2021 Fellowship FAQs

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Citizen Technologist

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2021 Fellowship FAQs

LAST UPDATED Nov 24, 2020

We added more frequently asked questions for the 2021 Call for Applications after our information session on Thursday, Nov. 19th.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member?

A: No. The application does not ask for a letter of recommendation from a faculty member. However, if you are proposing a project with a community partner, you should have a letter of support from the community partner.

Q: Do I need to submit a budget for my project?

A: The application does not require a budget, although you may choose to include one if you feel it would be useful.

Q: Will I need to submit receipts or other proof of expenses?

A: Not for fellowship stipends. Fellowship stipends are disbursed to fellows as unrestricted honorarium at the beginning of the fellowship year to UC Berkeley students. Fellows must acknowledge CTSP support in publications and other outputs resulting from their fellowship related work.

Q: Should my proposed project have a tangible deliverable that is described in the project proposal?

A: Proposals should include one or more clearly defined outcomes. The scope of what you or your team may propose to do is open-ended and may include a publishable paper, a detailed design or engineering prototype, a whitepaper or regulatory proposal, a public event or a documentary film. However, we acknowledge that in the course of the year your research goals may shift such that your plans for a deliverable change. That’s ok, and is in fact a common part of doing research.

Q: Do I have to produce a deliverable by the end of the fellowship year?

A:  The only final deliverable we require is a statement (approximately 1 page long) describing what you have done during your fellowship year.

Q: Can I submit more than one project proposal?

A: Yes, you can submit (or be part of a group submitting) more than one proposal. Since proposals are chosen through a blind review, each of your proposals will be evaluated separately. If a fellow is accepted to work on more than one project they will still receive one stipend.

Q: Does my project have to fit in one of the focus areas?

Yes, the focus areas are purposely broad (and can overlap), so that it will not be a difficult fit for you project. If you think your project does not fit, you can choose the focus area that is closest to your project category. The focus areas you choose will help us see how you interpret the area(s) that you see your project fitting in.

Q: What kind of final product do I need to have? How does this relate to showing my impact?

The final product for your project can depend on the audience that you intend it for. We want to see you think through who that audience is and how you hope to have an impact in the discussion of your final product. For example, if you hope to reach a general audience, you might aim for a blog post or op-ed. Also, remember that the final product you plan on in your application is not a fixed requirement. We know that over the course of the year plans may shift – that is OK!

Q: If I also applied to CTLC for funding can I apply to CTSP? 

Yes. We coordinate with CLTC when making our decisions, so they are aware of the projects that we accept to be CTSP-CLTC projects. You can indicate that you have applied for CLTC by checking that box on your application.

Q: How does it work if I  have non-UCB students on a project?

Logistically, it is VERY hard for us to disburse funds to a non-UCB student. That is why we require that every project have a UCB student on the team. In the case of teams with some non-UCB students, we will disburse all of the funds to the UCB student(s) and let them divide the money among their teammates. Just note that for tax purposes the person who we disburse the money to will be responsible for paying taxes on all of it.

Q: Can I apply with a new project if I was a fellow in the past ?

Yes! We have had many fellows come back with new projects (or continuations of past projects). Remember, that applications are de-identified so we will judge your application like all the others.

Q: If I have a project with someone who could be considered a client, do they need to be included in the reflexivity or team members questions?

You could include that person as a team member and then yes, include them in the team members and reflexivity sections. Or you can have them be a client and then they play less of a role in your application but are indicated in a letter of support (so we know that you have actually discussed this idea with them). It’s really up to you and the kind of relationship you want to have with this person/organization.

Q: What does the mentorship section mean? 

This is another part of the application that is trying to get you to think through what you want to do and get out of your CTSP project. If there are ways that you anticipate getting mentorship out of your team – for example, a grad student and an undergrad could have a mentoring relationship while both being fellows on a project together. Or, maybe you hope to leverage your connection to CTSP to gain access to other kinds of mentorship – to professors in other departments, people in industry or policy, or even with our wonderful CTSP alums. This is a space to indicate that!

Q: It’s really hard to find a partner for a new project given that we are in a pandemic and have has fewer chances to get to know people, their interests, working style, etc. What if I want to apply for a project that needs other team members, but I don’t know who those people are yet? Can I apply for more money with the expectation that it will support me and a team member yet to be determined?

This is a new issue, but one that makes a lot of sense. You can apply and make the case for why you need more team members, what their roles will be and how you will identify them. We can’t promise that we will give you more money, but we will consider it.

Q: What if we need more space than the one page provided for the positionality statement? 

Since this is part of the identified application, you can email us (ctsp@nullberkeley.edu) an additional page – just include the title of the project and explain that it’s for the positionality statement.

Q: Is the section on racial and/or indigenous justice required? 

Yes. Explicitly we want to see at least one citation that references either the researchers that we highlight here (link) or another that you choose. Beyond that we want to see you think through how your idea intersects with this issue. You do not need to summarize all of the points of the work you reference, but tell us how it is related to your proposed project.

If you still have questions about the Call for Applications, send us an email!

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