Testing the (Un)Importance of Disciplinary Boundaries

Interdisciplinarity – a pursuit of thought and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries that underlies much of ISSR's work – has a value few would dispute in the abstract, but yields important puzzles and challenges in practice. On March 29, Millie Thayer (Sociology) led a panel conversation with four UMass scholars about their journeys toward interdisciplinarity, the historical sources and future evolution of academic boundaries, and the practical and political issues facing those who seek to build research, teaching and public engagement across disciplinary lines.

ISSR and OPD Triple Header Supporting Graduate Student Scholars

This Spring, ISSR partnered once again with the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development to offer seminars designed to help graduate student scholars put their best feet forward in the search for funding and employment. These events are just one more expression of the Graduate School’s investment in ISSR’s mission of advancing research excellence at UMass, alongside its support for training and tailored advising delivered throughout the year by ISSR’s Methodology Consultants.

ISSR Summer 2016 Methodology Workshops

ISSR Summer 2016 Methodology Workshops

Take advantage of summer consulting appointments, and a second session of the highly-demanded NVivo workshop (August 23-25), just before Modeling Emergence: Computer Simulation as a Theory-Building Tool (August 29-30). Please join us, and pass this information along to graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and fellow researchers within and beyond the Five Colleges. Fees are pro-rated to encourage any who wish to attend. 

ISSR Director Laurel Smith-Doerr and Graduate RAs Sharla Alegria and Tim Sacco Present at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Smith-Doerr at White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

ISSR Director Laurel Smith-Doerr and graduate RAs Sharla Alegria and Tim Sacco were invited to present their research on diversity in science teams at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on March 1.  

2016-2017 ISSR Scholars Named


The Institute for Social Science Research is pleased to announce the selection of our 2016-2017 Scholars, who represent six departments across four Colleges at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst: the College of Education, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Student Research Spotlight: Shayl Griffith, Making Sense of Smart Devices in Families

Although there are a great deal of data on how prevalent smart devices are in the home, there has been no systematic investigation into how smart devices are being used. Similar to the television, which was also adopted by households before researchers could study its effects, smart phones could have significant impacts on family dynamics and on how children learn. For her dissertation and CRF Family Research Fellowship, Shayl Griffith is working with Professor David Arnold to analyze the use of smart devices in the home.

Book Talk: This Program is Brought to You By...: Distributing Television News Online

Josh Braun, Assistant Professor in the Journalism Department, will discuss his recently published book on media distribution, This Program is Brought to You By...: Distributing Television News Online, for which he conducted interviews with teams and organizations within MSNBC, including the Rachel Maddow show. He also worked with NBC News and the staff responsible for both organizations’ digital platforms and social media channels.