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The Social Sciences Data Laboratory (D-Lab) is UC Berkeley’s premier common-good resource enabling students and scholars to acquire hands-on support and instruction for data-intensive research. Since its inception in 2013, the D-Lab has prepared nearly 18,000 graduate students for research and teaching on the cutting edge of new methods, tools and data. It boasts a wealth of research domains, methods, and tools; access to national archives and restricted federal data; and an array of training workshops and one-on-one consultation and mentorship opportunities.

Housed in the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters & Science while networking with other Berkeley centers and facilities, departments and schools, D-Lab offers services to researchers across the disciplines and supports the breadth of excellence of Berkeley’s graduate programs and faculty research. D-Lab also builds bridges through which Berkeley researchers can connect with users of social science data in the off-campus world.

In a typical year, the D-Lab:

  • Serves more than 6,000 researchers from departments across campus;
  • Delivers more than 200 workshops;
  • Offers one-on-one consulting for those conducting data-intensive research;
  • Provisions 40 consultants to meet more than 1,100 consultation requests;
  • Convenes 15 working groups open to all Berkeley affiliates, on topics such as Computational Text Analysis, Digital Humanities, and Machine Learning.

“When I was a graduate student here, there was no support for me to learn the methodology I needed,” said Claudia von Vacano, who received her doctorate at Berkeley and is D-Lab’s Executive Director. “The D-Lab now provides what was missing for me.”

Notably, more than half of D-Lab workshop attendees are women and more than one in five attendees identifies as African-American, Latino/a, or multiracial, substantially more than the 13 percent of the 2016 entering graduate student body identifying as underrepresented minorities.

Moving forward, D-Lab is expanding its partnerships with other data science-related initiatives at Berkeley. Throughout, D-Lab’s team is committed to listening to graduate students and using their input to guide and execute future workshops and events.

The Graduate Division is proud to be a supporter of this professional development initiative. Learn more about the D-Lab.