Launched in 1982, the Scholars Program supports the professional development of promising researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences who have received their terminal degrees within the past seven years. Each of the five scholars in the cohort is awarded $350,000 to execute rigorous five-year research plans that stretch their skills and knowledge into new disciplines, content areas, or methods. Dr. Cheng will explore whether community characteristics buffer low-income youth from the isolating effects of economic polarization.
Dr. Cheng will be joined by two excellent mentors and fellow IHDSC Affiliates, Patrick Sharkey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Elise Cappella, Vice Dean for Research and Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt. Dr. Sharkey will offer mentorship in the analysis of large-scale data and advances causal inference methods and Dr. Cappella on community practices related to youth, schools, and local organizations.
I am very grateful for the support from the WTG Foundation and excited to expand my research area by leveraging several novel, large-scale data sets to examine how the connections between people and their communities affect inequality among young people and what we can do about it. I am also fortunate to be connected to two brilliant mentors through this program. They will bring to this project a tremendous amount of expertise that combines theoretical rigor and deep knowledge about policy and community practice.