INCITE announces first 12 REALM-funded projects on labor migration, releases new RFA

The Research and Empirical Analysis of Labor Migration (REALM) project launched twelve funded projects this fall, located in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and the UAE. REALM aims to fund collaborative research that will advance our understanding of low skilled labor migration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with the objective of shedding light on the processes that sustain unfair practices in migrant labor.  The projects in this first funding phase represent significant gains in understanding the dynamics of labor migration. These include migration decisions, recruitment and obligations, migrant well-being, and the immediate effects of migration on sending country communities. 

REALM is now accepting letters of intent for a second round of funding, beginning in September 2017. The Request for Applications can be found here.

Peter Bearman Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Peter Bearman won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, which are awarded to mid-career scholars and scientists whose work demonstrates “prior achievement and exceptional promise.” Bearman is among 178 scholars, artists and scientists who were named 2016 Guggenheim fellows.

Bearman's most far-fetched, difficult, and longest-running project is “Rocky Road Day,” a cultural and social history of the United States over the last century and the focus of his Guggenheim Fellowship.

View Bearman's fellowship page here.

Add Health researchers receive the first Golden Goose Award

Researchers behind landmark Adolescent Health Study – a study that almost didn't happen – will receive Golden Goose Award, announcement at event this evening in Washington, D.C.

Nearly Blocked by Political Concerns, Study Has Had Major Impact on Understanding of Social Factors Affecting Adolescent Health, and on Effect of Adolescent Health on Long- term Adult Well-being

Read an interview with Dr. Bearman on this landmark study

Five researchers whose determined pursuit of knowledge about the factors that influence adolescent health led to one of the most influential longitudinal studies of human health—with far-reaching and often unanticipated impacts on society—will receive the first 2016 Golden Goose Award.

The researchers are Dr. Peter Bearman, Barbara Entwisle, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ronald Rindfuss, and Richard Udry, who worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in the late 1980s and early 1990s to design and execute the  National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, or Add Health for short.

The social scientists’ landmark, federally funded study has not only illuminated the impact of social and environmental factors on adolescent health—often in unanticipated ways—but also continues to help shape the national conversation around human health. Their work has provided unanticipated insights into how adolescent health affects wellbeing long into adulthood and has laid essential groundwork for research into the nation’s obesity epidemic over the past two decades.

The award will be announced this evening at 7:00 PM EDT at an event at the Long View Gallery in Washington, D.C. celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University of North Carolina Population Center, in conjunction with a meeting of the Population Association of America. Some of the awardees will be in attendance.

“Four bold researchers wanted to learn more about adolescent health. Who knew that one federal study would change the way doctors approach everything from AIDS to obesity?” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), who first proposed the Golden Goose Award. “Decades later, this work is still paying off, helping Americans lead longer, healthier lives. America always comes out ahead when we invest in scientific research.”

The pathbreaking nationally representative Add Health study has answered many questions about adolescent behavior, with particular attention to sexual and other risky behaviors, but it was almost stopped in its tracks by political concerns.

The study’s design grew out of the American Teenage Study, a project developed by Drs. Bearman, Entwisle, Rindfuss, and Udry. This initial adolescent sexual health study was designed to look at adolescents’ risky behaviors in a social context, rather than focusing only on individuals, in hopes of helping the nation address the growing AIDS epidemic and other public health concerns. After two years of planning work funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Teenage Study passed peer review and was funded by the NIH in 1991. But the grant was subsequently rescinded due to objections regarding the study’s focus on sexual behaviors.

In 1993, Congress passed legislation forbidding the NIH from funding the American Teenage Study in the future, but at the same time mandating a longitudinal study on adolescent health that would consider all behaviors related to their health – implicitly including sexual behavior.

“I congratulate Dr. Rindfuss and his colleagues on this award, which underscores the vital importance of federal funding for research,” said Rep. David Price (D-NC), who was a key advocate in the House of Representatives in the 1990’s for continuing to pursue this research. “Federally supported research projects not only produce new life-saving treatments and expand our understanding of the world around us, they also spur economic growth and innovation in ways we cannot always anticipate.”

In 1994, Drs. Udry and Bearman, now joined at UNC by Dr. Harris, proposed Add Health to meet Congress’s new mandate. The new study maintained the American Teenage Study design’s strong focus on social context, but significantly expanded the scope of inquiry to include all factors influencing adolescent health.

The study has followed its original cohort for over 20 years, and it is now providing valuable information about the unanticipated impacts of adolescent health on overall wellbeing in adulthood. For this reason, the researchers recently changed the study’s name to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, and it is a landmark example of how longitudinal research can yield extraordinary and unexpected insights.

