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 2023, fellows enroll in CSRE 146B: Approaching Research in the Community: Design and Methods.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 2023, 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 2023, students share their research with peers, faculty, community partners at the Stanford Engaged Scholarship Symposium.

 

Applications due: February 10th, 2023. Apply here!

Project Opportunities: Summer 2023

The role of the federal courts in immigration integration and enforcement

Faculty Mentor: Asad L. Asad (Sociology)

Little is known about how actors within the federal judiciary understand their role in immigration integration and enforcement. This is an important oversight. Although Congress creates the laws that determine which immigrants are allowed into the country, and the conditions under which they must leave, different presidential administrations have wide latitude in the regulations, policies, and guidelines they implement to facilitate immigrant enforcement nationwide. These same presidential administrations have the authority to nominate federal judges, who are aligned with their political ideologies, to fill vacancies on district and appellate court benches. Depending on an administration’s enforcement priorities, judges may wind up deciding important cases that bear on the character, scope, and consequences of immigration integration and enforcement in the United States. This project examines the role of the federal judiciary in contemporary immigration integration and enforcement and seeks to call attention to the judiciary's underappreciated and -examined role in these processes. Students working on this project would be engaged in two primary tasks: 1) conducting in-depth interviews with current or former federal judges, lawyers (prosecutors and/or defense attorneys) who have tried an immigration-related case before a federal judge, and/or former defendants who have had a case heard in federal court; 2) conducting targeted news media and literature reviews on specific laws or policies bearing on immigration integration and/or enforcement that the federal judiciary has enabled or constrained. Other tasks may be assigned as the project evolves. Students with an interest in the law and its processes, especially as it relates to immigration, are encouraged to apply. Advanced proficiency in a language other than English (e.g., Spanish, Polish, Chinese, or Arabic) is helpful but not necessary.

Community Museums Project

Faculty Mentor: Grant Parker (Classics)

The Community Museums project aims to highlight the huge variety of South Africa's smaller, community-based museums. We work with curators to focus on their digital public interface, populating a template recently developed by our project. While many such museums already have a website, our goal is to use a standardized multimedia format that allows curators throughout the country to emphasize whatever they consider unique about their own museums. Exhibits use a combination of photographs, documents, maps and purpose-recorded interviews. In this project, we are especially attuned to local histories and the identities with which they are connected. These often lack visibility within the country's larger-scale narratives.

Fellows will take responsibility for curating individual museum websites, under PI supervision and with a strong sense of curator partnership. They will collect appropriate material, both archival and newly created in conjunction with local partners. They will work in a team that also includes SA-based liaison, as well as CCSRE and CESTA interlocutors. Teamwork will be essential.

Since the platform relies on ArcGIS and StoryMaps, those will be the key technologies needed for any fellow within this project. Prior GIS experience is welcome, though training will be available. A background in South African or in African Studies or in any branch of heritage will be welcome but is not a prerequisite. Most important of all is an interest in and commitment to local histories and their digital curation.

COVID-19 and Health in Jails: Perspectives from People Living Inside

Faculty Mentor: Sophie Allen & Matthew Clair (Law & Sociology)

Scientists, policymakers, and community organizers have long scrutinized the relationship between incarceration and health. People in jail have a federal constitutional right to medical care, and some people suggest carceral settings can positively impact health through coercive provision of resources like food and shelter. However, the criminal system has a well-documented, deleterious impact on individual and population health. This project elevates a perspective that is often absent in policy debates and academic literature about health and incarceration: the viewpoints of people living inside U.S. jails. How do people in jail view the institution as it relates to their health? How do they strategically navigate through jail to protect their health and wellbeing? How has the covid-19 pandemic influenced life and health in jail?

Between May 2021 and January 2022, the research team conducted 73 in-depth interviews with people living in a California county jail as coronavirus outbreaks ebbed and intensified in the facility. Participants varied across a range of characteristics, including gender, preferred spoken language, and criminal case status. The team is presently analyzing interview transcripts and preparing to disseminate research findings. 

The undergraduate CBR fellow may assist with public dissemination of research findings by:

(1) Designing and releasing a public-facing website with research findings. There will be several pages on the website, organized mindfully for various stakeholder groups (e.g., lawyers, community organizers, participants’ family members). The website will be written in accessible language and include visuals and links to external resources.

