Leveraging the ideas and empirical tools of the social and human sciences, INCITE conceives and conducts collaborative research, projects, and programs that generate knowledge, promote just and equitable societies, and enrich our intellectual environment.
The Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) joined INCITE in 2013. The Oral History Master of Arts was incorporated into INCITE in 2012.
INCITE, launched in July 2012, is descended directly from the Bureau for Applied Social Research, established by Paul F. Lazarsfeld at Columbia University in 1941. Lazarsfeld and his colleagues created the Bureau to provide infrastructure for empirical social science research. It was instrumental to the development of many ideas and methods still used in current social science research, such as those found in the work of Robert Merton, Elihu Katz, Peter Blau, Charles Kadushin, C. Wright Mills, and Lazarsfeld himself.
After Lazarsfeld passed away in 1976, the Bureau was renamed The Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences (PFL-CSS) in his honor. Subsequent directors Harold Watts, Jonathan Cole, and Harrison White continued Lazarsfeld’s work, employing PFL-CSS to advance and support social science research throughout the University. In 1999, the Center was incorporated into the Institute for Social & Economic Theory & Research, which became the Institute for Social & Economic Research & Policy (ISERP), where PFL-CSS retained its own research and education initiatives.
In 2012, INCITE was launched and incorporated relevant research, education, and training initiatives from ISERP and PFL-CSS. To continue honoring Lazarsfeld and his contributions, INCITE launched the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, which currently encompasses the center’s Experimental Design Workshops, INCITEment Series, Networks and Time Series, and Oral History Workshop Series.
In 2013, INCITE partnered with the Columbia University Libraries in overseeing the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH). Under this new partnership, INCITE took responsibility for the center’s research, education, and outreach activities, all under the heading CCOHR (Columbia Center for Oral History Research). The Libraries, in turn, maintained control over the acquisition, processing, and public accessibility of the rich set of resources that comprise the CCOH archive, under the heading CCOHA (Columbia Center for Oral History Archives).
Since joining INCITE, CCOHR has carried out a full portfolio of diverse and important projects, while the Oral History Master of Arts program (established in 2012 under joint INCITE and CCOH administration) has graduated over 160 promising oral historians. INCITE has managed more than 50 grant-funded projects and generated revenue in excess of $25 million.