Social Sciences Research Center

A graduate student works at his desk in the SSRC.

Rapid advances in technology are transforming how social scientists investigate and understand the world. Researchers increasingly combine traditional social science methods – including statistical analysis, game theory, ethnography, and experimental psychology – with twenty first century tools – such as genome sequencing, fMRI, machine learning, and geo-spatial analysis. The Division's Social Sciences Research Center (SSRC) provides an incubator to harness the potential of these new research synergies and extends a long tradition of interdisciplinary work at the University of Chicago through an emphasis on multi-methods research and scholarly collaboration.

The SSRC fosters a team-based approach to the practice of social science research through a focus on interdisciplinary investigation and an open physical space where social scientists can have the conversations that move their work forward. Currently, the SSRC houses fourteen faculty members and their projects, which are supported by more than $12 million in active federal and private grants. In addition, the Center offers seed grants for faculty and research stipends for outstanding graduate students through two sets of competitive fellowships. 

The SSRC team provides comprehensive research development support to faculty in the Division of the Social Sciences, Harris School for Public Policy, and the School of Social Service Administration with the goal of maximizing research productivity and impact. Services offered include developing strategic funding plans for faculty, research teams, and centers; communicating research priorities and funding opportunities; and assisting with proposal development and writing.

The SSRC facilitates partnerships and programs with multiple social science centers on campus, giving scholars a multitude of resources to work with as their projects grow. Adjacent to the SSRC’s offices is the University of Chicago’s Secure Data Enclave, a centralized service for researchers who work with sensitive data. Campus partners like the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the Knowledge Lab, and the Center for Spatial Data Science are co-locating with the SSRC at 1155 E. 60th St, near the Harris School for Public Policy and the School of Social Service Administration.