Sunshine Hillygus Receives Carnegie Fellowship

DUPRI scholar Sunshine Hillygus has been selected as a 2024 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Hillygus is among twenty-eight exceptional fellows who will receive stipends of $200,000 each for research that seeks to understand how and why our society has become so polarized and how we can strengthen the forces of cohesion to fortify our democracy.

Hillygus is a professor of political science and public policy at Duke, where she directs the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology and codirects the Polarization Lab. She is coauthor of Making Young Voters: Converting Civic Attitudes into Civic Action (Cambridge University Press, 2020), The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns (Princeton University Press, 2008) and The Hard Count: The Political and Social Challenges of Census Mobilization (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010). She serves as associate PI of the American National Election Studies and previously served on the Census Scientific Advisory Committee. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and private foundations. Hillygus earned a PhD in political science from Stanford University and a BA in political science and Spanish from the University of Arkansas.

Hillygus’s project, “Redesigning Social Media to Reduce Partisan Animosity,” will examine the ways in which the current information environment incentivizes the production and sharing of misleading characterizations of public opinion. She will use a series of experiments to evaluate how the functionalities and features of a social media platform shape the way users evaluate and share information.

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program provides philanthropic support for scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that addresses important and enduring issues confronting our society. After a one-year pause in 2022, the 2024 Class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows marks the start of the program’s focus on developing a body of research around political polarization in the United States.

The award is for a period of up to two years and its anticipated result is a book or major study. The criteria prioritize the originality and promise of the research, its potential impact on the field, and the scholar’s plans for communicating the findings to a broad audience.