Community-Based Research Fellowship

The CCSRE Community-Based Research (CBR) Fellowship is an initiative sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. The program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work on innovative community-engaged projects with Stanford faculty affiliates. Students work with their faculty PIs to design a research plan for the summer that builds community connections, hones interdisciplinary skills, and pursues racial justice.

Fellowship Expectations

Fellows receive a stipend of $7,500 for the 10 weeks of work over the summer; they are responsible for their own transportation and housing costs. Students receiving financial aid may be eligible for an additional stipend of up to $1,500.

In Winter 2023, select applicants are matched with a project and commit to the fellowship program by signing a student contract. 

In Spring 2024, fellows enroll in CSRE 199: Community-Based Fellowship Practicum. This course will prepare students to conduct summer research with a community partner and faculty Principal Investigator. Fellows meet with their PI at least three times over the course of Spring Quarter to develop the parameters of the summer research project and identify skills and background knowledge to hone in advance of the summer.

In the Summer 2024, fellows work full-time (at least 35 hours/week for ten weeks) on their project. Fellows keep in touch with their cohort and CCSRE program directors via biweekly check-in meetings and reflection papers. Working with the project’s faculty PI and community partners, students design and implement a strategy to disseminate research findings. At the conclusion of the fellowship, they submit an 8-10 page paper summarizing their work that is archived with the Stanford Digital Repository.

In Autumn 2024, students share their research with peers, faculty, community partners at the Stanford Engaged Scholarship Symposium.

The CCSRE Undergraduate Summer Fellowships applications for AY 2024-2025 are now closed. Please check back again next year for the AY 2025-2026 application cycle. 

Project Opportunities: Summer 2024

Gentrification and Residential Instability in Oakland

Location: Hybrid in Stanford, California

Faculty PI: Jackelyn Hwang, Assistant Professor in Sociology and Director of the Changing Cities Research Lab.

About the Lab: The Changing Cities Research Lab uses innovative data and methods to study how changes in U.S. cities affect racial segregation and inequality to inform policy solutions that promote racial equity. To tackle residential instability before and beyond displacement, our team partners with the City of Oakland’s Department of Housing and Community Development to understand how gentrification and declining housing affordability affect residential instability in Oakland.

Project Description: The RA will join a team of researchers collecting and analyzing interviews, surveys, large-scale consumer data, and program applications from low-income renters to better understand residential displacement, financial instability, and housing conditions and assess the impacts of a homelessness prevention program in partnership with the City of Oakland's Department of Housing and Community Development, Bay Area Community Services, and a consortium of nonprofit service providers. The goal of the project is to develop research-driven policy solutions to improve housing stability and racial equity in Oakland.

Responsibilities: The research assistant will assist in these efforts and contribute to communicating findings to policymakers and stakeholders. Specifically, the research assistant will contribute to the evaluation of the homelessness prevention pilot program by conducting and analyzing surveys and interviews with program applicants and Oakland residents. Key responsibilities will include helping design a codebook for interview analysis and drafting research findings based on interview data for a program evaluation report.

In addition, the research assistant will engage in the following activities:

1. Cleaning and analyzing application, survey, demographic, and local housing data.

2. Assisting in developing policy reports, presentations, and academic publications.

Strong communication skills required; Spanish proficiency desired. Experience with qualitative coding (e.g., NVivo) and/or statistical software (e.g., R) are a plus.

Museum of Storytelling

Location: remote in conversation with South African-based partners

Faculty PI: Grant Parker, Associate Professor in Classics (by courtesy) Comparative Literature

Project Description: South Africa has a rich tradition of museums. Parallel to a long-standing project of building a database of them, the born-digital Museum of Storytelling is a new initiative to curate first-person interviews. The idea is to focus on selected themes (initially the land; family; religion and spirituality; music) and curate interviews that present the widest possible range of perspectives and experiences. We seek the voices of community leaders, heritage professionals, artists and academics on topics related to heritage. At this stage it is impossible to visit all potential locations in person. Hence, our challenge will be to make a virtue of the constraints imposed by remote engagement, for example by website design: juxtaposing sound files with relevant images and documents. The goal: a digital platform offering multimedia content on an open-access basis. Resulting material will be made available to museums for use in situ or on their websites.

