The application period for summer 2021 has ended. Please check back in January 2022.

Are you interested in using data-driven discovery for societal benefit?

The University of Washington eScience Institute has completed the application period for Student Fellows to participate in the 2021 Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) summer program. The program brings together data scientists and domain researchers to work on focused, collaborative projects for societal benefit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this program will be conducted remotely.

Up to sixteen DSSG Student Fellows will be selected to work with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on data-intensive research projects.

This program, which has been running since the summer of 2015, was inspired by similar endeavors such as the Data Science for Social Good program originally at the University of Chicago (now at CMU).

This year’s projects will leverage data science approaches to address societal challenges in areas such as human services, public policy, health and safety, environmental impacts, transportation, accessibility, social justice, and urban informatics. Click for summaries of projects from the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 DSSG summer programs.

Who: Graduate students and advanced (junior/senior) undergraduate students. You must be enrolled in a degree granting program in spring 2021 and fall 2021 to be eligible to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Former students are not eligible for the program – no exceptions can be accommodated.

International students are eligible to apply as long as their visa status allows them to work in the U.S. We cannot sponsor student visas for this program.

What: Each student will be part of a team working full-time (i.e. 40 hours/week) on an applied research project that has concrete social relevance and impact. Students are expected to work closely and collaboratively with team members for the duration of the 10-week program. 

Projects may involve a range of stakeholders, including academic researchers, government officials, non-profit organizations, and the general public.

In addition to project work, students participate in a wide range of data science tutorials, discussion-based workshops, and subject matter talks with experts from outside the program.

Where: Due to uncertainty around the timeline for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, program activities will be conducted remotely via online video and chat platforms. We hope that conditions will allow us to give program participants the opportunity to gather on the UW campus for a culminating event at the end of the summer. However, even if feasible, participation in such a gathering would not be mandatory.

This is our second time running a distributed DSSG program, having transitioned to remote work in 2020 due to the pandemic. The format proved to be very successful, and participants expressed high degrees of satisfaction with the experience of collaborating remotely (see below for testimonials).

When: This is a 10-week long, full-time program beginning June 14th and ending August 20th 2021. Participants’ time zones will be taken into account in determining workday start and end times.

Compensation: Students will receive a stipend of $7,000 for the 10 weeks. All DSSG applicants are also eligible to apply for additional funding through the Micron Opportunity Scholarship.  

Desired qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest and experience in issues related to social good
  • Previous computer programming experience
  • Ability to work on highly interdisciplinary teams and with multiple stakeholder groups
  • Research experience with quantitative and/or qualitative methods
  • Strong academic record

How to Apply: Applications are now closed. Please note: a copy of your CV and unofficial transcripts are required, and you will be asked to attest that you can comply with the attendance policies laid out in the application form.

DEADLINE: The application deadline was February 22nd, 2021, 11:59pm Pacific Time. Applicants who have been selected to advance to the interview stage of the vetting process will be notified by March 15, 2021.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for DSSG Student Fellows. Additional questions may be directed to DSSG Program Coordinator Emily Keller at <>.

An Information Session for interested students was held on January 26th via a Zoom webinar. Slides are available here.

To learn more about last year’s program, read our blogs about final project presentations and migrating the program online, and the quotes from former student fellows below.

“Despite being entirely remote, the connections I made through DSSG are ones that I’ll carry throughout my career. The program helped my team establish a working environment grounded in collaboration, communication, and meaningful relationships. I’ve brought the hard and soft skills I’ve learned through the 10 weeks back to my own research group.”

-Hikari Murayama, 2020 DSSG fellow


“DSSG was a great learning experience for me. I gained an understanding of how to develop a Data Science project from beginning to the end. The focus was always on the fellows and their learning, which I think is a unique trait of the DSSG fellowship. Though we missed out on the in-person interactions, the folks at eScience Institute took measures to make us feel a part of the bigger DSSG family. Through DSSG, I was able to get a great network of like-minded people and get another internship as a direct result.”

-Richa Gupta, 2020 DSSG fellow


“Participating in the DSSG program at UW eScience Institute was a fantastic experience. I picked up a great deal of technical expertise, and the interdisciplinary team structure gave me an increased understanding of career options in many different industries. My time at DSSG gave me the confidence to explore opportunities outside of my own discipline, and I was able to land a digital research manager position as a direct result.”

– Sean Wang, 2016 DSSG fellow