The Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST) Calls for Participation in the 2019 Summer Research Institute

June 18-22, 2019
Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center,
Cook-Douglass Campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick.
To learn more about the venue, see:
Morgan Ames, UC-Berkeley
Rebecca Reynolds, Rutgers University
Joined by ~15 Expert Mentors in the field
Apply by 31 March, 2019, notifications by April 21, 2019

The CSST Summer Research Institute supports promising doctoral students and emerging scholars in sociotechnical systems research at the post-doctoral and early professoriate levels (within first 3 years). The institute has been an activity of the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems Research (CSST) since 2008. Topics and problem domains of focus in socio-technical systems research include (but are not limited to) personal health and well-being; open innovation, eScience, and citizen science; co-production, open source, and new forms of work; cultural heritage and information access; energy management and climate change; civic hacking, engagement and government; disaster response; cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy; education and learning.

In addition to these long-standing areas of focus for the Institute, this year we are also highlighting and inviting submissions from those whose research resides in the area of critical informatics. By this, we mean work that considers and/or applies the role of cultural factors in the study of socio-technical systems research and design. This includes (but is not limited to) those whose research addresses questions of inequality, inclusion, corporate infrastructure policy and responsibility, and political and activist engagement, participation, action and design from socio-technical and critical informatics perspectives.

The event is ACM SIGCHI Sponsored, with additional support from Rutgers University iSchool, University of Maryland, University of Missouri iSchool, Syracuse University iSchool and other pending sources.

For 2019, we are delighted to have commitments from the following scholars who will serve as mentors. We anticipate that seven other scholars will join in the mentoring role:


The 2019 Summer Research Institute builds on and extends the socio-technical systems research tradition to strengthen and expand this diverse community by bringing together graduate students, post-doctoral students, faculty, and other researchers with leading mentors in our intersecting fields. Participants will engage in peer networking, workshopping of personal and group research interests, and skill-building tutorials to help doctoral students, post-doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers identify substantive ways that the theories, approaches, and tools within the larger community can advance their work with the design and study of sociotechnical systems.

We invite:

  • Doctoral students, post-doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers in academia;
  • Socio-technical research, design and development group participants from academia, industry and other organizational settings who are at a similar stage in their careers.

Some applicants may be part of emerging multi-disciplinary research teams. Others may be part of research infrastructure development teams. If you are a part of such a group we invite you to describe the group’s goals and mission in brief in your application narrative, and your role in the group. Because of funding constraints we cannot guarantee acceptance of full groups in 2019 however in our application review, we may consider group composition and representation for those in groups who apply, and the opportunity of sharing-back on the workshop experience with your colleagues, by those selected as representatives. If possible, we will accommodate multiple research group members where applicable.

Venue and Dates:

The event will occur June 18-22, 2019 at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, Cook-Douglass Campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick.  To learn more about the venue, see:

Lodging, meals, and other onsite costs will be covered for all Summer Research Institute participants. We ask that participants cover their own travel to the venue. We recommend requesting funds from your department, if these are available.

  • Parking is provided if driving;
  • Train: Amtrak to the “Metropark NJ” station, or direct to New Brunswick (less frequent), Then take a cab/Uber to the Inn. (The Inn is approximately 15-20 minutes from Metropark; one can also take the NJ Transit from Metropark to New Brunswick, then cab to Inn);
  • Plane: Fly into Newark (EWR). The NJ Transit Airtrain from Newark (EWR) takes you to New Brunswick/College Ave. Campus in ~30 minutes;
  • Once in New Brunswick train station, there are ample free university buses to Cook-Douglass Campus (5 minutes to the bus stop right next to Inn), and cabs / uber are also available from the train station.

Applying for CSST 2019 Summer Research Institute

We encourage applications from academic, industry, NGO, and public sector organizations worldwide. Doctoral students should have completed their dissertation proposal prior to attending and should indicate their expected graduation date. Advisor letters are required for students only; post-docs and early career professoriate may omit a letter, but please provide a reference for your dissertation indicating completion.

To apply for the 2019 Summer Research Institute, we invite submissions collated into a SINGLE PDF FILE, uploaded to Easychair, containing the following:

1) 500-word single-spaced response to the question:  “How does/will your work advance our ability to design and understand sociotechnical systems, from social science and critical scholarly perspectives?”

  • a) If post-doc or professoriate please include your current title, institution, etc.
  • b) If student, include institution, advisor, degree program, date of proposal defense, realistic date of program completion;
  • c) Include three to four relevant references to situate your work within the larger research community (either your own, those that inspire your work, or a combination, and your dissertation).
  • d) If applicable, also include a link to your personal website and/or briefly describe any group projects you may be a part of, in your research endeavors.

2) CV (append to narrative in 1 PDF file)

3) Students: Recommendation letter is required, signed by one of the faculty advisors to your work.  Please ask advisor to address the following points in a signed PDF letter, and to email to:, with the subject line: “Student First Name / Last Name.” Letter contents:

  • a) Progressive stage of applicant’s work (e.g., quals completed; proposal defended; data collected);
  • b) Anticipated completion date of dissertation;
  • c) A statement on the prospects and promise of the student’s research agenda to contribute to scholarly knowledge-building in your given field.

Submit your application materials including advisor letters by 31 March, 2019.

Submission URL:

Note: We hope to offer travel assistance to a limited number of participants who would not otherwise be able to attend, without the transportation costs covered. If applicants do not have department funds for travel, please indicate this in your narrative, in the last sentence. If we have surplus funds, we will do what we can to provide travel stipends. Some funding sources are still pending.

The CSST Summer Research Institute Advisory Group will review applications shortly thereafter, using the following criteria:

  • Clear articulation of the hoped-for contribution to theoretical analysis and theory-building, practice, and/or design of sociotechnical systems, and critical informatics research;
  • Likelihood of Summer Research Institute participation providing significant practical benefit for the individual;
  • Contribution to a balanced and diverse group of participants

The number of participants we select will depend on the available funding and the fit between applicants’ interests and CSST goals and mentor participation. We expect to share out invitations by late April, 2019.

For more information about the Summer Research Institute, contact Rebecca Reynolds ( or Morgan Ames ( For information about the broader community of researchers interested in design and study of sociotechnical systems, see: CSST (

NOTE: This event is about half-way funded at this point, with some sources still pending; we expect all positive results in the ongoing fundraising!