Researchers whose proposals are selected for support will receive research funding, data access, and peer pre-review services. The process works as follows:
1. Social Science One identifies and, with Facebook, 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 Requests for Proposals (RFP). SSRC then issues the RFPs and prepares for the receipt and review of proposals. (Precise requirements are provided with each RFP, but our intention, wherever feasible, is to keep proposals brief.)
3. Proposals are invited on a rolling basis, with about a month turnaround to make recommendations to Social Science One and about six weeks in total until the proposer is notified.
4. 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 be co-PIs or co-investigators on faculty-led projects.
5. 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.)
6. 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.
7. After collecting peer reviews, SSRC assembles a panel to evaluate the peer reviews, provide additional reviews, and discuss the comparativle merits of proposals.
8. 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.
9. Because Social Science One has sensitive confidential information about a company's activities and datasets that researchers are not permitted to pursue -- such areas involved in litigation, for example -- academics at Social Science One make 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.