Undergraduate fellows will have the chance to help create this museum from scratch. Core tasks will be to help plan, design, conduct and curate a wide-ranging set of interviews. These will be conducted via zoom and audio-recorded via that medium. The fellows will edit the interviews into podcasts on a custom-built webpage. Transcriptions may be a possibility (via Descript vel sim.) but are not central to current plans.

Spring term preparation on campus will include:

  • deepening knowledge of South African history and heritage
  • learning about existing and emerging digital resources, esp. basic audio tech
  • consulting with campus resources such as Stanford University Libraries and the Stanford Storytelling Project

All these tasks – before and during summer – will take place in consultation with the faculty mentor.

Helpful experience (not required)

  • interviewing
  • audio editing incl. podcast creation
  • background in any aspect of African history
  • museum, heritage or archaeological fieldwork
Systems Navigator Project with the Santa Clara County Public Defender

Location: in-person in Stanford, CA, and San Jose, CA

Faculty PI: Matthew Clair, Assistant Professor in Sociology and (by courtesy) the Law School

Description: In summer 2024, we are working with the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender (SCCOPD) to pilot a “Systems Navigator” in their office and in the Hall of Justice courthouse in San Jose. A Systems Navigator is a novel position within a public defender's office that seeks to improve communication and collaboration between lawyers and their clients. Our project is based on existing research on mistrust in attorney-client relationships and emerged from Prof. Matthew Clair’s Court Listening Project, which is a research study and archive of court systems in the Bay Area, CA (

A CCSRE summer fellow will be in charge of drafting a report/memo for the public defender office that summarizes the literature around systems navigator-type interventions in other public defender offices as well as the specific structure, and potential effectiveness, of the systems navigator intervention in Santa Clara County.

In addition, tasks for summer fellows, depending on their prior experiences, skills, and passions, could include:

  1. Working directly as one of the Systems Navigators in the SCCOPD. Working as a Systems Navigator would involve calling clients, helping to ensure they are aware of their pretrial conditions, helping them procure character letters and statements, and supporting them in court, and writing reports for lawyers, social workers, and investigators.
  2. Interviewing and observing clients and lawyers. Interviewing would take place in-person at the courthouse in San Jose or over the phone. Observations would take place in-person at the courthouse, and would include writing up lengthy, in-depth fieldnotes within 24 hours of observations.
  3. Transcribing interviews.

Necessary skills include strong oral and written communication skills, experience working with people with complex needs (e.g., unhoused people, people with mental illness, and people with substance use disorders), and ability to commute (by public transit or car) to San Jose. Fluency in English and another common language in the county (e.g., Spanish or Vietnamese) is a plus.

Feminist geospatial data creation. Finding spatial justice through digital collective practices of care in Latin America

Location: Remote (with one possible international trip - Mexico)

Mentor: Selene Yang, CCSRE Race & Tech Fellow

This project focuses on the impact of collectives, including Geochicas in Latin America, in creating feminist geospatial data production that addresses the unique needs of women and gender dissident groups, aiming to combat epistemic and spatial injustices. The project's success is defined by its ability to produce the first atlas and analysis of safe spaces for marginalized communities through collaborative digital mapping, establish fundamental data units for visualizing spatial justice needs, and advance the digitization of relevant processes while recognizing the ongoing struggle for spatial justice against entities that often prioritize control and surveillance over assistance. 

Inclusive feminist geospatial data about community care systems. Ethically gathered, curate and visualized from a feminist perspective, methodology and localized based on each of their different contexts, needs and desires. Mapping safe spaces, and spaces for collective care in Latin America. 

