Civic Science Fellows Program Invites Applications to Host a 2024–25 Fellow
June 28, 2023
The Civic Science Fellows program is announcing opportunities to become a Civic Science Fellow host partner for our next cohort, which will begin in March 2024.
Innovative organizations are invited to apply to the Civic Science Fellows program to build engagement around anticipatory, emerging topics in science and technology, where there is broad potential benefit in civic science approaches. Host partners will be part of a growing interdisciplinary network advancing change across sectors—so people from all backgrounds shape science and benefit from its power and promise. With this cohort, three broad, cross-disciplinary streams will align the Fellows’ work: diverse intelligences, changing ecosystems, and practice of science.
A limited number of opportunities for host partners are available for this innovative collaborative Fellowship model to accelerate learning, capacity, and institutional and systems change. Selected host organizations will receive grants from funding partners to support hiring, compensating, and mentoring a Fellow throughout the Fellowship. Funding partners with this cohort include the Rita Allen, Dana, Kavli, Gordon and Betty Moore, and David and Lucile Packard Foundations, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Morgridge Institute for Research, and others.
Organizations interested in being considered as a host for a 2024–25 Civic Science Fellow are invited to read more below and apply by September 1, 2023. Please reach out to email@example.com with questions.
Please select an option below for application forms and more information about each hosting opportunity.
2024–25 Civic Science Fellows Host Partner Interest Form
Civic Science Fellows program funders seek to support multiple Fellows addressing projects across the interdisciplinary streams described in greater detail below—with particular interest in work incorporating attention to artificial intelligence and other technological tools as drivers of emerging civic science issues; building bridges, equity, and trust through the practice of science; and anticipatory civic science issues in the realms of public health, climate change, journalism, infectious diseases, chronic pain, and other areas of discovery research.
Special Civic Science Fellow Hosting Opportunities: Neuroscience and Society
The Dana and Kavli Foundations seek to support two partner organizations to each host a Civic Science Fellow exploring the ethical and societal implications accompanying developments in neuroscience—one focusing on basic neuroscience discovery, and one focusing on the intersection of neuroscience and AI—as well as working to bidirectionally engage diverse public(s) on these issues to deepen trust and inform research or policy.
Special Civic Science Fellow Hosting Opportunity: Neurobiology and Changing Ecosystems
The Kavli Foundation seeks to support a partner organization to host a Civic Science Fellow focusing on neurobiology and changing ecosystems—an emerging scientific area of great societal and scientific importance that provides a unique opportunity to re-examine our understanding of neural adaptation and resilience, while having unexplored implications that impact communities, environmental sustainability, and conservation.
2024–25 Civic Science Fellows Cohort
Building on learning from the first two Civic Science Fellows program cycles and engagement with our network, we are developing a 2024–25 cohort of Civic Science Fellows to:
- Catalyze culture change to strengthen science, expand its benefits, and build trust by developing civic science capacity, learning, and practice.
- Advance engagement with anticipatory, emerging topics in science and technology, where there is large potential benefit in evidence-based civic science approaches.
- Broaden how scientific research is informed, who participates in doing research, and who decides how research will be used—in institutions and networks advancing the frontiers of science.
The Civic Science Fellows Community
The Civic Science Fellows program aims to build a vibrant cross-sector community through the engagement and participation of a variety of different partners, working together to strengthen the field of civic science. The network includes:
- Civic Science Fellows are early-career leaders from diverse demographic, cultural, and professional backgrounds. They have expertise in disciplines relevant to civic science and are poised to work effectively across communities and stakeholders. They may come from any number of professional backgrounds, including in the biological, physical, or social sciences; math, technology, or engineering; media, journalism, or communication; science education or museums; science funding; community organizing; or public policy.
- Host partners host Fellows for 12 or more months as they pilot cutting-edge civic science projects. Hosts are innovative organizations with high potential for leverage across different spheres and disciplines. They may include scientific societies, academic institutions, media organizations, community organizations, philanthropic associations, and nonprofits, among others.
- Funding and other partners provide financial support for Fellowship positions and invest in building the program and network.
- Advisors and Civic Science Advisory Committee Members are experts and practitioners across a variety of fields and sectors. Drawing on their knowledge and relationships, they strengthen the work of the Fellows, provide project development support, and link the program to other relevant efforts.
