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The Community Data Fellows program was launched as a pilot program in Fall 2022 and expanded in Spring 2023 through grant funding by the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN), a partnership of universities dedicated to combining public policy and digital innovation for societal benefit. This program is anchored by the Data Science Institute’s core principle of community-centered data science. The Community Data Fellows program pairs community-based nonprofit and government organizations with UChicago graduate students. Students work as data consultants, working with the organizations to identify their data science needs and goals and developing project plans and deliverables to help the organizations improve their outreach and impact. Building mutually-beneficial community partnerships is key to this program.


Community organizations supporting marginalized or underserved global or local communities are welcome to partner with the Community Data Fellows program. There is no cost for organizations to participate. Partners aren’t expected to be data experts– staff and students will work closely with partners to determine the organization’s data capacity and recommend custom projects or open-source solutions that address specific data needs within the organization.


UChicago graduate students can apply for a paid Fellowship and participate in a variety of social impact data projects. Some projects are more intensive with short-term deliverables, and others extend over multiple quarters. Students can expect to collaborate with global and local community organizations to assess data needs and create real-world, applicable solutions. Supported by the technical and administrative staff, Fellows will gain leadership and consulting skills, hone their data science skills through practical labs, and contribute directly to positive community impact.