"Science often advances our understanding of the world in ways we could never have foreseen,” Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) said. "Regardless of how this research began, it has served as a breakthrough for understanding the way society molds our personal health.  That’s why congressional funding and support for breakthrough research is so important to push us forward as a country.”

The nationally representative sample and multifaceted longitudinal data paired with a revolutionary open-access model have enabled more than 10,000 researchers to publish almost 3,000 research articles on human health. These scientific studies have strengthened an understanding of the importance of family connectedness to adolescent health, allowed researchers to track and scrutinize the rising tide of the obesity epidemic, and demonstrated the social, behavioral, and biological importance of adolescence to lifelong health and wellbeing

What began as a study driven both by social science curiosity and public-health concerns has been central to shaping the national conversation around adolescent health for more than two decades.

The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose federally funded work may have seemed odd or obscure when it was first conducted but has resulted in significant benefits to society. Drs. Bearman, Entwisle, Harris, Rindfuss and Udry are being cited for their extraordinary multidisciplinary, longitudinal study of the social and biological factors that influence adolescent health, and their work’s wide-ranging and often unexpected impacts on society.

The five researchers will be honored with two other teams of researchers – yet to be named – at the fifth annual Golden Goose Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress on September 22. Descriptions of the past winners can be found  at the Golden Goose Award website.

About the Golden Goose Award

The Golden Goose Award is the brainchild of Rep. Jim Cooper, who first had the idea for the award when the late Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) was issuing the Golden Fleece Award to target wasteful federal spending and often targeted peer-reviewed science because it sounded odd. Rep. Cooper believed such an award was needed to counter the false impression that odd- sounding research was not useful.

In 2012, a coalition of business, university, and scientific organizations created the Golden Goose Award. Like the bipartisan group of Members of Congress who support the Golden Goose Award, the founding organizations believe that federally funded basic scientific research is the cornerstone of American innovation and essential to our economic growth, health, global competitiveness, and national security. Award recipients are selected by a panel of respected scientists and university research leaders.

Golden Goose Award Founding Organizations:

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Association of American Universities (AAU)

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Breakthrough Institute

Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) Richard Lounsbery Foundation The Science Coalition (TSC)

Task Force on American Innovation

United for Medical Research


Golden Goose Award Congressional Supporters

Representative Jim Cooper Representative Suzanne Bonamici Senator Christopher Coons

Representative Charlie Dent Representative Bob Dold Representative Donna F. Edwards

Representative Randy Hultgren


Golden Goose Award 2016 Sponsors

Benefactor Elsevier Partner
United for Medical Research 


American Mathematical Society
American Physical Society
Association of American Medical Colleges


American Astronomical Society
American Physiological Society
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Texas Instruments


INCITE Faculty and Staff Teach Three Day Workshop in Beijing

From March 11 to 13, 2015, INCITE faculty and staff traveled to Beijing to teach a three-day social science research introductory workshop, introducing the topic of "urban change" to high school students from all over China. This workshop was condensed version of our Social Sciences Summer program for Chinese high school students, in which students use the neighborhood of Harlem as a laboratory to begin to tackle complex social realities such as gentrification.

Students from Beijing 101 Middle School and their advisor, Emerson Miller

After reviewing the basic concepts of social science research in a lecture entitled The Social World, and learning Chicago-style field note-taking in Introduction to Fieldwork in Urban Environments, students sorted into smaller groups to explore a neighborhood in Beijing and practice taking their own field notes.

INCITE Assistant Director Michael Falco leads a discussion on his group's neighborhood, Qianmen

Students also practiced their interviewing skills with handheld audio recorders.

Two students interview each otherINCITE Mellon Fellows and TAs Abby Coplin and Kristin Murphy demonstrate an interview

Students also tried a hand at interview coding, using an excerpt of an interview from the Columbia Center for Oral History Research's Apollo Theater Oral History Project.

Audrey Augenbraum and Abby Coplin explain codes

The pleasure of working with such fabulous students made us very excited for the two upcoming iterations of our Social Science Summer program this year, from July 12 to July 28 and July 30 to August 12!

Special thanks to ICProjects and the Columbia Global Center East Asia for facilitating and hosting this workshop. All photographs by Zhuang Han.

PRESS RELEASE: Peter Bearman Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award to Study Autism Epidemic

PRESS RELEASE: Peter Bearman Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award to Study Autism Epidemic
NEW YORK, NY-The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Columbia University sociologist Peter Bearman will receive the prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a $2.5 million award that will support Bearman's study of the social determinants of autism.
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