University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Director's Welcome

Hello and welcome to the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The mission of ISSR is to promote excellence in social science research. We approach that goal with a variety of programs that are designed to: 1) support the development of methodological skills and tools for social scientists, 2) advance the meaningful participation of social scientists in interdisciplinary collaboration, 3) assist in the development of proposals and administration of funded research projects, and 4) promote the visibility of cutting-edge social science research.

10-Hour Undergraduate Research Assistantship Opportunity

NSF-Funded 10-Hour/Academic-year Undergraduate Research Assistant

September 5, 2014 - May 1, 2015, with potential for 1 year renewal for 2015-2016

Professor Michelle Budig is seeking an undergraduate with completed coursework in introductory statistics and/or research methods (e.g., SOC 212, SOC 213) for an NSF-funded full academic-year research assistantship. The project is entitled "Cross-National Differences in Gendered Self-Employment Participation and Earnings."

Upcoming Events

3-Day Workshop | Modeling Emergence: Computer Simulation of Social Dynamics

September 2, 2014 - 5:00pm to September 4, 2014 - 7:30pm

Dubois Library | Tower Room 1667

3-day workshop runs Sept 2nd 5-8pm, Sept 3rd 5-8pm, and Sept 4th 5:30-7:30pm.


Much quantitative social science and behavioral research has focused on identifying statistical relationships in cross-sectional data. While rigorous and tractable, this research typically assumes the objects of study are independent of one another, and thus assumes away the complex social processes that we hope to understand. Qualitative (ethnographic and comparative-historical) lenses have allowed us to view the social world as a web of interdependent and contingent processes, with macro-level cultures, communities and organizations emerging from and constraining the micro-level interactions of individuals, relationships and families. An explosion of recent work has used computer simulation to think systematically and rigorously about these complex social dynamics. Simulation research can offer rich, nuanced process models similar to qualitative work, but employs a rigorous, transparent and replicable framework that can be extended to other research contexts, similar to statistical approaches.


September 5, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Bartlett 107/ ISSR Lab

Fall is fast approaching and with it comes the NSF Fellowship application deadlines. ISSR, in collaboration with the UMass Graduate School, has pulled together an expert panel on maneuvering the NSF Fellowship application process. The panel will discuss everything from the resources available to you as a University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate student, to administrative logistics and student recipient advice.  This event is highly recommended for first and second year graduate students. Please join us and bring your questions! 

Click Here To Register

*Pre-registration is highly recommended for this event*

*lunch will be provided*