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Scientific Solutions to Social Issues

A combination of massive data sets and powerful new computing tools are opening up new frontiers in the social sciences. Stanford is leading the charge in developing this new social science domain, where Stanford faculty and students are increasingly interested in applying their research to social issues like poverty, inequality, immigration, and democratic stability.

The Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences was founded to provide a home for this research, to train the next generation of scholars and policy innovators, to equip social scientists with cutting-edge research tools, and to facilitate collaborations with each of Stanford’s professional schools (Medicine, Education, Business, Law, Engineering, and Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences).

Your gift matters

Your gift of any size is an important investment that supports the Institute’s highest priorities, which include: 

  • Seed grants, which allow faculty to pursue high-risk, high-reward research projects that are so innovative that traditional funding sources are not available. Once these projects develop a track record of success, they are able to establish other funding sources. Recent seed grants have funded research on immigration and integration policy, online learning, the worldwide environmental justice movement, the predictability of economic recessions, and the design, implementation, and evaluation of training for law enforcement officers.
  • Training workshops for graduate students that prepare them to assemble, link, and analyze massive datasets collected by federal and state agencies and businesses (from Facebook to Uber and AirBnB.) Other labs and workshops provide training in the design and analysis of online surveys and how to “scrape” the web for information scattered across the globe.
  • Research opportunities for undergraduates, who will have the chance to work alongside faculty. In doing so, they will learn to apply rigorous methods to complex social and political issues that will help them seek solutions to pressing challenges in any field they enter.

Make a gift

Make A Gift
For more information about new ventures at the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, contact Chris Thomsen, Executive Director at (650) 736-7569. To discuss IRiSS gift opportunities or make a gift, contact Scott Sugiura, Associate Director for Development at (650) 723-1208.