Call for Proposals

Technology + Racial and Indigenous Justice 

We the CTSP leadership acknowledge that academia, grantmaking bodies, foundations, science, policy, and technology have historically and currently reproduced and reinforced structural and systemic racism. As a grantmaking body that is part of an academic institution that sits on occupied territory, we are actively committed to restorative justice practices such as encouraging and educating fellows and the UC Berkeley community at large to contribute to the Shuumi Land Tax. In addition, we promote active and ongoing reflection on how we can ensure that our research and community is aware of both adverse and positive impacts of research, even social impact and social good research. Therefore, all applications for the 2021 CTSP Fellowship must address racial justice in addition to one of the focus areas. We offer the list of resources below as a starting point for applicants (and others) to reference when considering how issues of race, anti-Black racism, and Indigenous rights intersect with technology.

This is a living document – this means that you can suggest books, media, and other educational resources through this form

Race & Technology


  • Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin, 2019
  • Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life edited by Ruha Benjamin, 2019
  • Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures by André Brock, 2020
  • Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Browne, 2015
  • Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, From the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter, Charlton D. McIlwain, 2019
  • Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet by Lisa Nakamura, 2008
  • Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life edited by Alondra Nelson, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, and Alicia Headlam Hines, 2001
  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble, 2018
  • Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century by Dorothy Roberts, 2012


Articles and Chapters:


Other Projects:


Indigenous Science & Technology

(These suggestions come from a longer syllabus put together by our colleagues at the Indigenous Technologies program of the Berkeley Center for New Media, see here for their whole syllabus)

Land Back/Land Stewardship

Recommended by Corrina Gould, co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust


Indigenous Cyberspace

Recommended by Skawennati, Artist & Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace

  • She Falls for Ages (2016): a machinima by Skawennati. This sci-fi retelling of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) creation story reimagines Sky World as a futuristic, utopic space and Sky Woman as a brave astronaut and world-builder.
    • Readings: The book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992) greatly influenced me in this machinima.
  • TimeTravellerTM: a nine-episode machinima series developed by Skawennati between 2008 and 2013 in the virtual world Second Life, where users can create and activate avatars.
    • Readings: The Myth of the Earth Grasper influenced me in this work, as did the book Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (1953)
  • Imagining the Next Seven Generations,” Skawennati at TEDxMontrealWomen. Cinema Imperial, Montreal, QC. (30 May 2015)


Genocide and Survivance

Recommended by Corrina Gould, co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

  • An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 by Benjamin Madley (2016)
  • A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1810 by Randall Milliken (1995)


Indigenous Knowledges/Indigenous Science

Recommended by Indigenous Technologies staff

  • Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence by Gregory Cajete (2000)
  • by Zapotec Science: Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca Roberto Gonzalez (2001)
  • Spiral to the Stars: Mvskoke Tools of Futurity by Laura Harjo (2019)
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013)





Information Session for 2020 Fellow Applications

Interested in applying to be a 2020 CTSP fellow? Come to an information session on Wednesday, Nov. 20th at 4:30 PM in South Hall Room 6 (in the basement).

A reminder about eligibility and the funding model for 2020 (for more details see the Call for Applications):

2020 Fellowship Model

  •   Individual and Paired teams will typically receive $2,000/each.
  •   Teams with more than 2 members will receive a maximum of $5,000 total, with funding levels determined by project scope. You may optionally submit a budget detailing how your team would allocate up to $5,000.

With rare exceptions, projects must include a UC Berkeley student to be eligible. Projects that do not include a UC Berkeley student may be considered but may shift funding allocation.

UPDATE: The Information Session is past but we are sharing FAQs that came up at the session below.

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.

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

Data for Good Competition — Call for Proposals

See the people and projects that advanced to the seed grant phase in 2018 and the final results.

The Center for Technology, Society & Policy (CTSP) seeks proposals for a Data for Good Competition. The competition will be hosted and promoted by CTSP in coordination with the UC Berkeley School of Information IMSA, and made possible through funds provided by Facebook.

Team proposals will apply data science skills to address a social good problem with public open data. The objective of the Data for Good Competition is to incentivize students from across the UC Berkeley campus to apply their data science skills towards a compelling public policy or social justice issue.

The competition is intended to encourage the creation of data tools or analyses of open data. Open datasets may be local, state, national, or international so long as they are publicly accessible. The data tool or analysis may include, but is not limited to:

  1. integration or combination of two or more disparate datasets, including integration with private datasets;
  2. data conversions into more accessible formats;
  3. visualization of data graphically, temporally, and/or spatially;
  4. data validations or verifications with other open data sources;
  5. platforms that help citizens access and/or manipulate data without coding experience; etc.

