The fellowship was established as a five-year programme to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science, including women as well as students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the computing field. The fellowship provides $15,000 annually for study anywhere in the world.
Students were nominated by their graduate advisors. Nominees spanned disciplines from genetics and geography to engineering and mathematics, and represented large, mid-sized, and small institutions in 32 countries. More than 80% of nominees were female, and more than 40% were identified as an underrepresented minority in their country of study. This year saw record numbers of applicants outside North America who identify as part of an underrepresented group in their country of study.
The nominations were evaluated and ranked by a panel of experts - who were themselves diverse with respect to race, gender, discipline, and nationality - based on nominees' overall potential for excellence in data science and/or computational science, and the extent to which they will serve as leaders and role models to increase diversity in the workplace.
Of the 7 students named as winners this year, six are women and all are underrepresented minorities in their country of study. They are pursuing MS and PhD degrees in a variety of applied fields: