Responsible Computer Science Challenge

Responsible Computer Science Challenge

Grant Opportunities

The Responsible Computer Science Challenge - supported by the Mellon Foundation, Omidyar Network, Schmidt Futures, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, USAID, Mozilla - fund academic teams that combine faculty and practitioners from Computing, Humanities, Library and Information Science, and Social Science fields in order to reimagine how the next generation of technologists will be educated. By reimagining and redesigning undergraduate curricula and pedagogy to be both intentionally interdisciplinary and inclusive of diverse perspectives, the goal is to support a new wave of technologists who will: 1) understand social and historical context, 2) think more critically about the design and use of technology, 3) deploy cultural sensitivity to recognize when and how technology work may perpetuate or deepen inequality, and 4) create visions for more equitable systems across the technology sector and in related fields to ultimately build more responsible and ethical tools, applications, platforms, policies, and social norms.

Opportunities in the United States

Coming Soon (Application open February 1st, 2023)

Opportunities in Kenya


Applications in Kenya is now open with the required Letter of Intent due December 15, 2022 Midnight EAT and final application due January 17, 2023 Midnight EAT.

Learn more about the Responsible Computer Science Challenges at one of our infosessions: November 1, 2022, December 5, 2022, and January 6, 2023


The Responsible Computer Science Challenge plans to award 10 grants from a pool of $250 000 USD to innovation hubs and accredited institutions of higher education in Kenya that embed ethics into computer science programs and curricula.


The Responsible Computer Science Challenge is open to accredited institutions of higher education and innovation hubs based in Kenya.

Institutions of Higher Education

The Principal Investigator (PI) listed on the award application must be an individual who is eligible to receive grants within a computer science, information science / technology, data science, sociology, science and technology studies and allied department or program. The PI may work individually to execute the outlined concept if funded or with a collaborative, cross-disciplinary team with members both inside and outside of the institution of higher education. Such teams can include representatives from across departments, student researchers, industry partners and independent researchers.

Innovation Hubs

The Responsible Computer Science Challenge also supports the development of educational materials or training workshops at innovation hubs that directly help students and builders incorporate social and political perspectives in the design of new technologies. Principal investigators from innovation hubs should be contracted staff members who are authorized to plan and execute events for the hub’s networks.

Though cross-institutional teams are allowed (i.e. collaborations among multiple institutions of higher education and innovation hubs), if funded, award payments will only be made to the lead applicant organization with whom an award agreement will be signed.

Judging Criteria

Challenge submissions are judged by a panel of experts from academic, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations working in the fields of computer science, ethics, technology, and other experts from related domain areas. Selection criteria are designed to evaluate the merits of the proposed concept. The review criteria are as follows:

  1. Vision Alignment to RCS: Does the proposed concept align with RCS’ goals of educating a new wave of engineers who bring holistic thinking—as well as diversity and equity—to the design of technology products?
  2. Feasibility: How feasible is the outlined concept? How likely is the project team to be successful in implementing this approach?
  3. Impact: How will this approach prepare students to understand the impact of computing work and equip them with frameworks to build better, more trustworthy, and less harmful technologies?
  4. Movement Building: Does this applicant help to engage new and diverse perspectives in the conversation about ethics and technology?
  5. Working Open: How will you document and share your concept with local and global audiences and community of practices? How might you engage students, professors from other disciplines, university administrators, innovation hubs, non-profits, start-ups, government entities, or other organizations to help shape the design of your concept?
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