Responsible Computer Science Challenge

Responsible Computer Science Challenge


Who’s eligible?

The Challenge is open to both individual professors or collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams consisting of professors, graduate students, and teaching assistants at U.S. colleges and universities. We’re seeking educators who are passionate about teaching undergraduate students not only computer science, but how it can be deployed in a responsible, positive way. In all cases, the project team must include a PI who is eligible to receive grants within a Computer Science department or program. We define this as (1) part of a CS department or (2) part of a department that awards CS degrees.

Can I apply as a team?

There is no limit on the size of an entrant and cross-organizational teams are allowed. However, award agreement and payment can be made to only one entity per proposal.

What do you mean by ethics? How do ethics need to show up in my concept?

Applicants will enter Challenge submissions that describe concepts for deeply integrating ethics into existing undergraduate computer science courses either through syllabi changes (i.e. including a reading or exercise on ethics in each class) or teaching methodology adjustments (i.e. pulling course TAs from an ethics department). As its goal is deep and sustained integration of ethics in the undergraduate computer science curricula, the Challenge will not support the creation of new, standalone ethics classes or of single units or modules within a class.

What are some examples of concepts for this Challenge?

The Challenge seeks promising, creative approaches to integrating ethics and societal considerations into undergraduate computer science education. Interventions could include syllabi changes, teaching methodology adjustments, and/or field assignments, though this list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive. Applicants should consider the concepts that will meet the Challenge criteria while serving the diverse needs of their unique student populations.

Can I apply for funding to bring an existing ethics in computer science curriculum to my university?

Yes, but it is important to show in your application how you are adapting the curriculum to fit your own course and your unique student population.

Will I be required to openly license my work products?

Mozilla works in the open. We support innovation through open source licensing because we have found this enables broad scalability of solutions, and removes the single-source choke points that often prevent true inclusiveness. If selected to receive an award, applicants must agree to release work products produced as part of the Challenge (such as syllabi or class activities) under a Creative Commons license, if licensing is required. These products will be posted on the Challenge website along with the project name, team names, and project description of winning concepts.

Beyond award funding, what supports will awardees receive?

Responsible Computer Science Challenge awardees will form a vibrant community of practice exploring ethical, human-centered approaches to computer science education. Awardees will have the opportunity to meet regularly with each other and with Mozilla staff both online and in person to share their work and learn together. Reasonable travel stipends will be provided for in-person convenings for both dedicated Challenge events and other Mozilla events such as MozFest 2019.

Additionally, Mozilla staff will work with awardees to create, execute, and report back on project impact evaluation plans and will also help share the work of the awardees widely through the Challenge website, blog posts, and other communications channels.

Finally, these supports won’t conclude at the end of the Challenge in 2021. It is hoped that Responsible CS Challenge awardees will be part of this community of practice and the larger movement for a healthier internet over the long term.

Why is this Challenge only open to U.S.-based colleges and universities?

This is a pilot that we’ve chosen to launch in the United States. The hope is that the Challenge will unearth and spark innovative coursework that will not only be implemented at the participating home institutions, but also scaled to additional colleges and universities around the world. At the same time, we are actively looking for ways to involve international practitioners more directly moving forward. Please add your name and location to our list so we can keep our communications relevant to you.

Can we apply with multiple PIs at different colleges or universities?

No. If multiple schools want to collaborate on a proposal, they will need to elect a lead institution to apply and to receive any prize money. The lead institution will be responsible for subcontracts or payments to any additional partner institutions.

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