Data for Impact


The Data for Impact Institute is offering online project-centric internships for highly motivated students focused on Data Science, Research, Analytics, Visualization, and Execution. The Institute begins with a one-week workshop series, taught by selected faculty, that will get students up to speed on the core knowledge of data statistics, applications, analysis and visualization. For the remaining seven weeks, student teams will work on a wide array of interdisciplinary data-centric projects with meaningful outcomes.

Projects may address compelling social, economic, population health, or community-related topics with aspirations for contributing to real sustainable impact. These projects will be faculty-guided and inquiry-driven, and prepare students to engage with faculty research while empowering them to pursue their own ideas and data-related career pathways. Project teams have the opportunity to advance their work into the academic year through the multi-year Creative Inquiry project framework.

The D4I Institute specifically welcomes applications from incoming sophomores and juniors. Seniors doing data-intensive theses as well as college graduates wanting to get experience in data analysis are also welcome to apply. We have 12+ projects that will engage interns chosen through a competitive application process. This immersive Institute has a rolling application process and can take interns every month. Interns are expected to commit at least 20 hours per week to both the workshops and their projects.

Applications are currently open. The application will request that students indicate their top two project choices. After a quick interview process, we anticipate informing selected students within two weeks. Students who successfully complete the Institute will be named “Data for Impact Fellows” and this will add to their portfolios of accomplishment.

Students: What’s in it for me?

  • Develop / strengthen skill sets in data science, analysis and visualization: a growing field for all disciplines that opens new career pathways;

  • Experience working with interdisciplinary teams and driving research forward collaboratively with student, faculty, and external partners;

  • Opportunities to work collaboratively with other self-selected, motivated students from across the university on ambitious data-centric projects;

  • Applying principles of data science to high-impact, real-world projects / applying knowledge to practical execution;

  • Learning fast, learning big, learning to fail and reiterate, and learning on the go;

  • Prepare your resume to join real-world action-research endeavors, pursue your own ideas for new ventures, and qualify for new internship and career opportunities.

Program Structure

  • The program starts with a one-week workshop series, followed by immersive project work (Mandatory). Additional pre-program workshops may be offered for students with no or very limited experience working with data.

  • Weekly Check-Ins from Teams (Mandatory)

  • Weekly Seminar by Industry/Academic Experts (Mandatory)

  • Pop-up classes by subject matter experts will be offered every week. Faculty can make specific workshops mandatory for their own teams.

  • Presenting at the Virtual Innovation Expo (Mandatory)

Information for Students

How do students apply?

Application Link: click here. The application takes about 15 minutes to complete.

When are student applications due?

Is there a cost to the D4I Summer Institute?

Why should I become a D4I Fellow?

Information for Faculty and Innovation Fellows

I have a project idea. What next?

Given the short time frame, we are expecting initial information including a project title, lead faculty mentor, other faculty involved, and a short summary. After initial conversations and confirmation, and in order to facilitate the selection of students, we will request (before the program commences a brief (1-2 page) project concept that responds to the following prompts (bullet points are completely fine):

1. Demographics

a. Project Title

b. Lead Faculty Member or Innovation Fellow

c. Partnering Faculty

d. Ideal Student Profile

e. Specific Resources Necessary

2. Dream and Impact

a. What is the ultimate, or hoped-for, dream of the project? How might you pursue this dream?

b. What is the topic/question/possibility/mode of inquiry you will employ?

c. What is the project’s potential for impact? What might your impact look like? What disciplines, fields, or spheres will your work influence?

3. Project Scope

a. What would make this project a potential game-changer?

b. What is the new intellectual/creative pathway you are taking?

c. How is this project collaborative? What communities of practice are you contributing to, and calibrating against?

What are the criteria for D4I projects?

What's in it for faculty project mentors?

What are the ways in which interested faculty can participate without mentoring a project?

Problem Set

1. Indigenous child malnutrition

2. Breast feeding determinants

3. Impact of information on municipal budgeting

4. nutrition-sensitive programming

Data-driven Rice Policy