More About IRiSS

Our Mission

Founded in 2004 with the broad goal of advancing social science research at Stanford, the 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.  IRiSS provides a platform for collaboration across the departments of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology, and Stanford’s professional schools. At the core of our activity, IRiSS:

  • Invests in new core research infrastructure for the social science community, including the development and deployment of advanced technology systems;
  • Creates a collaborative research community, and expands research support, that strengthens Stanford’s ability to attract and retain top-tier faculty and students; 
  • Makes seed grants and sponsors a faculty fellows programs for interdisciplinary work that effectively promotes scientific research and results;
  • Teaches graduate and undergraduate students state-of-the-art methods for data acquisition and analysis that strengthen scientific inquiry;
  • Equips faculty and students with research tools to maximize their productivity and potential;
  • Convenes conferences of leading scholars and students to further the debate and bring scientific methodology to bear on large-scale societal problems;
  • Collaborates with leading universities to disseminate information and leverage research worldwide.

Data Driven Discovery for the Social Sciences

IRiSS hosts five interdisciplinary research centers focused on the problems of poverty and inequality, the impact of philanthropy, NGOs and government agencies, American elections studies, democratic stability, and population studies.  IRiSS supports three research initiatives in advanced interdisciplinary methods, experimental research, and access to secure data.  Additionally, IRiSS hosts a branch of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Research Data Center.

For additional information, see our Programs and Centers