Post Doctoral Positions in Social Network Research @ Northwestern University

March 25, 2010

The Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Laboratory at Northwestern University ( applications for up to three post doctoral positions. SONIC lab members utilize and advance social network theories, methods, and web-based tools to better understand and facilitate social networks in a variety of contexts, including communities of practice; science, engineering, and medical communities; and communities involved in emergency response, public health, climate change, and virtual worlds. Current research projects include several multi-year efforts funded in part by the US National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, MacArthur Foundation, and the City of Chicago. Hires will be expected to conduct social network research in several of the on-going projects, to take leadership in initiating new interdisciplinary research projects, and to co-mentor junior lab members. Hires will also have an affiliation with the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO; to facilitate interaction and collaboration with a broader community of network researchers.

Key Responsibilities (one or more of the following):

• Develop theoretical and conceptual frameworks to investigate factors that leads to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks

• Utilize and extend methods for mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling of networks

• Develop and implement socio-technical algorithms for network recommender systems

• Utilize and develop innovative techniques for data collection, integration, and management of large-scale multidimensional social networks from surveys and digital sources/traces

• Implement algorithms for modeling large-scale social networks in high performance (Petascale) computing environments.

Qualifications: We invite applications from US and international scholars with PhDs from a wide variety of disciplines, with interest and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

• Social scientific theories of network emergence and evolution

• Modeling of networks:  mathematical, statistical, computational

• Web Science and Semantic Web technologies

• Data-mining algorithms to detect networks

• High performance and cloud computing

• Visualization of networks

• Network optimization methods

Compensation: The appointment will carry an annual stipend commensurate with qualifications and experience in addition to standard benefits provided to all employees of Northwestern University.

Application Procedures: Applicants must submit by email the following:  1) a curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and prior research experience if applicable; 2) a brief statement of research interest and experiences relevant to the activities of SONIC, and 3) names, affiliations, and contact information for three references. Send all application materials as well as any inquiries to Professor Noshir Contractor, Appointment starting date and duration are negotiable. Applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

Northwestern University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and welcomes applications from women and members of underrepresented groups.

NIH grants for social network analysis

March 25, 2010

Please note that the following announcement is available through additional funding mechanisms as an R21 (

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

Components of Participating Organizations
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), (
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), (
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), (
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (
National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), (
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), (

Title:  Social Network Analysis and Health (R01)

Announcement Type

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PAR10-145

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through ( using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.


This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in for Grants (hereafter called

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four (4) weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Top of Form

A compatible version of Adobe Reader is required for download. For Assistance downloading this or any application package, please contact Customer Support at

Bottom of Form

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.399, 93.837, 93.273, 93.865, 93.279, 93.242, 93.121, 93.866. 93.859

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: March 19, 2010
Opening Date:  May 3, 2010 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): May 3, 2010; April 11, 2011; April 11, 2012
NOTE: On-time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization).
Application Due Date(s): June 3, 2010; May 11, 2011; May 11, 2012
AIDS Application Due Date(s): Not Applicable
Peer Review Date(s): October 2010, October 2011, October 2012
Council Review Date(s): January 2010, January 2011, January 2012
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): April 2011
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: May 12, 2012

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

  • Purpose. This FOA encourages research that aims to accomplish one or more specific goals: (1) generate new theories that would enhance the capabilities and value of Social Network Analysis (SNA); (2) address fundamental questions about social interactions and processes in social networks; (3) address fundamental questions about social networks in relation to health and health-related behaviors; (4) develop innovative methodologies and technologies to facilitate, improve, and expand the capabilities of SNA.
  • Mechanism of Support. This FOA will utilize the R01 grant mechanism and runs in parallel with a FOA of identical scientific scope, PAR-10-146, that encourages applications under the R21 grant mechanism.
  • Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the mechanism numbers, quality, duration, and costs of the applications received.
  • Budget and Project Period. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 5 years. Applicants for an R01 award are not limited in dollars but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
  • Application Research Strategy Length. The R01 Research Strategy section may not exceed 12 pages, including tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, and charts.    See Table of Page Limits.
  • Eligible Institutions/Organizations. Institutions/organizations listed in Section III, 1.A. are eligible to apply.
  • Eligible Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs). Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research are invited to work with their institution/organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
  • Number of PDs/PIs. More than one PD/PI (i.e., multiple PDs/PIs) may be designated on the application.
  • Number of Applications. Applicants may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
  • Resubmissions. Applicants may submit a resubmission application, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous peer review critique (Summary Statement). See new NIH policy on resubmission (amended) applications (NOT-OD-09-003, NOT-OD-09-016).
  • Renewals. Applicants may submit a renewal application.
  • Special Date(s). This FOA uses non-standard due dates. See Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
  • Application Materials. See Section IV.1 for application materials.
  • General Information. For general information on SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission, see these Web sites:
  • Hearing Impaired. Telecommunications for the hearing impaired are available at: TTY:  (301) 451-5936