- The broader Civic Science Fellows community, including Fellows and partners from the first two Civic Science Fellows cycles, experts contributing to the Fellows learning program, and adjacent programs and organizations with whom we share connection and insights.
Through participating in the program, Fellows, hosts, funders, and advisors advance shared learning, expand their networks, and create trusted relationships as a basis for collaboration. Partners also contribute to developing a shared learning agenda to advance collective knowledge and shared impact within and beyond the Fellowship.
For more information on participants in the first two Fellowship cycles, please see our website.
What Fellows Bring to Host Organizations
As part of the Civic Science Fellows program, funding partners support host partners to identify, hire, and support an early-career Fellow. Working in partnership with innovative host institutions, Fellows pilot civic science projects in partnership with diverse communities. These projects are co-developed by the Fellow and the host partner. Fellows will contribute as active participants in the intellectual life and work of the organizations that host them. Over the course of their Fellowship, Fellows will:
- Lead the co-design and implementation of a Fellowship project in close collaboration with their host institution.
- Create at least one substantial concrete civic science work product to capture new knowledge and share it with a broader community by the end of their Fellowship. Products may include media or content, community events, learning experiences, pilot programs, research or tools, among others, and should have the potential for contributing significant new knowledge to both the field and the host institution.
Fellowships are typically 18 months, including a core 12-month cohort learning period, and 6 months dedicated to finalizing their Fellowship project. During the core 12-month cohort learning period, Fellows will spend approximately 75 percent of their time (~30 hours/week) on carrying out the project co-designed with their host institution, and 25 percent of their time (~10 hours/week) on shared learning and networking activities outside of their direct work with the host institution, including periodic convenings.
What Host Partners Contribute
In becoming part of the Civic Science Fellows program, host institutions identify, hire, and support a Civic Science Fellow for the duration of their Fellowship. As part of this, host partners agree to:
- Provide an environment and other support conducive to a productive Fellowship experience, from physical resources to ongoing mentoring. Hosts can serve as coaches and mentors or connect Fellows to others who can play that role. Hosts should also establish opportunities for regular check-ins with their Fellow.
- Support the co-design of a Fellowship project, a process which will be led by the Fellow in close collaboration with their host throughout the duration of the Fellowship. While Fellowships are typically 18 months, flexibility to accommodate terms from 12–24 months may be possible.
- Center best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their Fellow hiring process. Successful civic science requires the inclusion of people from diverse demographic, cultural, and professional backgrounds, and recruitment of Fellows seeks to develop a diverse group of leaders poised to effectively work across communities and stakeholders. Host partners are expected to conduct an inclusive search for a Fellow (fellowship funds are not intended to support existing staff). Once an organization is confirmed as a host partner, they will receive guidance and support for conducting an aligned and effective selection process.
- Contribute financial, administrative, technological, and other necessary resources to select, onboard, and compensate a Fellow for the Fellowship term—typically with support from one of the program’s funding partners. This includes a fellowship stipend (typically $80–$85K/year), in addition to benefits and administrative expenses, equipment, and travel.
- Provide logistical support needed for the Fellow to attend virtual and in-person Fellows convenings. These include weekly virtual Fellows Labs from March 2024–March 2025, as well as a closing in-person Civic Science Fellows and Partners Convening in February 2025.
Through participating in the Fellows program, host institutions have the opportunity to amplify their work with events, webinars, and other activities; to access resources relevant to civic science; and to build connections with other hosts, Fellows, funders, and partners within the wider network.
Cross-Cutting Themes and Approaches
2024 Civic Science Fellows projects will be connected by cross-cutting themes and approaches, including:
Ethics • Trust • Misinformation • Polarization •Connecting across divides • Belonging • Equity and inclusion • Communication • Narrative • Arts • Information ecology • Community engagement • Policy • Public deliberation • Power dynamics • Boundary-spanning leadership • Collaboration • Community organizing • Human-centered design • Innovation • Learning • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis • Connecting research and practice • Evaluation • Strategy for systems change • Institutional incentives, structures, and culture • Confronting systemic barriers • Active listening and “closing the loop” • Accountability • Peer support
Civic Science Fellows will meet virtually weekly for shared learning and activities, using a framework of five pillars of civic science learning, developed by the program’s Practice and Science of Civic Science Advisory Committee with the network in 2022:
- Through the Scaffolding for Learning and Impact pillar, we explore ways of building knowledge, methods of engagement, paths toward change, and evaluation frameworks to help guide each stage of civic science project development.
