The application period for the DToD Cohort starting Fall 2024 has closed. Applications for the final DToD Cohort will open in January 2025.

Questions about applying? Please review the DToD Program Overview and Training pages, and feel free to email or book an appointment with Matt Podolsky, the DToD Program Coordinator. 

Program Information

The DToD NSF Research Traineeship Fellowship is available to Master’s and PhD students, with an option to do a Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering (for PhD students). The Digital Transformation of Development (DToD) Fellows Program is open to all UC Berkeley PhD and Master’s students in good standing from any department, with a focus on digital solutions to human development challenges in the U.S. and around the world.  Interested students are encouraged to apply early in their degree to most benefit from being a part of the DToD Fellows community. All fellows will be eligible for special events, workshops, professional development, internship travel funds, and other DToD program elements.

DToD is a part of the larger Development Engineering program. PhD students who are also interested in the Development Engineering (DevEng) Designated Emphasis (DE) can apply for the DE through the DToD application. More info about the DE requirements for PhD students can be found on the DevEng DE page

A select number of Fellows meeting NSF eligibility requirements may be awarded a year of funding, including tuition, fees, and $34,000 stipend. DevEng DE enrollment is required for DToD PhD Fellows seeking tuition+fees and stipend funding, as this demonstrates the strongest commitment to devoting the student’s graduate work to digital transformations in under-resourced regions. Funded fellows must be US citizens or permanent residents, per NSF requirements. Note that although Master’s and non-resident PhD students are not eligible for the tuition and stipend funding, they can still become DToD Fellows and benefit from DToD programming and apply for travel funds for relevant field work or research internships. Select fellows who apply by the deadline are eligible to get a year of funding, including tuition, fees, and $34,000 stipend. See the DToD Funding page for more details.

Program Requirements

All DToD fellows will be expected to meet the following course requirements during the course of their traineeship that starts in the Fall semester (these are not pre-requisites!):

  • DevEng 200: Design, Evaluate & Scale Development Technologies (3 units, Fall semester).
  • DevEng 210/203. PhD students will take DevEng 210: Development Engineering Research & Practice Seminar (2 units, Spring semester). Master’s students will take DevEng 203: Digital Transformation of Development (3 units; Spring semester).
  • DevEng 290: DToD Seminar (1 unit, Fall semester).

Additionally, all DToD trainees must take at least 1 DToD-satisfying elective in addition to the courses above. Trainees will additionally participate in workshops and have access to DToD faculty and staff advising. DToD Fellows must also meet NSF reporting and acknowledgement obligations and participate in select DToD events.

Application Packet Requirements
  1. This online application form, completed. You can review the full list of questions before filling the online form here: DToD Application Form 2024. This form includes a letter of intent summarizing research interests and any educational or employment background in issues related to development economics or development engineering, and how you intend to focus your research on digital transformation of development. (500 word limit).
  2. Current UC Berkeley PhD students should provide a letter of recommendation from a member of the DToD faculty academic group or their graduate research advisor in their home department. The letter should be emailed to Students applying to UC Berkeley for PhD program admissions should work with their application department’s admissions office to see if they are eligible and obtain departmental approval to apply. Note: The faculty letter could be submitted by the faculty member separately, or as part of your package. Current UC Berkeley Master’s students do not need to provide a letter. Similarly, current DToD Fellows applying for 1-year of tuition+fees and stipend funding consideration do not need to provide a new letter of recommendation.
  3. Students can become DToD Fellows with or without a DToD NRT funding support. If you are eligible and interested in being considered for funding you will check that box in the online application form. For more information please see Funding.

Questions about the program or applying? Email or book an appointment with  Matt Podolsky, the DToD Program Coordinator.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DGE-2125913. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.