Learning

A New Class of Research Fellows

Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Siegel Family Endowment is part of the movement to foster learning through open access, participation, and wide-scale collaboration. As participants and advocates in this field, we’re always on the hunt for research and organizations that exemplify openness, transparency, scalability, and the free exchange of ideas. As grantmakers, we assess a project’s impact both within the confines of the projects themselves, and more broadly within their respective fields.

In the last year, we made grants to support fellowship programs at two innovative research organizations, the Mozilla Science Lab and Data & Society, with the purpose of supporting detailed, high-level work in both academic and non-academic settings. The participating research fellows bring a wide, multidisciplinary skillset and range of backgrounds to their projects, all of which examine the impacts of science and technology on modern society. At both organizations, these cohorts are tasked with producing work that will help us make sense of the increasingly technology-driven world, while their outputs will guide us in supporting innovations that make those changes navigable for more people.

In addition to producing in-depth, cutting-edge subject area research, fellows aim to effect change at the broader network and community levels. Rather than isolating research findings behind paywalled journals or publicizing only organizational successes, both Mozilla and Data & Society fellows act as stewards and advocates for openness at all stages of the research and publication process. Collectively, they host discussions and events to expose a wide range of audiences to ongoing critical conversations about the roles that data and science play in reconfiguring our society. They also offer trainings for academic researchers and citizen scientists alike on methods for practicing openness in their work. Their work creates spaces for people to convene, connect, and collaborate across sectors to push problem-solving outside the box. Taken together, these activities help facilitate significant, meaningful change among peer organizations in the field.

Mozilla fellowships are designed to provide scientists, activists, educators, developers, and open data enthusiasts the opportunity to work full time as advocates for openness within their communities. The Mozilla Science Lab has been a leader in leveraging open practices in service of science, and has trained thousands of researchers in technical and leadership skills to promote and develop awareness of the value of open practice in research. The Mozilla Fellows for Science empower researchers to influence the future of open research, open source, and data sharing within their communities, and to develop their own skills and portfolios. Together, these elements cover both the breadth and the depth required to grow the movement to teach, protect, and build the open Web.

Members of Data & Society’s new class of fellows practice in a number of fields that range from law, to computer science, to privacy studies, to the arts, and beyond. Each will divide their time between focusing on their own individual research, collaborating on projects, and undertaking other work that will help establish Data & Society as a prominent convener of forward-thinking technological minds. This approach will not only help us better understand the impact of technology and data on the wider world around us, but to identify what can be done collaboratively to address and guide those impacts.

For more on Data & Society’s 2017–2018 fellows and their work, click here. To learn more about the Mozilla Science Lab’s fellowship program and their fellows, click here.