Researchers whose proposals are selected for support will receive research funding, data access, and peer pre-review services. The process works as follows:
1. In partnership with Facebook, Social Science One identifies and prepares data sets useful for answering questions within the allowed scope and announces their availability to proposal writers. Most data sets will remain available for proposals submitted over time, and some may grow in size as additional observations become available on the platform.
2. Social Science One defines the criteria for Requests for Proposals (RFP) for SSRC to issue. The SSRC also conducts the initial review of receiving and previewing proposals.
3. Proposals may be submitted only by colleges and universities on behalf of faculty or others with standing to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs). Students, post-doctoral fellows and others may serve as co-PIs or co-investigators on faculty-led projects.
4. To submit a proposal, you must first receive approval from your university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the international equivalent before submitting it. In particular:
A. Under US federal regulations, applicants are not permitted to determine whether their research is exempt from further IRB screening or otherwise meets the rules. All applicants must therefore go through this process.
B. Applicants from countries outside the US and most Western nations where the local equivalent of an IRB does not certify Common Rule compliance must obtain certification from an external review body, such as WIRB. (The costs of this step will be subsidized upon request for applicants from developing countries.)
5. Proposals are sent by SSRC to academics for peer review to evaluate the proposal’s scientific merit, its potential benefits to society, the applicant's ethical track record, and any potential risks the proposed project may pose to research subjects or others.
6. After collecting peer reviews, SSRC assembles a panel to evaluate the peer reviews, provide additional reviews, and discuss the comparative merits of proposals.
7. All proposals that make it to this stage go through a separate ethics review, involving reviews and a panel discussion by independent ethicists appointed by the SSRC.
8. Social Science One makes final decisions about which grants to award, with funds from the foundations pooled, regranted from, and administered by the SSRC. Private companies and the nonprofit foundations funding the research have no role in choosing reviewers or making funding decisions.