Technology & Racial Equity Graduate Fellowship

Program Overview

In 2021-2022, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (CCSRE) in partnership with the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab and Stanford HAI, is launching a new graduate fellowship program designed to create:

  • a supportive community of graduate students working to advance racial equity in and through technology,

  • an interdisciplinary space to workshop graduate student research,

  • public-facing collaborative projects that expand the understanding of racial equity and technology.

The fellowship will foster collaboration between engineers researching technical systems and social scientists, humanists and others researching the power and politics that shape society. Through the program, graduate students from across the university will examine the ways that new technologies codify and amplify existing forms of racial inequality, discrimination, and bias, as well as possibilities for advancing racial justice through technology. These issues cross multiple sectors from finance to criminal justice to education, and range from system design (bias in datasets and models, the implications of tech workforce diversity, processes to determine whether/what to build) to application (surveillance, affect recognition, smart cities) to policy/politics (local ordinances, electoral politics, activism). Interdisciplinary, cross-sector research and interventions may help to avoid harm in these systems and may even serve to advance racial justice. 

Each student will receive $1000 per quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring). 

Program Design

In Spring 2021, we will select up to 10 graduate student fellows. Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring), fellows will participate in a bi-weekly workshop (alternating Fridays 12:00-2:00pm) in which they will both develop their research and collaborate on joint projects. In the Fall quarter, fellows will discuss a series of shared readings and hear presentations from faculty and invited guests to develop a shared intellectual foundation. Fellows will then workshop their own research and projects by sharing works-in-progress and receiving feedback from their peers. Fellows should expect to spend about 10 hours/month devoted to the fellowship.

At the outset of the year, fellows will determine one to three group projects that they will complete in small groups over the course of the year. These might include public-facing writing or media projects, racial justice and ethics workshops, position papers, etc. Time will be devoted to group work and feedback from the larger cohort on these projects throughout the year.

Fellows will also be encouraged to attend a monthly Race, Tech & Civil Society public webinar series, which addresses key issues on this topic with experts in academia, industry, and nonprofits. Students will have opportunities to engage with postdocs, practitioners and other fellows at CCSRE, DCSL, and HAI.

Note: Students must be able to attend the bi-weekly workshops on alternating Fridays from 12:00-2:00pm.

Application Process

The fellowship is open to all graduate students at Stanford. A complete application includes:​

  • Short response 1: Why do you want to participate in this program and how will it advance your work? What would you bring to the fellowship cohort? (500 words max)

  • Short Response 2: How can racial justice and equity inform the development, and deployment of new technologies? And how are you currently doing this in your work (including research, program development, or other projects)? (250 words max)

  • CV


  • Unofficial transcript

  • Name of a faculty reference (just a name, a letter is not needed at this time)

Application Deadline

Monday, May 24, 11:59pm

Apply Now

If you have questions, please contact CCSRE Executive Director, Daniel Murray.