Matrix Research Teams are groups of scholars who gather regularly to explore or develop a novel question of significance in the social sciences. Successful research teams integrate participants from several social-science disciplines and diverse ranks (i.e. faculty and graduate students); address a compelling research question with real-world significance; and deploy or develop appropriate methodologies in creative ways.

Matrix teams may address any social science research question, theoretical or empirical, drawing on any of the social sciences. Matrix is especially interested in original and emerging approaches that explore new theoretical and empirical questions, and that combine research at different scales and from different methodologies.

Matrix currently sponsors three types of research teams, all of which are designed to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration among faculty and students at all levels:

  • Prospecting Teams receive funding in the amount of $1500. They run for a single semester, typically meeting 5-6 times, and explore a new area or question of inquiry and assess whether it has potential for further investigation. Where appropriate, funds may be used for a single event, such as a workshop. Depending on their progress, Prospecting Teams may convert to Project Teams and receive additional funding through a subsequent funding cycle.
  • Project Teams receive funding in the amount of $5000. They run for two semesters, meeting at least once a month around a defined research problem. Project teams work toward producing an output, such as a proposal for external funding, a workshop or conference, or a joint publication.
  • Theme Teams: Matrix also provides $7500 to teams whose work directly relates to our current theme, “Questioning the Evidence." We seek proposals focused on changing concepts, practices, and norms related to the collection, deployment, and analysis of data and evidence in the social sciences, and in society at large. We aim to provoke critical assessment of a range different kinds of evidence -observational, textual, digital, experimental, quantitative, or qualitative - and their consequences for current social theory and method. How, in turn, are various types of evidence deployed in society, for instance in debates over climate change, gun violence, campaign finance and political polling, migration, profiling, or in the corporate collection and analysis of data?  What are the consequences for society? The leaders of Theme Teams will help organize a Matrix-sponsored conference devoted to the theme.

In addition to funding, all Matrix Teams receive administrative support in coordinating, scheduling, reserving space in our offices on the top floor of Barrows Hall. All teams receive assistance with administering funding, as well as research development assistance from Matrix staff in identifying and applying for further funding. Matrix provides communications support to help publicize each group’s work, and we can help organize travel for a team’s participants or guests.

Click here for more information, including overviews of current and past Matrix Research Teams. Proposals for Matrix teams are accepted on a rotating basis. Please visit our Funding Page for more information, and sign up for our newsletter to receive announcements of requests for proposals.

Learn about Matrix Research Teams