Open-concept research bullpens, active collaboration rooms, and team spaces create a fertile intellectual environment to stimulate methodological innovation and program growth. Technologies for e-collaboration allow UChicago scholars to engage research leaders from around the world. Already more common in the biological and physical sciences, this sort of “laboratory” organization of research space creates new opportunities to bring together multi-generational research teams—student assistants, postdoctoral researchers, junior faculty, and senior scientists—to strengthen the research enterprise, establish the next generation of research leaders, and become a global destination for a distinctly Chicago style of social research.
Facilitating Thought Leadership
SSD faculty are uniquely positioned to make essential contributions to public knowledge. From considerations of public health, to the global economy and political structures, to education, culture and social life, many faculty have highly relevant – and potentially transformative – expertise to share. The Facilitating Thought Leadership program, launching in April 2020, provides support to SSD faculty in writing and placing op-eds in major news outlets. Partnering with op-ed consultant Dave Nussbaum, and working closely with the Academic Communicators Network and University Communications, the program provides support for conceptualizing, writing, and pitching op-eds that share research and academic analysis.
Faculty Seed Grant Program
The Social Sciences Research Center launched its faculty research seed grant program in February 2018. The program is designed to support high-risk, high-reward projects and enable faculty to quickly and efficiently test their most promising and innovative ideas via competitive research grants. These one- to two-year grants support early or novel stage research, with a special focus on projects that transcend the boundaries of any one discipline. Grant projects are designed to provide the “proof of concept” our researchers need to secure larger investments from federal agencies and foundations. The program is intended to foster an entrepreneurial environment in which novel ideas can be tested and scaled, and new schools of thought and inquiry can flourish.
Graduate Fellows Program
The SSRC launched its Graduate Student Fellowship Program in January 2019. The program is designed to provide the Division’s most talented PhD candidates with dedicated work space alongside the dynamic community of scholars in the SSRC, and easy access to SSRC’s research workshops and training sessions. Each year, a research theme will be chosen in order to help foster discussion and connections among Fellows. This first year, we focus on graduate students using multiple methods in their research programs. We also offered a modest stipend of $500 assist students with final-stage research expenses.
Data Resources for Research
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented major challenges to researchers in conducting studies and accessing resources. In order to assist faculty, students, and research staff who are in need of data to complete their studies, the Social Sciences Research Center has launched the Data Resources for Research guide. This guide provides an overview of available datasets, research tools, and computing resources.