological exclusion; migration as a tool of foreign policy; citizenship; Temporary Protected Status (TPS); and the sanctuary movement.


      Sub-Saharan African Migration Project (S-SMAP) (African Futures Project)

      This is a multi-sited interview project focused on Ghanaian and Kenyan youth enrolled in secondary and tertiary educational programs. The project seeks to determine what, if any, benefits are accrued by migrants through long-term migration by generating the most suitable comparison group for migrants: similarly situated peers who have not migrated. Baseline interviews with respondents with similar social and economic backgrounds will be conducted before long-term international migration has occurred. From this baseline sample, there will be two rounds of follow-up interviews (five and ten years removed from the baseline interviews). By the second and third interview waves, it is anticipated that a sizeable portion of respondents will have migrated. These six data points will help clarify what (if any) characteristics separate those who eventually migrate from those who remain and whether migrant social and economic outcomes after migration differ drastically from peers with similar backgrounds who remain in the sending society. This project uses mixed methods for this undertaking, which includes a screening survey, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and an assessment of institutional information and support for those who desire to migrate.


      The Take-Off of the Korean Wave: Antecedents and Consequences of the Globalization of Korean Pop Culture

      This study proposes an in-depth examination of the globalization of Korea pop culture (the “Korean wave”) to better understand the antecedents of successful cultural products and their subsequent consequences to the domestic market. Korean cultural products including pop music (K-pop) and TV dramas (K-drama) have diffused to numerous foreign markets since the late 1990s. The Korean wave is exemplary in that Korea was not considered to be a cultural powerhouse but Korean cultural products gained popularity beyond Asian markets but also in culturally dissimilar markets and mainstream markets such as the U.S. In the context of the Korean wave, this study specifically investigates 1) how institutions including government-driven policies can positively impact the development of domestic cultural industries, 2) what types of cultural products can succeed in different foreign markets, and 3), how the success of cultural products can have a broader impact on domestic industries and the economy. By investigating the success story of the Korean cultural wave, this study contributes to theories of cultural diffusion and globalization of cultural products as well as highlighting implications to policy-makers and managers in cultural industries.


      The Impact of Nature Engagement on the Health and Well-Being of University Staff and their Families

      This pilot study aims to examine the impacts of a loose parts recess program intervention at public elementary schools on the outdoor play, learning, and social activities of school-age children. The pilot study would utilize an observational approach known as behavior mapping to analyze children’s outdoor play activities at two schools, one in Toronto, Canada and one in Ithaca, New York, both before and after the implementation of a loose parts recess program. Loose parts programs install a diverse range of manipulable and non-prescriptive materials (e.g., tires, cardboard boxes and tubes, sand, building materials, pine cones, crates, etc.) in the school yard to increase the quality and diversity of self-directed outdoor play opportunities during recess. This pre–post behavior mapping study will isolate and examine the impact of loose parts provision on children’s play behaviors outdoors at school, particularly those that foster child development, learning and well-being, as well as discern spatial patterns in children’s social and environmental interactions with and without the availability of loose parts.

      Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT 30) - Support for Organizing a Conference

      Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 30 will take place at Cornell University from April 24–26, 2020. This annual international, interdisciplinary conference brings together researchers who study every aspect of meaning in natural language. SALT includes presentations on a wide range of phenomena from a variety of languages and from a variety of theoretical perspectives. These presentations focus on data from experiments, fieldwork on understudied languages, individual judgments or surveys of language communities. These data concern the form, meaning, and context of everyday language use, and are analyzed in terms of interacting linguistic and social competencies. Since being founded at Cornell in 1991, SALT has become the premier conference on the semantics of natural languages. Bringing SALT back to Cornell for the special occasion of its 30th installment will reaffirm Cornell’s position as a leader in this rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field, and enhance the already vibrant community of scholars working on this topic here.


      Social Science Symposium on Climate Change

      As David Fahrenthold noted in the Washington Post, climate change looks as if it was designed to be ignored: a vast, slow-moving problem, with no single villain, affecting communities and ecosystems across generations and around the globe. But as each new round of international negotiations reveals, climate change is also profoundly social: how people understand, engage with, and experience the issue is powerfully influenced by how others respond to the problem. Despite this growing recognition, and an urgent need for practical insights to bridging old and new social divides on the issue, social behavioral science research on climate change remains remarkably siloed within many social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, political science, psychology) relative to the natural sciences. The goal is to facilitate a social science symposium on climate change to bring together a group of distinguished scholars and practitioners to discuss emerging research on climate change, with a particular focus on bridging perspectives across the social and behavioral sciences. This two-day meeting (to be held in Claremont, California, in April 2020) will feature invited talks from leading researchers, and a follow-up workshop discussion on the state of the science and its application. Talks will showcase research that can advance scholarship on climate change as both an individual and collective decision-making problem, and its applications, and will result in an edited volume, to be published as part of the highly-cited Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology book series, under contract with Routledge. This volume is intended as an accessible and influential source for considering how insights from the social and behavioral sciences can inform climate change communication, advocacy, and public policy. In addition to the book, the symposium will provide critical time and space for leading researchers to plan grant proposals, such as NSF’s Research Coordination Networks (RCN) grants, that elevate emerging, interdisciplinary research.


      The Capacity to be Aggressive: Structured Management and Tax Behavior of Firms

      This project aims to consider the effect of firms’ organizational capacity—proxied by structured management practices—on tax planning behavior of multinational firms (MNEs). Management practices improve productivity and hence should increase taxable corporate income of firms. However, better managed firms may also be better at tax avoidance. We explore the relationship between reported profits and structured management practices in MNEs headquartered in high-tax home countries operating in a low-tax host countries. We consider whether the patterns of reported profits across jurisdictions are consistent with more “organizationally capable” firms shifting profits out of high-tax country affiliates into low-tax country affiliates. This project aims to add a novel explanation for why some firms are more likely to engage in aggressive tax planning, with implications to the cost-benefit analysis of government-funded management upgrading projects.


      The Effects of Avatar Appearance and Customization on Embodied Applications

      A number of clinical and educational applications hinge on creating a sense of embodiment and social presence in an avatar, or digital representation, of a patient or user. Research suggests that a more realistic appearance can enhance this sense of embodiment. However, increasing the level of realistic detail also means that the avatar will inevitably diverge from the actual appearance of any individual user. In social science experimentation, avatars are frequently customized only to the extent that they align to broad social categories, such as gender and race/ethnicity, but this imperfect customization may damage the illusion of embodiment for some participants. This proposal tests two current approaches to customizing avatars: first, what choices users would prefer to see in avatar customization, and second, what the effects of having well- or ill-matched avatars have on a number of measures relevant to social science. This research may highlight ways in which future development can improve avatar resemblance in a diverse population. It can also provide guidelines for researchers currently working in this area.

  • Funding Statistics

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    • Number of Projects Funded



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