This project understands any kind of practice of care as a resistance against oppressive systems. Although governments understand practices of care – as supporting care givers – in the most traditional way. This project wants to expand this definition and bring from the feminist and activist world, through the analysis of the spatial dimensions and scales of Care.

How can you support this project?

  • Digital ethnography:
    • Support designing questionnaire for semi-structured interviews with activist groups in Latin America to create Relief Maps
    • Support in the process of developing the tools and materials necessary for a digital ethnography with activist groups
    • Participate in one of the in-person gatherings with activist groups (possible in Mexico)
  • Mapping systems of care in Latin America
    • Research policies and laws in Latin America that support systems of care
    • Analyze different care indicators and compare them between countries (5 different countries in total) to understand the access to the indicators and their impact.
  • Map design & data visualization 
    • Support in the creation of the data model using geospatial data about systems of care.

Helpful experience, skills:

  • Feminist & transinclusive
  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Experience analyzing geospatial data with a gender perspective
  • Interest in systems of care with a feminist approach 
  • Knowledge about OpenStreetMap, Umap, Leaflet, and map design and data visualization
Transnational Data Collaboratives through the EU Digital Service Act (DSA): Advancing platform research for Latin America feminist organizations

Location: Remote, with optional meetups in Medellín, Colombia (June) or Berlin, Germany (July)

Mentor: Cristina Vélez, CCSRE Race & Tech Fellow

The Latin American feminist movement, which has mobilized millions through Twitter campaigns like the pro-choice Green Wave, is confronting new restrictions on social media data (especially after Twitter's acquisition by Elon Musk), posing challenges for digital association and media manipulation risk identification. In contrast, conservative movements and marketing agencies can afford social listening software, while the EU Digital Services Act (DSA) provides European civil groups with unique opportunities for platform research. This initiative aims to: 1) Enable EU nonprofits to share EU DSA data access with LatAm feminist organizations; 2) Explore schemes for third-party social media data donation/dataraising; and 3) Develop a Latin American data hub, a trusted intermediary, that will responsibly manage these repositories while promoting its use through training and user-friendly tools for a group of over 1,216 female digital researchers and activist in Latin America. 

Undergraduate Fellows may contribute to various dimensions of the project: 

  • Research on the EU Digital Services Act's new data-sharing regime and its opportunities to advance platform transparency and close the data divide for non-EU organizations, journalists, and digital researchers working in assessing the negative effects of social media on civic discourse, and gender and racial equity in Latin America. 
  • Supporting the collection, processing, and synthesis of insights from over 15 interviews with policy, data, and digital rights specialists across Europe, North America, Africa, and Latin America, focusing on the aforementioned themes. 
  • Assisting in the conceptualization, preparation, and execution of an in-person workshop in June 2024 for 10-12 women digital researchers from feminist organizations in Latin America. The goal of this event is to pinpoint critical data needs for data-access partnerships under the Digital Service Act. 


  • Some desk research and interview data processing experience.
  • Familiarity with working with large datasets and quantitative research methodologies. 
  • Fluency in Spanish to assist with workshop logistics. 

Helpful experience (though not required): 

  • Understanding of regulatory/legal frameworks focused on digital technology and their impacts on gender/racial equity. 
  • Interest in social media data analysis (OSINT tools, scraping, text-mining, digital ethnography). 
  • Interest in the intersection of platform research, social movements, and data justice. 
Digital Empowerment: Bridging Divides for Marginalized and Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico - A Community Data Governance Initiative

Location: Oaxaca, México. Hybrid (with possibility of remote work). 

Mentor: Kiado Cruz, CCSRE Race & Tech Fellow

Community Organization: Servicios Universitarios y Redes de Conocimientos en Oaxaca, SURCO A C. 

The summer project aims to address the challenges faced by indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, with a focus on digital inclusion, data governance, and the preservation of cultural identities. The fellow will play a crucial role in developing and implementing a comprehensive data governance framework tailored to the specific needs and cultural context of indigenous populations.

