Center for Social Data Analytics requests proposals for inaugural C-SoDA Accelerator Award Program

C-SoDA Accelerator Award Program:

The Center for Social Data Analytics (C-SoDA) provides financial support to doctoral students and faculty members at Pennsylvania State University to catalyze the acquisition of external support for cutting edge research in Social Data Analytics (SoDA). The purposes of this funding mechanism are two-fold; (1) to support pilot research that enhances proposals for external sponsorship of cutting-edge SoDA projects, and (2) to facilitate the development of the proposals themselves. Proposals are evaluated by C-SoDA leadership and C- SoDA affiliated scholars.

Program Guidelines:

  • SoDA Accelerator proposals must be submitted by November 16, 2018.

  • Accelerator awards are intended to support projects with a well-defined research objective, a qualified team of Penn State tenure track faculty and/or doctoral students, and one or more appropriate external funding opportunities.

  • Feedback on proposals will typically be provided within four weeks of the submission date.

  • Funds are allocated for a twelve-month period.
  • Budget totals carry the following limits. There are two broad types of awards.
    • Faculty Awards, on which faculty members serve as principal investigators (PI)s. Faculty Awards carry different limits based on whether one of the PIs is a C-SoDA affiliated faculty member. If the single principal investigator is a C-SoDA affiliate faculty member, the budget maximum is $20k. If there is more than one faculty member PI, and at least one is a C-SoDA affiliate faculty member, the budget maximum is $25k. If the single PI is not a C-SoDA affiliate faculty member, the budget maximum is $15k. If there is more than one faculty member PI, and none are C-SoDA affiliates, the budget maximum is $20k.
    • Doctoral Awards, on which doctoral students serve as PIs. If one or more of the PIs has been admitted to either the graduate minor or dual-title program in SoDA, the budget maximum is $7,500. If none of the PIs has been admitted to a SoDA graduate program, the budget maximum is $5,000.

Review Criteria:

  • The priority is to fund projects that advance the field of Social Data Analytics. Research aims can include, but are not limited to, innovative substantive applications of advanced analytics, the curation of new social data resources, and/or the development of new methods for social data analytics.

  • A thoughtful timeline according to which the pilot research will be completed, and the proposal(s) for external funding will be submitted.

  • For multiple-PI proposals, priority is to fund diverse teams. Diversity is defined in terms of discipline/department, rank (for Faculty Awards), and demographic background characteristics.

  • A clear case regarding the potential for securing external funding for a broader project related to the seed grant.

For further details on allowable expenses, obligations of awards, and application requirements, please see the full SoDA Accelerator Program Request for Proposals.

For questions, please contact:

Bruce Desmarais (, Associate Director of the Center for Social Data Analytics, and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science.