(2) Designing and releasing a paper pamphlet with research findings. The pamphlets will be written for a layperson, include easy-to-understand visuals, and be distributed to people living inside of the partner jail.

The undergraduate CBR fellow may also assist with other project components such as:

  • Curating knowledge about health and incarceration
  • Coding qualitative data
  • Drafting follow up interview questions and protocols
  • Conducting follow up interviews

Helpful (but not required) background:

  • Web design, qualitative research, Spanish speaking ability
  • Personal experience with the criminal punishment system

Building “Dataset Nutrition Labels” for common race and ethnicity datasets to mitigate bias in algorithmic systems

Mentor: Kasia Chmielinski (CCSRE Technology & Racial Equity Initiative); Faculty PI: Alfredo Artiles (Director of Research, CCSRE)

AI systems are only as effective, accurate and inclusive as the data that they are trained on - if the data provided to a model for training purposes is incomplete, biased or unrepresentative, then the system will be as well. The Data Nutrition Project (DNP) investigates methods of increasing the quality & equity of AI systems by building “Dataset Nutrition Labels” (analogous to FDA Nutritional Labels for datasets) that help data practitioners identify the “ingredients” of a dataset -- especially those that are anomalous -- before issues of underlying bias are further propagated in a model. 

This project will leverage the existing Dataset Nutrition Label framework to interrogate and highlight bias in common demographic datasets used across the United States, especially with regards to race and ethnicity. Today, our demographic data is often filled with missing fields, problematic categorization, or blatant misrepresentation. If misunderstood or ignored, these issues can have repercussions on insights drawn from the data, including policy recommendations or algorithmic systems. The goal of this project is to mitigate these negative impacts through 1) the creation of Labels for common demographic datasets and 2) leveraging these materials to support a broader education and literacy campaign among those who use and are affected by these datasets. 

Undergraduate Fellows may assist with several facets of the project: 

  1. Dataset selection: Research into and comparison across common US demographic datasets, including understanding their impact (prior and current use); 
  2. Dataset Nutrition Label build: Leveraging the existing Label framework to build Dataset Nutrition Labels for these common datasets, collaborating closely with Project Lead and external subject matter experts to investigate and validate responses; 
  3. Awareness Campaign: Supporting the creation of educational materials and coordination of conversations or workshops with policymakers, community groups, and others who are using and / or impacted by the selected datasets. 

Helpful experience (though not required): 

  • Building and/or using Machine Learning systems; 
  • Experience working with datasets, especially those with a focus on demographic data; 
  • Interest in the intersection of racial equity and bias in technical systems; 
  • Experience with policy or advocacy, especially with regards to addressing community harms.

Data Healing: A Call for Repair

Mentor: Neema Githere (CCSRE Technology & Racial Equity Initiative); Faculty PI: Alfredo Artiles (Director of Research, CCSRE)

In the voracious pursuit of profit, social media platforms have actively manipulated how we relate to ourselves and one another—establishing what Jaron Lanier terms as “behavioral modification empires.” Data Healing: A Call for Repair is a project that merges the tenets of harm reduction, consentful tech principles (Dann Toliver and Una Lee, 2018), and Indigenous restorative justice methodologies to prototype interventions against the relational violence of surveillance capitalism. Using near-future speculative fiction as a design framework, Data Healing: A Call for Repair will outline what a therapeutic center—funded through reparations from Meta Inc., and geared towards post-social media psychosocial repair—could look like. 

As shifts in policy are seeded to hold Big Tech accountable, it is increasingly urgent to pair this action with the development and dissemination of accessible educational toolkits that address the harm imposed by these tech behemoths on a grassroots level. Confronting this urgency grounded in care, the question anchoring this project is: how do we facilitate a grassroots movement for digital behavioral rehabilitation? 

A student fellow could support this project by:

  1. Designing an accessible public-facing website to host the resources, references, and research nodes that inform Data Healing; using the project’s Are.na board as a starting point. The website should innovate ways to invite collective-manifesto, and be navigable to a wide and intergenerational audience with particular attention given to the needs and visions of marginalized people. 
  2. Condensing the project’s insights and core principles into a flyer/pamphlet, intended for a high-school level audience, that gives language to our affective relationships to the internet and employs harm reduction principles to offer suggestions around how to navigate heavy social media use.

