Social Impact through Social Science

CivX is a student-driven social impact program focused on urban innovation. It was created to provide training to future leaders who want to use social science research to help organizations and communities better achieve their objectives. Students who participate in CivX have a wide-ranging skill-set and diverse experience. Our projects require students from all disciplinary perspectives. 

Be a Better Researcher

CivX alumni have reported that in addition to giving them a richer sense of what their skills can be used for, the CivX project deepened their academic research. After getting out into the field and witnessing the complexities of data gathering or emerging social phenomena, our alumni were able to reconceptualize their research design or even refine their guiding questions. There are few opportunities to expand your perspective as a researcher that are as well structured as CivX. 

Student Perspectives

"One of the great frustrations of graduate school is that so much time and energy is devoted to an enterprise that will make little to no immediate impact on the world, and if done well, will add texture to one of multiple simultaneous and competing narratives about the past.  The appeal of the CivX Program is that it provides a welcome respite from these frustrations.  It is an opportunity for me to utilize my hard-earned research and analytical skills to address a clear and well-defined problem, to formulate a testable solution, and to potentially make a concrete and immediate impact on the community."

Read more from our students about their experience.

Benefits of CivX

  • Collaborate on an interdisciplinary team, manage complex projects, and learn new research methods
  • Gain intense, project-based experience in 5-10 days
  • Avoid compromising summer research obligations
  • Conduct a project with accountability to improve an organization or community
  • Training in design & prototyping (i.e. applying research methods to the development of solutions, services, and processes)
  • Career-relevant experiences for both academic and non-academic career goals
  • Professional relationships with nonprofit and civic leaders
  • Exposure to emerging social scientific questions in diverse communities