For Further Information:

CARMA Summer Short Course Program

March 17, 2010

CARMA Summer Short Course Program at Virginia Commonwealth University

This program (May 17 – May 22, 2010), with two sessions, will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. The topics of eight short courses in this program are listed below:

Session I

May 17 – 19, 2010

“Introduction to Structural Equation Methods”

Dr. Larry Williams

Wayne State University

Session II

May 20 – 22, 2010

“Advanced Topics in Structural Equation Methods”

Dr. Bob Vandenberg, University of Georgia

“Meta-Analysis: Models & Processes”

Dr. Mike McDaniel

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Hannah Rothstein, Baruch College

“Testing Interactions with Linear Regression”

Dr. Herman Aguinis

Indiana University

“Grounded Theory Method & Analysis”

Dr. Karen Locke, College of William & Mary

“Survey Design/Data Collection Using the Internet”

Dr. Jeff Stanton, Syracuse University

“Introduction to Linear Regression”

Dr. Jose Cortina, George Mason University

CARMA Summer Short Course Program at Wayne State University

This program (June 17 – June 19, 2010) will be hosted by Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The topics of the five short courses are listed below:

“Nonlinear Dynamic Models: Neural Network & Agent Based Analylsis”

Dr. Paul Hanges, University of Maryland

“Repeated Measures/Longitudinal Research”

Dr. Robert Ployhart, University of South Carolina

“Social Network Analysis”

Rich DeJordy, Northeastern University

“Analysis of Limited Dependent Variables”

Dr. Harry Bowen, Queens University of Charlotte

“Multi-Level Measurement”

Dr. James LeBreton, Purdue University

Sunbelt social networks conference June 29 – July 4, Italy

January 12, 2010

The annual Sunbelt social networks conference will be in northern Italy this year on Lake Garda. June 29 to July 4, 2010.

Abstracts are due Friday, Jan 15 2010. You don’t need to submit a whole paper, just the abstract.

For more information:

DIME conference – Organizing for Networked Innovation

November 9, 2009

Here’s the call for papers for an upcoming network conference.


Call for paper

DIME conference – Organizing for Networked Innovation

Politecnico di Milano

Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering

April 15-16, 2010

The notion that companies can improve their innovative performance by utilizing the knowledge residing in networks has become prominent in innovation studies. In particular, the trend towards open innovation has resulted in firms experimenting with new ways of interacting and networking with external organizations and individuals. However, there is still limited knowledge concerning how firms can fruitfully exploit the potential inherent in their networks. Two main gaps emerge in the literature on boundary-spanning relationships, dealing with how companies should: (i) manage external interactions in order to access relevant knowledge; (ii) design their internal structures and managerial practices to properly absorb and leverage this knowledge. Moreover, there is a need to attend to how our increased knowledge about how innovation networks work can be used by firms to benefit from informal, intra-organizational networks and communities.

Innovation networks pose considerable challenges to scholars in economics, management and organisation science as in such a framework, organizing innovation initiatives through traditional hierarchical structure and mechanisms have limited, and probably, even detrimental effects.

The conference intends to be an opportunity for collecting and discussing theoretical and empirical contributions on organizing for networked innovation.

We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions related to the following themes of the conference.

THEME A. Theoretical and empirical foundations of networked innovation

–          How can different levels of analysis be addressed and integrated, namely individuals, teams, companies, and whole networks?

