FAQ: Summer Collaborative Research Fellowship


What is the vision of Stanford Impact Labs? To support research that brings together leaders in government, business, nonprofits and academia to tackle concrete social problems with new evidence and practical solutions that benefit society

What is the purpose of the Summer Collaborative Research Fellowship? To support the intellectual and skill development of PhD students in the participation of impact-focused scholarship, and support opportunities for fellows to work under the mentorship of a faculty member in a collaborative, team-based research environment

What does "collaborative" mean, and why is this important? The summer fellowship is designed around a growing trend across the social sciences: more team-based, collaborative - rather than independent - research. Team science is particularly important in impact-focused research given the enormous challenges of addressing persistent social problems; it can be especially challenging for doctoral students to make significant contributions to public impact through independent scholarship as opposed to working with a larger team of impact-focused researchers. PhD applicants are therefore invited to co-apply with a faculty mentor who will be directly collaborating on the research project, possibly alongside other students, postdocs, or faculty (though not necessary for there to be more than one faculty PI).

For example, last year PhD fellow Angela Lee worked Prof Jeff Hancock and the Social Media Lab; Ayush Kanodia worked with Prof Susan Athey and the Golub Capital Social Impact Lab; and Iris Zhang worked with Prof Jackie Hwang and the Changing Cities Research Lab. Read more about these and other examples here.

What is an "impact-focused" research project? Research that is intended to address pressing social problems, and projects that have tractable pathways for uptake of the scientific insights to improve policies and programs for public benefit


Who is eligible? PhD students across all schools and disciplines

How do I apply? Complete the short application along with your faculty mentor here

When are applications due? March 28, 2022

When will decisions be communicated to applicants? First week of April

When is the fellowship? Summer quarter. Six full group sessions with guest speakers (six total) will be held from 12-1:30 on June 23, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19, and Aug 10. There will also be a welcome gathering and end of summer celebration, as well as weekly small group meetings throughout summer quarter.

Do I need to attend in-person? Given the evolving Covid situation, we are asking for input in the application process from all candidates so we can be demand responsive in determining whether sessions will be in-person (outdoors), virtual via Zoom, or some hybrid.

Is there a financial stipend? Yes, the fellowship includes a $4,000 *supplemental* stipend to support fellows' impact-focused research training. We appreciate that Stanford has a varied funding landscape for doctoral students and are available connect with interested students, faculty, or staff to discuss how this fellowship stipend best supports and meets the needs of all involved.