Student Fellows

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Become a DSSG Student Fellow

DSSG Student Fellows work on data-intensive projects that have concrete relevance and social impact.

Applications to become a Student Fellow in the 2023 University of Washington Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) summer program at the eScience Institute have now closed. The program brings together data scientists and domain researchers to work on focused, collaborative projects for societal benefit. Please check back in January 2024.

To tackle complex societal challenges, UW DSSG teams take a multi-dimensional approach that integrates data science techniques, ethical thinking, and stakeholder engagement to generate real-world benefits. Student Fellows work on interdisciplinary teams led by project leads from academia, nonprofits, and government, along with data scientists at the eScience Institute who offer technical expertise and guidance. Throughout the 10-week program, students also participate in tutorials, workshops, mentoring, and career development talks with panelists who work in a variety of sectors. This hands-on program emphasizes learning opportunities for all participants as they collaboratively navigate exciting and challenging teamwork in pursuit of Data Science for Social Good.

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

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 here for summaries of projects from previous DSSG summer programs.

More info about the application process and requirements is provided below.

The connections I made through DSSG are ones that I’ll carry throughout my career. My team established a working environment grounded in collaboration, communication, and meaningful relationships.”

Hikari Murayama, 2020 DSSG Student Fellow

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

Who can apply

Graduate students and undergraduate seniors who are starting graduate school in Fall 2023 at degree-granting colleges or universities are eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled students in the Spring 2023 term AND enrolled graduate students in Fall 2023. This means undergraduates are eligible to apply only if they are seniors who are beginning graduate school in the fall.

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. and they can obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) status. Unfortunately, we cannot offer admission based on Optional Practical Training (OPT) status and we cannot sponsor student visas for this program.

What is DSSG?

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. See the FAQs for more information on this curricular component of our program.

Where is DSSG?

Fellows will be required to work on campus at the eScience Institute’s Data Science Studio, and will be expected to be present during most regular business hours. However, teams will have some flexibility to incorporate a certain amount of remote hours into their team’s schedule. Please note that the Project Leads and Data Scientists working with teams of student Fellows may work either remotely or in-person, depending upon selected projects.

When is DSSG?

This is a 10-week long, full-time program beginning June 12th and ending August 18th 2023.


Students will receive a stipend of $9,000 for the 10 weeks. All DSSG applicants are also eligible to apply for additional funding through the UW DSSG Opportunity Scholarship.

Required 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: Applications were due February 13th, 2023, 11:59pm Pacific Time. Applicants who have been selected to advance to the interview stage of the vetting process will be notified on or about March 10 Our target date for making offers of admission into the program is April 10.

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

An Information Session for interested students was held on January 17th from 1:00-2:00 pm PST via Zoom. You may view the presentation slides or video.

To learn more about last year’s program, read our blog about final project presentations. You can read quotes from former student fellows below. Please also see project descriptions from the 2015-2022 DSSG summer programs here.

Alumni Testimonials

“The eScience Institute and the DSSG program have cultivated a space where the staff, faculty and affiliates are aligned on determining and working towards what social good looks like in data science. As this work unfolded in the summer of 2021, we approached data science as an interdisciplinary pursuit that requires expertise and knowledge across fields and backgrounds. I appreciated how eScience and DSSG operated as a hub that brought together content area experts, data scientists, researchers, fellows and stakeholders to tackle the big social problems that our projects were investigating.”

-Katherine Chang, 2021 DSSG fellow

“Before joining the Data Science for Social Good program, I had some background experience in machine learning, but I had never applied these experiences to a real-world project like identifying disinformation in coronavirus news articles. Participating in this project helped me to strengthen my experience and also my skills related to data science. In addition, I was able to build a network of people that I talk to, especially data scientists.”

-George Hope Chidziwisano, 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