–          How can different theoretical lenses (e.g. those provided by agency theory, transaction cost economics, the information processing stream, social network theory, competence- and resource-based perspectives) be combined and integrated so as to provide fresh insights into the organization of networked innovation?

–          Which are the challenges posed by the interaction with peculiar agents such as communities of users and developers, university star scientists, new technology-based firms, other companies in international alliances and acquisitions?

–          Are there peculiar structural characteristics that shape the way firms organize for network innovation?


THEME B. Designing firm organization for networked innovation

–          Which organizational structures are most suitable for managing boundary spanning relationships? How do they relate and interact with characteristics of the external partner?

–          Which managerial practices should companies adopt in order to design their internal organisation so as to properly acquire, assimilate and take advantage of knowledge generated by external sources? Which are the roles of intensive vertical and lateral communication, compensation schemes rewarding employees for knowledge sharing, and increasing delegation of decision rights to selected employees?

–          Is there any incompatibility between the organizational structure and mechanisms of different actors in innovation networks? Conversely, are there any synergistic effects?

–          How can MNCs organize their internal network so as to benefit from their external network? Are there any specific organizational challenges involved in the interaction of cross-border intra- and inter-firm networks?

–          How can innovation activities in informal, intra-organizational networks be facilitated and supported by management when the use of formal hierarchical power is not applicable? How can management simultaneously attend to both formal organizational structures and informal networks, and what types of incentives and control mechanisms can be applied in these dual settings?

–          What organizational architectures and practices are best suited to allow firms to benefit from the increasing development of “markets for ideas”? What role does the licensor play in organizing the licensee’s innovation activities?


THEME C. Networked innovation and performance

–          Which is the impact of networking on firms’ economic and innovation performances? How does recourse to different organisational structures and managerial practices moderate the link between use of external knowledge sources and firm performance?

–          What networks structures are most conducive to innovation? Do networks of different types or with various structural characteristics further different types of innovation behaviour?

–          Are there peculiar institutional aspects (e.g. relating to IPR protection) that shape the way firms benefit from networked innovation? Are there any industry-specific effects?


THEME D. Small firms and networked innovations

–          How can small firms, both in traditional and high tech sectors, profit from networked innovation? What are their strengths and weakness along this path?

–          Which are the challenges faced by small companies and start-ups in organizing for networked innovation? Are their most suitable internal organizational arrangements different from those of large firms?

–          Do small firms experience difficulties in accessing national and international knowledge and innovation networks? Do these difficulties depend on structural and sectoral specificities?

–          How can small firms manage the dichotomy between openness and protection of proprietary knowledge? How they can copy with appropriability hazards?


Confirmed key note speakers for the conference are Georg von Krogh (ETH, Zurich and Pillar) and Phanish Puranam (London Business School).

Paper submission

Participants who wish to present their research at the conference are invited to submit full paper (in PDF) not exceeding 10.000 words (all included) to Cristina Rossi Lamastra (, no later than January 8th 2010. All submissions will be peer reviewed and the conference organizing committee will select the papers considering their novelty, academic quality and relation to the theme of the conference. The decision of paper acceptance will be given by January 24th 2010. Revised versions of accepted papers should be submitted no later than March 15th 2010.

A special issue of Industry & Innovation will follow the conference, hosting a selection of the presented papers.

Moreover, we are investigating the possibility of other special issues devoted to issues related to firm organization in a networked innovation environment (Theme B) and to open innovation & small business (Theme D) to be hosted in well known journals.



There is no conference fee, but registration is necessary. Participants will be asked to pay for their own travel and accommodation. Please, register by sending an email to Elena Belotti ( and in copy to Daniela Cojocaru ( and Ognjenka Zrilic ( before February 15th 2010. Elena Belotti ( can assist you in arranging your accommodation. For other organizational aspects you can contact Daniela Cojocaru ( and Ognjenka Zrilic ( PhD students’ accommodation and travel expenses will be founded by the DIME network (up to a maximum of 15 PhD students). PhD students who are interested in attending the conference without presenting a paper are invited to send their CV, including a description of their research interests, to Cristina Rossi Lamastra (


Important dates

Paper submission: January 8th 2010

Notice for paper acceptance: January 24th 2010

Conference registration: February 15th 2010

Final paper submission: March 15th 2010


For further information at

The organizing committee

Massimo G. Colombo, Politecnico di Milano

Keld Laursen, Copenhagen Business School

Mats Magnusson, Chalmers University of Technology / IMIT

Lucia Piscitello, Politecnico di Milano

Toke Reichstein, Copenhagen Business School

Cristina Rossi Lamastra, Politecnico di Milano


Why “God’s Will” is a lousy explanation

November 5, 2009

Ok, that’s an easy one, but I needed a vehicle for talking about post- and pre-dictive explanation.

