About SSRI

The Social Science Research Institute

114 Henderson Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: ssri-info@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-1528 


The SSRI Mission

Our mission is to foster research that addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels. We do so by bringing together researchers from different disciplines around emerging areas of study, and by providing consultation, financial support, shared, accessible infrastructure, and services to social scientists at Penn State. 


The SSRI has five strategic foci:

  • The Human System: How environments and experiences “get under the skin” to affect stress and immune functions, social, cognitive, and affective neural processes, and gene-related mechanisms—and the ways in which these bio-psycho-social processes both shape and are shaped by human behavior, health and development. 
  • Social Disparities: Discovery of causes and consequences and development of evidence-based policies and practices for remediating widening gaps in the health, education, and community resources of vulnerable populations, including children, youth, elders, and their families—toward sustaining a diverse and changing population in a global society.
  • Smart and Connected Health: Health and mental health promotion and disease prevention and treatment using novel methodologies (electronic devices, social media, human-technology hybrids), “big data” analytics, and other innovations for enhancing health and health behavior and optimizing health care and health care delivery using evidence-based practices and policies toward a sustainable health system.
  • Innovative Methods: Novel approaches to research design, data collection, security, and archiving, and modeling and analysis pertaining to our targeted foci and beyond.
  • Dissemination and Implementation Science: The scientific study of best methods for translating knowledge into policies, programs, practices, and products that achieve broad and sustained uptake and use toward enhancing the health and well-being of individuals, their communities, and the larger society. 


Housed within the Office of the Vice President for Research, the SSRI is one of five university-wide research institutes at Penn State.


SSRI Weekly Newsletter

We send out our weekly newsletter every Monday. The e-newsletter includes information about upcoming events and funding opportunities, as well as institute announcements and news.

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Inside SSRI

Read the 2015-2016 SSRI Annual Report (pdf)

Read the 2014-2015 SSRI Annual Report (pdf)

Read the 2013-2014 SSRI Annual Report (pdf)

Our research support is aimed at promoting:

  • Research by investigators from diverse fields within the social and behavioral sciences
  • Research collaborations across disciplinary lines, across colleges and research centers, and across universities
  • The activities of multidisciplinary and translational research centers