Issues that may be relevant and addressed via this competition include environmental issues, civic engagement (e.g., voting), government accountability, land use (e.g., housing challenges, agriculture), criminal justice, access to health care, etc. CTSP suggests that teams should consider using local or California state data since there may be additional opportunities for access and collaboration with agencies who produce and maintain these datasets.

The competition will consist of three phases:

  • an initial proposal phase when teams work on developing proposals
  • seed grant execution phase when selected teams execute on their proposals
  • final competition and presentation of completed projects at an event in early April 2018

Teams selected for the seed grant must be able to complete a working prototype or final product ready for demonstration at the final competition and presentation event. It is acceptable for submitted proposals to already have some groundwork already completed or serve as a substantial extension of an existing project, but we are looking to fund something novel and not already completed work.

Initial Proposal Phase

The initial proposal phase ends at 11:59pm (PST) on January 28th, 2018 when proposals are due. Proposals will then be considered against the guidelines below. CTSP will soon announce events to support teams in writing proposals and to share conversations on data for good and uses of public open data.

Note: This Data for Good Competition is distinct from the CTSP yearlong fellowship RFP.

Proposal Guidelines

Each team proposal (approximately 2-3 pages) is expected to answer the following questions:

Project Title and Team Composition

  • What is the title of your project, and the names, department affiliations, student classification (undergraduate/graduate), and email contact information?


  • What is the social good problem?
  • How do you know it is a real problem?
  • If you are successful how will your data science approach address this problem?  Who will use the data and how will they use it to address the problem?  


  • What public open data will you be using?

Output & Projected Timeframe

  • What will your output be? How may this be used by the public, stakeholders, or otherwise used to address your social good problem?
  • Outline a timeframe of how the project will be executed in order to become a finished product or working prototype by the April competition. Will any additional resources be needed in order to achieve the outlined goal?

Privacy Risks and Social Harms

  • What, if any, are the potential negative consequences of your project and how do you propose to minimize them? For example, does your project create new privacy risks?  Are there other social harms?  Is the risk higher for any particular group?  Alternatively, does your project aim to address known privacy risks, social harms, and/or aid open data practitioners in assessing risks associated with releasing data publicly?

Proposals will be submitted through the CTSP website. Successful projects will demonstrate knowledge of the proposed subject area by explaining expertise and qualifications of team members and/or citing sources that validate claims presented. This should be a well-developed proposal, and the team should be prepared to execute the project in a short timeframe before the competition. Please include all relevant information needed for CTSP evaluation–a bare bones proposal is unlikely to advance to the seed funding stage.

Seed Grant Phase

Four to six teams will advance to the seed grant phase. This will be announced in February 2018. Each member of an accepted project proposal team becomes a CTSP Data for Good grantee, and each team will receive $800 to support development of their project. If you pass to the seed grant phase we will be working with you to connect you with stakeholder groups and other resources to help improve the final product. CTSP will not directly provide teams with hardware, software, or data.

Final Competition and Presentation Phase

This phase consists of an April evening of public presentation before judges from academia, Facebook, and the public sector and a decision on the competition winner. The top team will receive $5000 and the runner-up will receive $2000. 

Note: The presentation of projects will support the remote participation of distance-learning Berkeley students, including Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) students in the School of Information.

Final Judging Criteria

In addition to examining continued consideration of the project proposal guidelines, final projects will be judged by the following criteria and those judgments are final:

  • Quality of the application of data science skills
  • Demonstration of how the proposal or project addresses a social good problem
  • Advancing the use of public open data

After the Competition

Materials from the final event (e.g., video) and successful projects will be hosted on a public website for use by policymakers, citizens, and students. Teams will be encouraged to publish a blogpost on CTSP’s Citizen Technologist Blog sharing their motivation, process, and lessons learned.

General Rules

  • Open to current UC Berkeley students (undergraduate and graduate) from all departments (Teams with outside members will not be considered. However, teams that have a partnership with an external organization who might use the tool or analysis will be considered.)
  • Teams must have a minimum of two participants
  • Participants must use data sets that are considered public or open.

Code of Conduct

This code of conduct has been adapted from the 2017 Towards Inclusive Tech conference held at the UC Berkeley School of Information:

The organizers of this competition are committed to principles of openness and inclusion. We value the participation of every participant and expect that we will show respect and courtesy to one another during each phase and event in the competition. We aim to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. Attendees who disregard these expectations may be asked to leave the competition. Thank you for helping make this a respectful and collaborative event for all.


Please direct all questions about the application or competition process to


Please submit your application at this link.