Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Call for Ideas: Recuiting and Retaining Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Computer Science

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a Girls Encoded class

Women have played important roles in the history of computing: think about Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Barbara Liskov, and the many others who helped to define the field of computer science. However, for a variety of reasons computer science programs nationwide have suffered from a gender imbalance in which women make up less than 18% of enrolled students.

Girls Encoded is a series of events run by faculty and students at CSE that are aimed at increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in computing.

Call for Ideas


A student works on a project during the CS Kickstart program.

Girls Encoded invites the submission of proposals for initiatives to recruit or retain women and minorities in computer science. These initiatives can address any part of the educational pipeline, from elementary school through graduate school. Following an evaluation of the proposals received, we will select a set of proposals that we will either fund entirely, or we will fund partially and help the proponents identify additional sources of funding to bring their idea to life. We look for ideas that require funding in the range of $500-$5,000. Proposals for initiatives that require larger budgets are also accepted, in which case we may be able to help with partial funding. We expect these initiatives to take place during the calendar year 2017.

Proposal Content and Format

Submit a two-page proposal including:

  • A description of your proposed initiative. If the proposed initiative builds upon previous events, please include the results of those previous initiatives.
  • Team and leadership. Please indicate if this is done through an organization (e.g., gEECS, ECSEL, a new organization being formed). If you already have department or university support (e.g., professors, administrators), please indicate that as well.
  • Budget, including estimates of the breakdown of the budget into categories. If applicable, please indicate what other sources you have secured funding from, or what other funding sources you plan to apply for.
  • Contact information.

Submission Process

Submit your proposal by January 20, 2017 to girlsencoded@umich.edu, using the subject line Call for Ideas 2017. Decisions will be announced by February 10, 2017.

Examples of Previous Girls Encoded initiatives at CSE

  • CS Kickstart - a one-week camp to introduce incoming women students to the field of computer science.
  • Girls Encoded for High-School - an annual event where 100 high-school students spend a day at Michigan learning hands-on about computer science.
  • Women in Computing lectures - seminars in which highly successful women in computer science give technical talks and meet with Michigan students.

Posted: December 23, 2016