Application Deadline: June 16th 2020
The Social Data Research Fellowship and the Social Data Dissertation Fellowship, new endeavors of the Social Science Research Council, with support from Omidyar Network, seek to encourage multifaceted pathways for the collection and analysis of social data, with the larger aim of cultivating robust research on technology and society. In particular, we are interested in supporting research that makes creative use of available social data to investigate how social media interact with democracy and elections. Expanding ethical scholarly access, use, and analysis of a range of social data is critical to understanding the complex ways that social media and other technologies impact political life and processes.
SSRC invites proposals from scholars in the social sciences and related fields for the Social Data Research Fellowship and the Social Data Dissertation Fellowship.
The Social Data Research Fellowship program is open to researchers who hold a PhD in a relevant discipline and are based at an institution of higher education (college or university) or a non-profit focused on social research. These awards may not exceed $50,000 US.
The Social Data Dissertation Fellowship program is open to PhD students who are actively enrolled in a PhD program, who may apply for awards of up to $15,000 US in support of dissertation research. Applicants to the program should have completed all PhD coursework by the beginning of the fellowship term.
Proposal Information and Resources
The full Request for Proposals, including a detailed list of proposal requirements and complete eligibility requirements, is available as a PDF here.
- The SSRC application portal will be open to accept applications beginning April 27, 2020.
- The Data Management Plan Guidelines are available here.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Review Process and Selection Criteria
Proposals will be reviewed according to the highest standards of academic research. All proposals are carefully reviewed by SSRC staff to ensure that the proposal meets basic eligibility requirements and that the application fulfills all submission requirements. Each application is then reviewed by persons outside of SSRC who are knowledgeable in the particular fields, methods, or approaches represented by the proposal. The selection committee, or some portion thereof, will meet to discuss proposals and their review, and produce a slate of recommendations for support.
Applications recommended for support will undergo additional ethics and privacy review. Each finalist proposal will be read by ethics reviewers, and any concerns or requests for changes will be shared with the PI via written report. Reports will focus on flagging potential concerns and recommending best practices to mitigate potential harms.
- Intellectual merit: the intellectual significance of the proposed project and its capacity to advance scholarship, scientific understanding, and/or public knowledge, as well as the degree to which the project offers thoughtful and generalizable models or new pathways for studying the impact of social media on democracy.
- Feasibility: the appropriateness of the proposed activities, methods, planned activities, and budget to accomplish the stated aims of the proposed project.
- Qualifications: the degree to which the participants have the expertise, skills, and knowledge to accomplish the stated aims of the proposed project.
- Ethics and Privacy: the commitment to and stated plan to meet or exceed standards for the ethical use of data, including the protection of individuals and their privacy.
This research is funded by Omidyar Network.