Host a Partner Location

Application overview and process

Overview

You can host a partner location of the Summer Institutes of Computational Social Science (SICSS) at your university, company, NGO, or government agency. For universities, SICSS provides an exciting approach to training and building interdisciplinary community. For companies, NGOs, and government agencies, hosting a parter location enables building connections with the academic community, providing training for current employees, and recruiting future employees.


Hosting a Partner Location

In 2018 the Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science (SICSS) began including partner locations to broaden access to the field. Most partner locations conduct one week of intensive lectures and group exercises and one week creating new research projects in interdisciplinary teams. Organizers of partner locations either use our open-source teaching materials or create their own curriculum to serve the needs of the populations they aim to serve. May organizers also invite local speakers to further enrich their curriculum. This model has been used successfully at universities, non-profit companies, and corportations around the world. For a list of previous organizations that have hosted partner locations, see this link

In our experience, the minimum budget to support an in-person partner location is about $13,000, but the exact amount depends on local conditions. Virtual events can be done more cheaply. Here are some sample budgets for in-person events. If you have more questions about budgeting—or grants that may be available to support partner locations—please contact us at rsfcompsocsci@gmail.com. Note: If you are a visa holder outside of your country of citizenship, please work with your institution to determine whether you will be able to accept an honorarium payment for your role organizing a SICSS event.

In order to ensure quality and consistency, all partner locations must have a former participant of SICSS as one of the local organizers. If you don’t have any SICSS alumni at your organization, you can contact us about finding a former participant that could collaborate with you. Also, we ask that at least one of the organizers of a SICSS location be a faculty member or senior employee at a sponsoring institution in order to ensure access to necessary resources and create more robust connections to sponsoring organizations.

Mission and Guiding Principles

The mission of the Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science is to provide open, high-quality training in computational social science to researchers around the world in order to accelerate the growth of the field and ensure that it develops practices that are in the long-term interests of science and society.

As we work toward this mission, we are guided by the following principles:

  1. The training provided by SICSS will be free to participants.

  2. Any materials that organizers develop will be released open source.

  3. Funders and partners will have no impact on content. Our firewall between funding and content will be modeled on high-quality news organizations, such as the New York Times and National Public Radio.

Handbook for Organizers

For a much more detailed description of the process of hosting a partner location, please consult our Handbook for Organizers

Call for Applications 2022

Dear friend of SICSS,

We are very pleased to announce this call for applications to host SICSS partner locations in 2022. Though we hope that some organizers will be able to host in-person events, we recognize that the COVID pandemic continues to create significant challenges throughout the world and therefore also welcome applications for virtual events. Though virtual events may not allow for the depth of connections that might be created by in-person events, they also broaden access to the field towards those who might not be fortunate enough to live near a partner location– or cannot afford to travel one.

We are proud to announce that we will once again be able to provide financial support to those who wish to host partner locations thanks to the generous support of the funders described below. Unfortunately, the number of sites we expect to fund this year may be lower than years past due to funding limitations. Therefore, we are particularly hopeful that some partner location organizers may be able to self-sponsor their location via their own universities or organizations– or through developing partnerships with non-profit organizations or corportations (as an increasing number of organizers have done in the past few years).

Applications selected for financial support will receive $12,920 to support the cost of food, room rental fees, a TA, and an honorarium for the organizer or organizers (note, if there are multiple organizers, the honorarium amount must be split between them). Sites that propose an event less than one week will receive a smaller grant depending on its length and the resources required

Regardless of whether you apply for funding or self-sponsor a SICSS location, please complete the short application form below. If you have any questions, please consult the F.A.Q. below and– if this does not address your question– please email us at rsfcompsocsci@gmail.com

Applications will be reviewed by the brand new SICSS advisory council, which will aim to fulfill our goal of expanding access to training in the field to new audiences as much as possible.

With very best wishes, Chris Bail Director, SICSS

How to Apply

Applications to host a partner site in 2023 are due on Friday, November 18 by 5pm EST. An updated call for applications will be circulated in September.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t run the partner location during the scheduled dates?

That’s fine. SICSS 2018 in Boulder, Colorado and SICSS 2019 in Bamberg, Germany both happened at different times from the other partner locations.

What if I want to host a partner location in a different time zone from other locations?

That’s fine. Each year we have locations spread around the world.

How can I learn more about what it is like at a partner location?

At the end of each year, we write a post-mortem that describes what went well and what could be better at each of the partner locations. Here are our post-mortems from 2018, 2019, and 2020. Also, here are some articles and blog posts about the Summer Institutes:

Do you have any sample budgets?

Yes. Here are some sample budgets for an in-person partner location with 20 participants. However, you will need to adjust the numbers to align with the costs at your location. Note: If you are a visa holder outside of your country of citizenship, please work with your institution to determine whether you will be able to accept an honorarium payment for your role organizing a SICSS event.

Do you have any other tips for how to run a partner location?

Yes. Please consult the Handbook for Organizers linked above. Also Here’s some advice about running a partner location.

How long should our partner location run?

That’s up to you based on what you think makes sense in your context. The standard SICSS is two weeks: one week for instructor-led training and one week for participant-led group research projects. However, in the past, we have had one week partner locations that just focus on the instructor-led training. We’ve also had three week partner locations. Some added an extra week to allow more time for the participant-led group research projects and some added a one week “bootcamp” before the first week of SICSS.