If you give ‘God wanted it that way’ as the reason for anything, you do actually get 100% postdictive success. There is no question that that mechanism will actually lead to the outcome you are trying to explain. “Duh!” you might say, but there are a lot of mechanisms proposed in academic papers which in fact do not lead to the claimed outcome. So in this respect, God’s will is actually a pretty powerful explanatory mechanism.

What you lose with God’s will is predictive success. Since you don’t know God’s will in advance, you don’t know how things are going to turn out. So predictively, God’s will is no better than random guessing.

Keynote address for 2-mode conference

October 8, 2009

Filip Agneessens (together with Peter Groenewegen and Gerhard van de Bunt) organized a terrific conference on 2-mode network analysis. The conference featured a lot of very fresh ideas.

Below is a link to the slides for the keynote address, which does not have so many fresh ideas but gives a decent overview of what is conventional in the 2-mode field.

fundamental, curiosity-driven science

October 6, 2009

Excerpt from Baltimore Sun:

Carol W. Greider, who on Monday became the 33rd person associated with the Johns Hopkins University to win the Nobel Prize, is a triathlete, a mother of two and a methodical and modest genetic researcher who colleagues say shuns publicity in favor of pursuing her passion: fundamental, curiosity-driven science.

See the full article here:,0,800156.story

Your brain on Kafka

September 20, 2009

Thanks to a tweet from @valdiskrebs, have a look at this nicely written piece by Tom Jacobs describing recent research on how the brain “amps up” when trying to make sense of puzzles.


September 20, 2009

Recently, Nancy Roberts posted a job opening notice on SOCNET. The job is at the Naval Postgraduate School for a social network analyst, who would be working on counter-terrorism projects.  Sam Friedman took exception to this, arguing essentially that in even posting the message the SOCNET list is complicit in murder and other illegal activity. The full text of his message is here:

It has now been more than 24 hours since this appeared.

This is a clear solicitation for people to abet in the murder of innocent civilians and also of “terrorists” and “counterinsurgents”–some of whom might in some circumstances be called “freedom fighters” by some of us.)

This is done, furthermore, in a context in which the USA is engaged in the illegal invasion and/or occupation of other countries.

Thus, I am somewhat surprised that no one else has remarked upon why this list serve is making itself available to the solicitation of illegal acts.

One hypothesis, based on my own trepidation to respond to this in any form, is that people fear retaliation by the US military or its allied agencies if they say anything on this issue.

If so, this is itself a testament to our times.

What do you think?


What a bind these conversations are. Personally, I don’t want Socnet to be a current affairs forum, especially a shrill and partisan one. But then, I really could just skip the stuff that I’m not interested in. And I recognize that my concerns are pretty shallow: while people like Sam are trying to stop murder, I’m fretting over my cluttered inbox.

Still, the moral frame makes it very difficult to discuss anything because at some level every dissenting opinion is an immoral act. If Sam is right about the US, then Ezra’s support for Nancy’s post weakens Sam’s call and makes a very tiny yet positive contribution to American atrocities. Furthermore, the listserv itself is in moral error for allowing the airing of an implicit point of view that ultimately supports murder, as Sam quite logically points out. Of course, non-moralists are quick to spot the problem with this sort of censorship. Whose views get to air? But from the moralist point of view, this is moral relativism which is a contradiction in terms; after all, we don’t give equal time to pederasts.

Am I advocating that moralist posts like Sam’s be stricken from Socnet? I’d sure like that, but as something of a moral relativist, I haven’t got a leg to stand on. What a bind. Good thing I’m not the SOCNET listmaster anymore.

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