Center for Social Sciences awards fall ’21 grants

The Cornell Center for Social Sciences grant program, which supports social science research by Cornell faculty members and conferences that directly benefit Cornell faculty and students, has awarded $142,636 for 15 proposals for fall 2021.

The center awarded four types of grants: CCSS research grants, CCSS super-department grants and School of Public Policy 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 who are not already an affiliate of the CCSS will be required to affiliate when they apply.

A primary goal is to fund research projects likely to lead to external funding. The center is particularly interested in jump-starting research by junior faculty. It also supports research by faculty teams spanning social science disciplines or units and interdisciplinary projects led or co-led by social scientists. The maximum award is $12,000.

CCSS Special Topic for Fall 2021: 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 researchers, at least 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 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.

Awarded Research Grants (PI listed first; co-PIs second)

Begum Adalet, Government

Transnational Theories

Transnational Theories examines a network of anticolonial and anti-capitalist authors, artists, and activists over the course of their Atlantic and Mediterranean crossings between 1930 and 1970 and situates them as interlocutors in political theories of racial capitalism, empire, and patriarchy.

Chloe Ahmann, Anthropology Devin Proctor, Elon University 

After Apocalypse: The Work of Utopia in White Power Activism

The white power movement is an apocalyptic force in the US, but is also animated by expectant visions of what will follow national collapse. Fighting extremism requires taking these visions seriously. We therefore propose to study the organizing power of utopia among white power activists.

Victoria Beard, City and Regional Planning

Global Survey of City Leaders

The Global Survey of City Leaders (GSCL) is the first globally representative survey of city leaders. The survey asks 200 mayors about their perspective, priorities, and actions taken to address their local economy, housing, infrastructure, built and natural environments, social issues, governance, and finance.

Heeyon Kim, Hotel Administration René Kizilcec, Information Science

How University Status Impacts the Stigma Attached to Online Degrees

This study will explore how having an online degree, as opposed to a conventional residential degree, influences the hiring decision of job candidates. We especially focus how the status of the university that issued the degrees impacts the potential negative evaluation of online degrees.

Kevin Kniffin, Applied Economics and Management

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Soft Skills Among STEM Doctoral Students

As the nature of STEM is increasingly team-based and cross-disciplinary, it is urgent that STEM doctoral students have access to strong training in Teamwork, Leadership, and Convergence skills. As a first step in that pursuit, this project will initiate a large and diverse sample.

Brian Lucas, Organizational Behavior

The Insight Bias: People Overestimate the Quality of Ideas Generated via Insight

Research finds that people’s beliefs about creativity can influence how they approach creative work and creative performance. I propose to study whether generating ideas via insight (or the “A-ha!” moment) versus non-insight biases people’s assessments of their ideas and, ultimately, their performance.

Courtney McCluney, Organizational Behavior Myles Durkee, University of Michigan

Implications of Racial Codeswitching on Bodily and Psychological Outcomes

The demands of racial code-switching place a major burden on Black people who must actively manage their social identities in academic and workplace settings to avoid facing further bias and unfair treatment (Blanchard, 2021). The purpose of this project is to examine the physiological, bodily, and emotional implications of racial code-switching.

Karl Pillemer, Psychology

Linking Families and Community Institutions: Testing the Partners in Care Intervention

This project will conduct a study of a intervention to improve cooperation and communication between family members of assisted living residents and staff. It will test whether “Partners in Care for Assisted Living” leads to positive outcomes for families, staff, residents, and communities.

Landon Schnabel, Sociology Katherine Zaslavsky, Sociology

Measuring Race as a Social Construct: Toward Improving the State of the Art

Race is a social construct but typically gets measured as if it were an essential characteristic. This project will ask open-ended questions about how people understand race and racial identification. We will then develop and test new race questions based on these open-ended data.

Jonathon Schuldt, Communication Michael Hoffmann, Entomology Danielle Eiseman, Communication Aaron Adalja, Hotel Administration Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, Applied Economics and Management

Understanding Perceptions of Climate Change Through Food

This project explores whether climate change concern is heightened when people are made aware of the increasing risks to food systems. A national survey experiment will be conducted that compares the effect of reading a message about general climate impacts vs. food-specific impacts.

Awarded Super-department and School of Public Policy Collaboration Grants (PI listed first; co-PIs second)

David Field, Psychology Adam Anderson, Psychology Shimon Edelman, Psychology Elif Celikors, Psychology

Investigating individual differences in the emotional and perceptual responses to visual scenes

Empirical findings suggest that environmental aesthetics can impact psychological well-being. The proposed work focuses on individual differences and task demands to examine how different visual perceptual strategies lead to a variety of aesthetic and affective responses to natural environments.

Vivian Zayas, Psychology Valerie Reyna, Psychology Randy Lee, Psychology 

The effect of causal mechanistic explanations on perceptions of research findings

Does including a causal explanation when presenting scientific findings paradoxically undermine the perception of the work’s importance? We examine the extent to which presenting research with (vs. without) mechanisms affects whether the work is evaluated as novel, replicable, and worthy of funding received.

Awarded Conference/Workshop Grants (PI listed first; co-PIs second)

David Bateman, Government

Congress & History Conference

The Congress & History Conference is an interdisciplinary, two-day meeting of political scientists, historians, economists, and legal scholars who study any aspect of Congress historically. Topics of special focus include substantive and descriptive representation; polarization; public policy; and the relationship of Congress to US democracy.

Jenny Goldstein, Global Development Levi van Sant, George Mason University 

Land Technologies: Interrogating Tools of Governance in the Colonial Present 

A growing number of critical social scientists argue that climate change, growing inequality, and right-wing populism are related crises produced by capitalism's inherent contradictions. Yet development institutions and state agencies continue to promote technical and bureaucratic solutions that feed capital accumulation and environmental injustice. This workshop revisits one of critical geography’s central concerns – the politics of land – in this context, linking foundational work on capital accumulation and social difference with studies of new biological, cartographic, financial, legal, and digital tools that are reshaping land politics.

Rene Kizilcec, Information Science

Learning at Scale Conference at Cornell Tech

The annual Learning at Scale conference brings together social scientists and computer scientists who study how technology can support learning in a scalable, sustainable, and equitable manner. In 2022, the conference will be hosted at Cornell Tech from June 1st to 3rd. Cornell faculty and students are encouraged to attend this year's workshops, panels, keynotes, paper and poster sessions.

A full list of award recipients can be found on the CCSS website.

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