The proposed summer fellowship project involves developing and implementing a community-driven digital literacy and data governance workshop series for indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. The project aims to empower community members by enhancing their digital skills, promoting data governance practices, and fostering a deeper understanding of technology's role in community development. The fellow will adapt the project to a virtual work environment, creating engaging online modules, interactive sessions, and multimedia resources. Additionally, a percentage of face-to-face work will be incorporated, allowing for in-person community events, cultural immersion, and direct engagement. This blended approach ensures a comprehensive learning experience, emphasizing adaptability and personal connection with the communities served.

Preferred skills for the summer fellowship project include proficiency in both English and Spanish, as the project involves collaboration with indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. Strong communication skills, adaptability to virtual work environments, and the ability to create engaging and culturally sensitive educational content are essential. Familiarity with digital literacy, data governance, and community development concepts is preferred. Additionally, any previous experience in organizing workshops, particularly in virtual settings, would be beneficial. 

An understanding of indigenous cultures and a commitment to promoting equitable access to technology are highly valued. The fellow should demonstrate a proactive and collaborative approach, with a passion for empowering marginalized communities through digital inclusion initiatives. 

Undergraduate Fellows may assist with several facets of the project: 

  1. Content Creation: Contribute to the development of educational materials in English and Spanish, ensuring cultural sensitivity and relevance for diverse audiences. This may include creating content for virtual platforms and workshops.
  2. Project Documentation: Support the documentation of project progress, findings, and community-driven insights. This involves regular reporting on the impact of data inclusion initiatives and community-led data governance efforts.
  3. Research Support: Aid in research activities related to data governance, digital activism, and indigenous languages. This may involve literature reviews, data analysis, and collaboration with community members for valuable insights.
  4. Virtual Collaboration: Participate in virtual collaborations with project team members, community partners, and stakeholders. Contribute to the development of strategies for effective virtual communication and engagement.
  5. Community Engagement: Assist in facilitating virtual workshops and engaging with indigenous communities in Oaxaca to build digital literacy skills, emphasizing data rights, privacy, and responsible technology use. 

Helpful experience (though not required):

  • Community Engagement: Experience in community engagement or outreach activities, particularly within diverse and multicultural settings.
  • Language Skills: Proficiency in Spanish and/or English could be advantageous for effective communication with community members. 
  • Virtual Collaboration: Experience with virtual collaboration tools, online platforms, and remote work can be beneficial for effective participation in the project's virtual components. 
  • Cultural Sensitivity: An understanding of and sensitivity to diverse cultural contexts, particularly those related to indigenous communities, would enhance the fellows' ability to work collaboratively. 
Sustainable Livelihood Toolkit for Digital Africans

Location: Remote

Mentor: Jepchumba Cheluget, Race & Tech Fellow

Organization: Future Lab Africa

This project will develop an interactive digital toolkit that will initiate radical imagination through African agricultural and technological practices. The toolkit will comprise of a sustainable livelihood guide for practical use. The toolkit will recover some information about African knowledge systems in order to put to practical use the imagination outside western traditional understanding of technology. 

How do we offer new imaginings and models of sustainable living? How can we co create new cultures of technology inheriting from the legacy of African knowledge systems? This project looks to co-develop uses of new and ancient African technological, agricultural and cultural practices with contemporary African digital arts practices. I hope to create a new form of imagination, a new language, building systems of mutual care and solidarity, (literally) from the ground up through African farming and agricultural technologies and practice. 

Undergraduate Fellows may assist with several facets of the project:

  • User Experience Design: Research into alternative user interfaces and user experience practices 
  • African Knowledge system: Research into epistemological and practical African knowledge systems and how they are designed and implemented 
  • Speculative Thinking and Design: Exploration in process in creating future digital artifacts 

Helpful experience:

  • User interface design/User Experience Design