From the evening of Sunday, August 8, to the morning of Friday, August 20, 2021, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) will sponsor the 4th Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics, to be held at the Stoweflake Mountain Hotel in Stowe, Vermont, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and depending on various factors including vaccination rates, CDC recommendations, and state/local policies, we may modify the institute to include online instruction or postpone in-person instruction to the following year. We apologize for the ambiguity and uncertainty, but we want to make sure that the summer institute is both a high quality and safe experience. We expect that a final decision on the institute will be made in late May or early June.

The purpose of this two-week workshop is to introduce graduate students and beginning faculty in economics, sociology, psychology, statistics, genetics, and other disciplines to the methods of social-science genomics—the analysis of genomic data in social science research. The program will include interpretation and estimation of different concepts of heritability; the biology of genetic inheritance, gene expression, and epigenetics; design and analysis of genetic-association studies; analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; estimation and use of polygenic scores; as well as applications of genomic data in the social sciences.

The co-organizers and principal faculty of the Summer Institute are Daniel Benjamin (UCLA), David Cesarini (NYU), and Patrick Turley (Harvard-MIT Broad Institute) who will be in attendance for the full program. Visiting faculty are still to be determined, but in past years have included Paige Harden (UT Austin), Matt Keller (UC Boulder), Dalton Conley (NYU), Tõnu Esko (University of Tartu and Harvard-MIT Broad Institute), James Lee (University of Minnesota), Michelle Meyer (Geisinger Health System), Aysu Okbay (Vrije University Amsterdam), Jonathan Beauchamp (George Mason University), and Philipp Koellinger (Vrije University Amsterdam).


The instructional program will be highly quantitative. Participants will be expected to learn relevant software packages and solve problem sets throughout the workshop. The schedule is designed to provide opportunities for students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, visiting faculty, and other participants. For last year’s schedule and example problem sets, see http://www.rsfgenomicsschool.com/materials.



Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and untenured faculty within 10 years of the Ph.D. Assuming the event is held in-person, most participant costs during the workshop, including housing and most meals, will be covered, and economy-class travel expenses will be reimbursed by the foundation up to a set cap (covering most, but not all, of anticipated travel costs). If the event is in-person, to maintain social distancing, no more than twenty applicants will be invited to participate. (If the event is held online, then more than twenty applicants will be invited to participate.) Participants will be required to complete one problem set in advance, and to fully attend and participate in all sessions of the program.

The Summer Institute in Social-Science Genomics is an initiative of the Russell Sage Foundation and its Biology and Social Science Working Group. It is co-sponsored with the JPB Foundation.