- Through the Understanding Science in Context pillar, we examine science as a way of seeking knowledge, looking at the societal factors that influence its contours and application, and grappling with the ethics of decision-making related to science.
- Through the Designing for Equity and Inclusion pillar, we seek to understand and identify approaches to combat structural factors that lead science, science engagement, and decision-making around science to benefit and include some social groups over others.
- Through the Communicating for the Future pillar, we develop knowledge, tools, and skills to effectively open lines of connection between science and individual and community priorities, values, curiosity, and ways of knowing.
- Through the Leading for Systems Change pillar, we cultivate approaches individuals and teams can adopt to spark civic science change at the level of structures, culture, networks, and norms, whether locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.
2024–25 Cohort: Streams
With the 2024–25 cohort we are co-designing broad, cross-disciplinary topical streams to accelerate learning and practice with the Fellows’ work across a growing number of partners to collaboratively build greater impact. Many of the issues addressed with special attention in the streams are also cross-cutting across all Fellows, and connection across the streams will be encouraged—including through projects that fall into two or more streams.
The 2024–25 cohort streams are:
- Diverse Intelligences — This stream collects efforts that center on one or more forms of intelligence—including intelligence in humans, animals, biological systems, and machines. Across diverse forms, these intelligences are underpinned by the idea of structured communication, and are ripe for civic science investigation and engagement.
For example, projects may include anticipatory civic science topics connected to one or more of the following: neuroscience and neuroethics, different ways of knowing, neurodiversity, artificial intelligence, and animal and systems intelligence, as well as their intersections with other streams—for example, cross-fertilization between art and science, or the impact of changing ecosystems on neurobiology.
- Changing Ecosystems – This stream collects efforts centered on changes in environments—natural and societal—and how humans can use civic science approaches to better understand and respond. Rather than taking these ecosystems as discrete, we apply an interdisciplinary civic science lens to understand and leverage their interconnections for local and systemic impact.
For example, projects may include anticipatory civic science topics connected to one or more of the following: climate change, environmental stewardship, polarization, misinformation, synthetic biology, and public health related to changing natural and societal ecosystems, as well as their intersections with other streams—for example, the impact of changing ecosystems on neurobiology, or building trust between science and society in changing political environments.
- Practice of Science – This stream collects efforts to understand and experiment with ways to improve the implementation of science. The goal is to examine systems, models, and infrastructure to strengthen the scientific ecosystem across areas of research and to prepare for future areas of research.
For example, projects may include anticipatory civic science topics connected to one or more of the following: open science, community science, equity and inclusion in STEM, team science and convergence, science journalism and communication, science policy, and science-informed policy, as well as their intersections with other streams—for example, partnerships between traditional ecological knowledge, academic science, and environmental policy.
With further details on timing to come, the below is a high-level timeline (subject to change).
- September–October – Host partners identified
- Early November – Fellows applications open, public announcement of positions
- February – All Fellows confirmed
- March – Cohort announcement and orientation; beginning of 12-month core period for cohort and Labs
- February – 2025 Civic Science Fellows and Partners Convening (in person)
- March – end of 12-month core period for cohort and Labs, with project work continuing
The Civic Science Fellows Program
The Civic Science Fellows program is building a network of leaders working to advance change across sectors—so people from all backgrounds shape science and benefit from its power and promise. The program brings together an interdisciplinary network of journalists, bench and social scientists, community-facing practitioners, content creators, public-interest organizations, and funders to develop evidence-based, human-centered approaches to build meaningful collaboration between science and diverse communities. Civic science goes beyond science outreach, co-creating a culture in which science is strengthened through evidence-based engagement with people across diverse issues and experiences, and scientists are equipped to anticipate and engage around the civic context of their work. The program is supported by a growing community of leaders and organizations who recognize that a culture of civic science will be key to solving the grand challenges of today and tomorrow.