Skip to content Skip to navigation

About Us

Institute building

Our Mission

Founded in 2004 with the broad goal of advancing social science research, the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS) trains social scientists in advanced and innovative research methods, undertakes high-quality interdisciplinary research, and disseminates research findings that address significant global challenges.

At the core of our activity, Stanford IRiSS:

  • Invests in new core research infrastructure for the social science community, including the development of advanced technology systems;
  • Creates a collaborative research community to strengthen Stanford’s ability to attract and retain top-tier faculty and students; 
  • Offers seed grants and sponsors a faculty fellows program to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research;
  • Teaches graduate and undergraduate students state-of-the-art methods for data acquisition and analysis;
  • Convenes conferences of leading scholars and students to further the debate on large-scale societal problems;
  • Collaborates with leading universities to disseminate information and leverage research worldwide.

Data Driven Discovery for the Social Sciences

Democracy, poverty and inequality, philanthropy, immigration, online learning, and big data are the current foci of the Institute’s six research centers.  This work includes direction of the National Science Foundation sponsored American National Election Studies (shared with Michigan,) and one of only three National Poverty Research Centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, Stanford IRiSS hosts a branch of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Research Data Center.