The ideal fellow to support this project will have a background or demonstrated interest in:

  • Poetic computation/code as poetry
  • Black science fiction (specifically Octavia Butler)
  • Grassroots organizing 
  • Reparations (its legal precedence, parallels with and distinctions from philanthropy, and its viability as a pathway for wide-scale application in the tech industry)

Black Moderation Matters: Exploring Black Moderator Recruitment and Retention in Online Communities

Mentor: Jasmine Walker (CCSRE Technology & Racial Equity Initiative); Faculty PI: Alfredo Artiles (Director of Research, CCSRE)

Controlling the racially-motivated hate speech that exists on social media has always been a challenge for those who own and operate the platforms, but became a focal point in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement’s growth. Many platforms have updated or solidified their content policies and rules in response, but these changes mean little when community moderation teams lack diverse experiences. Depending on the platform, moderation can be performed by unpaid volunteers or paid employees, but invariably rely on the cultural competency and diversity of the moderators. This project aims to explore the attitudes and values of Black content moderators in online spaces and present recommendations to those in leadership roles for successful recruitment and retention of Black content moderators.

The undergraduate fellows may assist with several areas of the project, including but not limited to:

1.       Developing the Instrument: Aid in developing the interview questionnaire with the Project Lead

2.       Data collection: Collection, categorization, and organization of the data

3.       Outreach: Aid the Project Lead in recruiting participants and scheduling interviews 

The fellow should have great interpersonal skills, be able to communicate effectively with a diverse audience, and a passion for racial justice in digital spaces. Experience with qualitative research methods, organization of qualitative research, and a basic understanding of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc. is helpful, but not required.

 

Eligibility

  • Availability: This is a full-time summer research/internship opportunity for Summer Quarter 2023. You will also be required to take a spring quarter course, and to present at a fall quarter research symposium. 
  • Time Commitment: Full-time is defined as 35+ hours per week in 10 consecutive weeks, i.e., it is the student's primary activity that quarter.
  • Students must be enrolled as an undergraduate in Summer 2023; they must also be enrolled in Spring 2023 and Autumn 2023, the quarters immediately preceding and following the fellowship quarter.
  • Outside Commitments and Concurrent Course Enrollment: 
    • Other Stanford funding: A student may only receive one full-time Stanford-funded experiential learning opportunity in the 2022-23 academic year.
      • Full-time VPUE Faculty/Department Grant student recipients are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise), including but not limited to:
        • Major Grant
        • Chappell Lougee Scholarship
        • Beagle II
        • Haas Summer Fellowship/Cardinal Quarter
        • Stanford Seed
        • Departmental Grant-supported summer research position
        • Faculty Grant-supported summer research position
        • Other full-time summer fellowship or internship
      • The above opportunities represent a significant time commitment and are intended to support a student’s unique full-time effort on a project
  • Students may not receive both academic units and a stipend for any single project activity.
  • Funds may not be used to directly support honors thesis research. Honors students should seek funding through UAR’s Student Grants Program.
  • Funds may only support current Stanford undergraduates. Co-terminal MS or MA students may be supported only if their undergraduate degree is not conferred before the conclusion of the project.
  • Students are permitted to enroll in up to five units of coursework during the Flex Term in which they are engaging in a full-time VPUE Faculty/Department Grant project
  • Full-time VPUE Faculty/Department Grant recipients are permitted to work at an additional internship, job, or volunteer position for no more than 10 hours per week.   If a student is enrolling in coursework, then the student is not permitted to engage in any additional internship/work/volunteer opportunities.
  • While full-time VPUE Faculty/Department Grant recipients are permitted to work at an additional 10 hours per week, these additional hours cannot be funded with an alternate VPUE Department/Faculty Grant 
  • Students who receive a full-time VPUE Faculty/Department Grant cannot enroll in five units and work 10 hours per week during a Flex Term synchronously.
  • Please note violations of Undergraduate Fellowship program policies are also violations of the Fundamental Standard and may be referred to the Office of Community Standards.