Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)! The mission of ISSR is to promote excellence in social science research across the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Our goal is to provide resources and support for researchers using social science methods, seeking to take part in collaborative and interdisciplinary research, doing publicly engaged research, and seeking external funding for research.

We are delighted to serve faculty and students across campus, including those from the College of Social and Behavioral Science, the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Public Health and Health Sciences, the Isenberg School of Management, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the College of Nursing. 

ISSR may be best known for its excellent methodology program, which includes many workshops provided throughout the year, and one-on-one consulting with graduate student consultants and the superb Director of Research Methods program, Jessica Pearlman, Ph.D. We provide support for quantitative as well as qualitative research methods. Through ISSR Summer workshops, UMass has become a destination of choice for many faculty and students from around the world, who would like to learn new methods.

We are also deeply interested in supporting interdisciplinary collaborations which include social scientists throughout the campus. There are many successful collaborations that have been supported through ISSR, such as the Social Science and Environment network and the Center for Employment Equity. We are excited to support the development of many new collaborations.

Public engagement is another key element of our work. We provide support to faculty who want to see their research actually impact the “real world,” in part through our collaboration with the Public Engagement Project. Basing decisions on empirical social science research is critical, and matters more today than ever before.   

Finally, we support faculty working toward grant-funded research, through the ISSR Scholars program, which allows faculty to spend a year together writing grant proposals, under the mentorship of ISSR Scholars Leaders. In addition, we work to support proposal development and submissions for faculty across the university.  

We are proud of the difference ISSR makes to this campus, and want very much to see that impact continue and grow!

Thanks so much for your interest in our work,

Joya Misra
ISSR Director