The University of Massachusetts Amherst


The research of our faculty helps us to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities facing our society. They produce impactful, essential studies and research that offer real-world, tangible outcomes—such as policy solutions and groundbreaking ideas for companies, non-governmental and governmental organizations, labor unions, and non-profit agencies. 

Every day, SBS faculty members engage in research that enriches human life and human potential.

Our widely published faculty members receive numerous awards and acclaim for their research. Our faculty win research funding and fellowships from the National Science Foundation and numerous foundations. Many SBS professors are routinely tapped to offer expert opinions in leading journals, in national media outlets, as expert witnesses and in congressional testimony.  Their work demonstrates precisely why social science matters.

Research Topics

Our faculty conducts research on a wide-range of social, cultural, racial and economic issues. For example, faculty members are investigating the economic benefits of marriage equality; the impact of raising the minimum wage; food safety and nutrition; money in politics; cybersecurity; and gender differences in the workplace. Their work continues to evolve to reflect the changing needs of society.

Institute for Social Science Research

The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) is our main research hub. ISSR’s mission is to promote excellence in social science research. One of ISSR’s goals is to strengthen existing social science infrastructure on campus in order to promote high-quality scholarship. ISSR supports the methods and training needs of faculty and their graduate students, provides information and support on grant opportunities, and facilitates social scientists’ interdisciplinary collaboration, including with natural scientists and engineers.

Additional Support for Research

SBS has a strong commitment to a range of social science research approaches, including, but not limited to: basic, applied, and community-engaged research. Faculty members have a wealth of resources and funding opportunities to support their work through the Institute for Social Science Research and over a dozen additional initiatives.

SBS is also a strong supporter of undergraduate research and can apply for fellowships through their departments. Our faculty encourages undergraduate student involvement in a variety of research ventures, leading to award winning, deeply meaningful work.

Additionally, the Dean’s Research Council offers a number of grants to support research each year. A strong preference is given to generating a new research project or a new direction within an existing project.