Impact

SSRC Offers Social Media and Democracy Research Grants

August 22, 2018 1626

SSRC SDIThe Social Science Research Council’s Social Data Initiative, which aims to provide the social science research community with secure, reliable access to proprietary social media data, is seeking the first requests for proposals for its Social Media and Democracy Research Grants competition. In collaboration with Social Science One, an entity developed by professors Gary King and Nate Persily, Facebook will make its data available to independent social science researchers for the first time. The hope for both the initiative and the grants is to study important dynamics in our society, and potentially to shape the future of the social sciences. As an example, Social Science One tweeted upon opening the call for proposals, “Our first project is helping researchers study Facebook data to analyze the role of social media on elections and democracy, using our model that protects individual privacy and academic freedom.”

While there is no shortage of scholarly work on social media, the initiative has the potential to enable an unprecedented scale and scope of research. Scholars from all over the world, working with the same data and asking a broad set of questions about democracy and elections offers an opportunity to both build fields of study and come to meaningful conclusions about social processes globally.

Through the Social Media and Democracy Research Grants competition the SSRC will independently administer research funding, lead the peer review and data ethics review process, and work with SS1 to manage the research. “The SSRC has engaged with SS1,” according to SSRC President Alondra Nelson. “in accordance with the core commitments of the SDI: the highest standards of academic scholarship, data privacy, harnessing the perspectives leading scholars from diverse geographies and backgrounds, and mobilizing knowledge for the public good.” Their direct role in handling the data and liaising with Facebook helps to ensure that all-important review and funding decisions remain independent of the company.

A diverse group of funders made the Social Media and Democracy Research Grants competition possible: Laura and John Arnold FoundationThe Democracy FundThe William and Flora Hewlett FoundationThe John S. and James L. Knight FoundationThe Charles Koch FoundationOmidyar Network, and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Interested researchers are encouraged to submit proposals at apply.ssrc.org. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first period of review having begun August 9, 2018.


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization founded in 1923. It fosters innovative research, nurtures new generations of social scientists, deepens how inquiry is practiced within and across disciplines, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues. The Council collaborates with practitioners, policymakers, and academic researchers in the social sciences, related professions, and with colleagues in the humanities and natural sciences. We build interdisciplinary and international networks, work with partners around the world to link research to practice and policy, strengthen individual and institutional capacities for learning, and enhance public access to social knowledge.

View all posts by Social Science Research Council

Related Articles

Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action
Impact
April 18, 2024

Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action

Read Now
Three Decades of Rural Health Research and a Bumper Crop of Insights from South Africa
Impact
March 27, 2024

Three Decades of Rural Health Research and a Bumper Crop of Insights from South Africa

Read Now
Using Translational Research as a Model for Long-Term Impact
Impact
March 21, 2024

Using Translational Research as a Model for Long-Term Impact

Read Now
Norman B. Anderson, 1955-2024: Pioneering Psychologist and First Director of OBSSR
Impact
March 4, 2024

Norman B. Anderson, 1955-2024: Pioneering Psychologist and First Director of OBSSR

Read Now
New Feminist Newsletter The Evidence Makes Research on Gender Inequality Widely Accessible

New Feminist Newsletter The Evidence Makes Research on Gender Inequality Widely Accessible

Gloria Media, with support from Sage, has launched The Evidence, a feminist newsletter that covers what you need to know about gender […]

Read Now
New Podcast Series Applies Social Science to Social Justice Issues

New Podcast Series Applies Social Science to Social Justice Issues

Sage (the parent of Social Science Space) and the Surviving Society podcast have launched a collaborative podcast series, Social Science for Social […]

Read Now
The Importance of Using Proper Research Citations to Encourage Trustworthy News Reporting

The Importance of Using Proper Research Citations to Encourage Trustworthy News Reporting

Based on a study of how research is cited in national and local media sources, Andy Tattersall shows how research is often poorly represented in the media and suggests better community standards around linking to original research could improve trust in mainstream media.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments