Focus Areas
The Council nurtures the excellent, the experimental, and the innovative. A research area that is critical today may have been emerging just a few years ago, and the scope of the SSRC’s work reflects the ever-changing nature of human life and society. Our work is currently organized around the following general focus areas.
Emergent Technologies & Democracy

In an era of ubiquitous digital communication, uneven democratic participation, and heightened polarization, understanding the dynamic relationship between technology and politics is more important than ever.

Health & Society

Building bridges between the social and natural sciences, researchers and practitioners, and world regions, our programs investigate the global and local effects of pressing issues such as disease outbreaks and public health misinformation.

Inequality & Inclusion

Inequality—both in society at large and within the academy itself—remains an urgent issue. Council programs bring innovative social science analysis to bear on our understanding of the roots and consequences of unequal participation in political, economic, and social systems across the globe.

Global Scholarship & Collaboration

We catalyze collaboration among scholars and institutions across world regions, promoting research at the intersection of “place-based knowledge” and global issues that shape communities, nation-states, and the world.

By supporting scholars, generating and elevating new research, and building bridges between the academy, government, and the private sector, the Council’s diverse roster of programs address critical issues ranging from climate change in the Indian Ocean region to the global spread of disinformation.
Through a number of organization-wide projects and cross-institutional collaborations, we engage emergent research questions and facilitate field-defining conversations. These initiatives not only help to foster new pathways to understanding, but also serve as vehicles to advance research infrastructure across the social sciences.
Research Tools
Beyond providing scholars and the public with social science research, the Council makes available various pedagogical and investigation resources. These tools can better inform the work of researchers and policymakers.