The DSI Center for Data, Media and Society is pleased to announce our call for spring project proposals. The purpose of the program is to identify promising undergraduate, masters, or graduate students to accelerate collaborative, high-impact research projects in the humanities (broadly defined).

Project Requirements

Selected projects must ensure that at least two (2) research mentors - one in humanities and one in DSI/CS - will meet weekly with each funded student. Larger groups of researchers can co-mentor student(s) in rotation throughout the semester, as long as at least two researchers (one from each discipline) are present at each weekly meeting.

Supported projects must submit a 3-5-page progress report in mid-May, outlining the following:

  • A description of the specific work pursued over the course of the semester, and how it moved forward the overall research project/agenda
  • Links to any outputs (e.g. papers, articles or other media, code, published interviews &c.)
  • 2-3 paragraphs from each faculty mentor and student involved reflecting on the impact of the work on their own broader academic or research goals and development
  • Next steps for the project

Project Selection and Support

Up to four (4) accepted projects will be awarded funding for one student with a stipend of up to $2,750. For interested faculty who have not identified a particular student they would like to support, the Center for Data, Media & Society will be soliciting applications from interested students who may be a good fit for your project. Project mentors will then be asked to select a student from those provided. A committee of center members will review the proposals and allocate these funds.

Application Process

Project proposals should be a maximum of one (1) page, and include the following information:

  • Name, title, and email of humanities faculty mentor(s)
  • Name, title, and email of DSI/CS research mentor(s)
  • Project title and description. This brief overview should emphasize the impact of the project and how participating in this program can uniquely accelerate the research.
  • If the project has previously received support from DSI or the Center (for example, the 2018 DSI Scholars summer program), the application should include a paragraph describing what was achieved during the summer term and how the work can be importantly extended by continued support. Returning projects are encouraged to apply, but ongoing funding is not guaranteed.

Key Dates

  • January 21, 2019, 11:59PM: Proposals due
  • January 25, 2019: Selected proposals announced
  • May 17, 2019: 5-page progress report for supported projects due


Title: Hacking Voter Suppression

Faculty: June Cross (Journalism/Documentary Film); Mark Hansen (Journalism/Statistics)

Project Description: This project will explore how Russian interference combined with gerrymandering and domestic legal challenges, including voter ID laws, to suppress the black vote in 2016. We will use big data to inform “shoe leather” reporting, and present projected data, pre-recorded audio interviews, and some re-enacted interviews in a theatrical setting. We will include historical video archives and develop a production design for five 3-5 minute videos.

The project will use actors, video designers, and a dynamic graphics interface to demonstrate the suppressive impact on the African American vote. Each “chapter” will combine scripted and improvised elements based on reporting and hard data analysis derived from the 2016 election.

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