Data, Media & Society

Spring 2021

The Center for Data, Media and Society is interested in the human in data. It is comprised of students and faculty who are engaged in both creative as well as research practices grounded in data. We study the ways in which we can use data to understand human behavior, and we address questions about how data and data processing are shaping how we work, how we live, and what it means to be a person in a networked, digitized world.

Each term, the DSI Center for Data, Media and Society supports original, interdisciplinary work at the intersection of data science and the humanities (broadly defined). By offering funding for promising undergraduate, masters, or graduate students research assistants, our aim is to accelerate collaborative, high-impact research projects whose goals and approaches may not fit within traditional departmental boundaries.

Call for Research Proposals

We encourage both faculty and students to submit project proposals. The primary requirement is that a project must ensure that there are at least 2 research mentors - one in humanities and one in DSI/CS - that can meet weekly with the funded students. Thus, students may submit a proposal if they have identified research mentors for the project.

Supported projects must submit a poster, a 3-5-page progress report, and a short video demo at the end of the semester outlining the following:

  • A description of the specific work pursued over the course of the semester, and how it moved forward the overall research project/agenda
  • Links to any outputs (e.g. papers, articles or other media, code, published interviews &c.)
  • 2-3 paragraphs from each faculty mentor and student involved reflecting on the impact of the work on their own broader academic or research goals and development
  • Next steps for the project

Project Selection and Support

Up to 4 accepted projects will be awarded funding for one student with a stipend of up to $2,500, or, at the discretion of the appropriately advising faculty, may be taken for credit. For interested faculty who have not identified a particular student they would like to support, the Center for Data, Media and Society will be soliciting applications from interested students who may be a good fit for your project. Project mentors will then be asked to select a student from those provided. A committee of center members will review the proposals and allocate these funds.

Application Process

Project proposals should be a maximum of 1 page, and include the following information:

  1. If this is a student or faculty proposal
  2. Name, title, and email of humanities faculty mentor(s)
  3. Name, title, and email of DSI/computational research mentor(s)
  4. Name, seniority, and email of student(s) (if student has been identified by the faculty, or this is a student proposal)
  5. Whether you need help recruiting students for the project
  6. Project title and description. This brief overview should emphasize the impact of the project and how participating in this program can uniquely accelerate the research.
  7. If the project has previously received support from either DSI (for example, the 2020 DSI Scholars summer program) or the Center for Data, Media & Society, the application should include a paragraph describing what was achieved during the previous term(s) of support and how the work can be importantly extended by continued support. Returning projects are encouraged to apply, but ongoing funding is not guaranteed.

Key dates

  • Monday, January 18, 2021 11:59PM EST: Proposals due
  • Friday, January, 22, 2021: Selected proposals notified
  • Monday, February 1, 2021:Notify center chairs about student researchers selected for project.
  • Monday, May 3rd 2021:4-page progress report for supported projects due

Submission link (Dropbox):

Call for Student Research Assistants

The DSI Center for Data, Media and Society is often tasked with identifying promising undergraduate, masters, or graduate students who can accelerate collaborative, high-impact research projects at the intersection of data science and the humanities (broadly defined). Students interested in gaining research experience while working across traditional disciplinary boundaries are encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Interested students should submit the following materials:

  1. A current resume/CV
  2. A brief statement of interest (no more than 250 words)

All we ask for is a copy of the student’s up-to-date resume/CV and a brief statement of interest, no more than 250 words.

Key dates

Monday, January 18, 2021 11:59PM EST: Applications due.

Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview directly by specific project leaders the following week

Please submit your application to

Note: If you are a student with a project idea,you may submit a project proposal for funding directly; see the call for project proposals above for details on how to apply. Any awarded funds will need to be administered by one of the mentoring faculty’s departments.

Part of Columbia's's Data Science Institute