Summer Fellowship for Anti-Racism Research
Baskin School of Engineering
The Baskin School of Engineering is committed to anti-racism through our research and teaching activities and by advancing a climate of belonging and mutual respect for our entire community. The Scholarship for Anti-Racism Research program is designed to advance anti-racism research at both the student and faculty levels, by supporting faculty-supervised student research that investigates racism and bias in technology/engineering and explores tools to fight racism and bias through technology. Awards will range from $2000 to $6000, depending on the scope of the project, and will be provided to students in the Baskin School of Engineering to work on an original project of their choice. Awardees will receive feedback on their projects from faculty and will be invited to present their completed projects in public speaker series.
Example topics might include the following:
- What algorithms are currently being used to uncover racial bias in the massive data sets used in machine learning? What companies and organizations are leading the way in these efforts and/or what kind of policy exists or should exist to expand the use of such algorithms?
- Certain technologies use sensors to determine the proximity of a human being (e.g., automatic faucets in public restrooms), and in some cases that technology works better for fair skin than it does for darker skin. How can those technologies be improved to be able to sense all human skin, not just certain skin tones?
- What efforts can game developers make to avoid propagating racist stereotypes in their games, and even help promote anti-racist themes?
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 protects Americans from discrimination based on their genetic information in both health insurance (Title I) and employment (Title II). Are there ways in which GINA should be expanded to protect individuals from being the target of racist actions or systems?
Eligibility: Undergraduate and Graduate Students
All declared Baskin Engineering students are eligible for FARR, as are undergraduates enrolled in an Engineering minors. Engineering graduate students enrolled in MS or PhD programs housed in Baskin Engineering are also encouraged to apply. Students may apply individually, or in teams of up to three students.
We welcome applications that highlight the clarity and importance of the proposed project and its potential technical applications and/or applications to engineering. Final projects may take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the work, including a research paper or digital resources such as a video game, toolkit, podcast series, or short film.
If a faculty advisor has been identified, please include a brief statement of support from the advisor. If not, we will help you identify a member of the Baskin Engineering faculty or another faculty member at UC Santa Cruz to serve as an advisor to the project.
Application materials are due March 29, 2021, and awards will be announced by April 5, 2021. Applications should include a description of the proposed project (up to 3000 words) and a timeline for research (up to 300 words). For team applications, care should be taken to explicate the role of each member of the team in the project. Email completed applications or questions to Abigail Kaun firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two information sessions have been scheduled for prospective applicants:
- Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:00-5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 17, 1:00-2:00 p.m..
To receive the Zoom link, please email Abigail Kaun at email@example.com.