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Empowering Future Innovators: Data Commons Launches a New Fellowship for University Students

10 Mar 2023 by GivingTuesday

Whether the focus is on climate change, education, the environment, healthcare, tackling inequality, or advancing social justice, GivingTuesday believes that generosity is at the heart of systemic social change.  GivingTuesday’s Data Commons, which powers the world’s most comprehensive dataset related to giving, is launching a summer fellowship for students who are interested in how data, technology, and other fields of academic study can be used to fuel more generosity and further the impact of the social sector. 

The fellowship program is open to graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, postdocs, and exceptional undergraduate students within any field of study from data science to anthropology. With the help of an advisor from their university, students will choose a research topic, which they will explore deeply during the 8-week summer fellowship. 

Fellows will get exclusive access to the full suite of GivingTuesday Data Commons’ data and insights including but not limited to millions of records of fundraising data provided by the most-used donation platforms, nonprofit email solicitation and conversion analysis, financial data from many of the biggest Donor Assisted Funds in the US, volunteer sign up and retention data, and more in order to conduct their research. While fellows are encouraged to choose a topic that interests them, some research ideas could include: 

  • Analyzing donor behavior patterns across different demographics
  • Examining donation platform data, campaign data, donor trends, etc. to uncover effective fundraising strategies
  • Identifying the key factors that motivate people to give their time or voice
  • Understanding and articulating the intersectionalities of the generosity ecosystem beyond the scope of monetary donations and fundraising.

“We’re thrilled to offer this fellowship program to students who are passionate about making a difference in the social sector,” says Tan Madhavan, Academic Research Partnerships Manager at GivingTuesday. “We’re excited to see what insights and innovative ideas will come out of this fellowship and how it will inspire the next generation of technology and data practitioners to create positive change in the world.”

The Data Commons Summer fellowship is open to all full-time enrolled students, including international students, across universities in North America. 

  • Each fellow will receive $4,000 in stipends and potential travel awards.
  • Fellows will get exclusive access to global nonprofit and philanthropic sector data.
  • Fellows will have the opportunity to present their progress and research at the end of the 8-week fellowship to the GivingTuesday team. 
  • The research that fellows will conduct will begin the pathway toward publication and will be a great opportunity to present at conferences.
  • Fellows will receive mentorship from social sector data science professionals and gain practical field experience. 

The Data Commons Summer Fellowship is an opportunity to gain valuable experience, build your professional network, and use your studies to advance social good. The research you lead will help build the tools and insights needed to transform the social sector from the ground up. Learn more about the program and apply by May 10, 2023. 


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