Programs & Initiatives

Social Science Matrix sponsors an array of multi-disciplinary research initiatives at UC Berkeley.

Reimagining Democracy: A Town Hall Series at UC Berkeley

Presented as part of UC Berkeley's Light the Way campaign, Social Science Matrix — together with the College of Letters & Science and other units on campus — are gathering UC Berkeley's best to launch a university-wide effort to help society reimagine democracy

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Solidarity and Strife: Democracies in a Time of Pandemic

Social Science Matrix and D-Lab have received a grant from the Social Science Research Council’s Social Data Research and Dissertation Fellowship program to pursue a new, year-long initiative entitled “Solidarity and Strive: Democracies in a Time of Pandemic.”

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Dissertation Proposal Development Workshops

Led by Social Science Matrix Interim Director Michael Watts, Emeritus "Class of 1963" Professor of Geography and Development Studies at UC Berkeley, Dissertation Proposal Development Workshops aim to help graduate students from departments within the social science division to formulate realistic and rigorous dissertation proposals that are mindful of how their work pertains to a broader interdisciplinary field.

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Graduate Student Research Associates

Graduate Student Research Associates serve limited-term appointments during the academic year. As UC Berkeley’s flagship institute for cross-disciplinary social science research, Matrix believes that social science inquiry contributes relevant and actionable knowledge, not only about the social world, but also about the university and the generation of knowledge.

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Matrix On Point

Matrix On Point is a new “brown bag” series promoting focused, cross-disciplinary conversations on today’s most pressing contemporary issues—topics such as Brexit, climate change, voting rights, and food security. Offering opportunities for scholarly exchange and interaction, each Matrix On Point will feature the perspectives of leading scholars and specialists from different disciplines, followed by an open conversation. These thought-provoking events are free and open to the public.

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“Authors Meet Critics” Book Series

Social Science Matrix's new "Authors Meet Critics" book series features lively discussions about recently published books by social scientists at UC Berkeley. For each event, the author will discuss the key arguments of their book with fellow scholars. These events are free and open to the public. Visit our Events Page for details about upcoming "Authors Meet Critics" events. Or visit this page to see videos from past events.

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Pop-Up Writing Workshops

Social Science Matrix invites proposals from faculty, graduate students, and UC Berkeley-affiliated researchers for single-session writing workshops for the 2019-2020 academic year. As UC Berkeley’s cross-disciplinary social science incubator, Matrix seeks to both support scholarly generation and promote interdisciplinary conversations. Pop-up Writing Workshops may be formed around any topic or theme. Workshops should focus on one or more in-progress, article-length publications.

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Matrix Working Groups

As UC Berkeley’s cross-disciplinary incubator, Matrix seeks to encourage scholarly collaboration across and beyond the social science division and facilitate rigorous explorations of emerging research areas. Matrix Working Groups can be formed around any topic or theme and may include scholars from humanities and sciences departments. Successful applicants will define a compelling topic, outline a few key readings or proposed events, and provide a list of potential participants and discussants. Priority will be given to groups that have membership from two or more disciplines.

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Matrix Solidarity Series

The Matrix Solidarity Series features talks and panels that explore—and critique—the ethical foundations, concrete implementations, and prospective designs that have fostered or may foster connectedness, inclusiveness, and tolerance in a fragmented, exclusionary, and uncharitable world. These conversations are meant to serve as an argument on behalf of the premises and practices of solidarity, and an exposition of the potential of the social sciences to contribute to it.

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Matrix Research Teams

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.

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