Tech Ethics Lab Announces Inaugural Cohort of Graduate Fellows

Author: Tech Ethics Lab

The Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab is pleased to announce the selection of five Notre Dame graduate students for its Tech Ethics Graduate Fellowship program. After a competitive application and evaluation process, the students--including the Kroc Institute’s Will O’Brien (Ph.D. student, peace studies and history)--were selected based on their outstanding research proposals on topics such as fair methods of evaluating human labor in the digital age, the efficacy of privacy policies, and the role of technological advancement in violent conflicts.

“Peace studies students are well equipped to contribute to tech ethics because of our interdisciplinary orientation,” said Lisa Schirch, Richard G. Starmann, Sr. Professor of the Practice of Peace Studies and faculty fellow of the Tech Ethics Lab.

“I am excited to be part of the inaugural cohort of graduate research fellows with the Tech Ethics Lab,” O’Brien said. “As a fellow, I will lead ‘Analog Ethics,’ an interdisciplinary research project that reconstructs historical conflicts surrounding technological advancement and utilizes conflict mapping techniques to chart and analyze these conflicts.”

“O’Brien’s project reminds us that all new technologies impact society in positive and negative ways,” said Schirch. “New technologies have psychological, sociological, political, and economic impacts. O’Brien’s project will provide this interdisciplinary lens grounded in the ethics of human dignity and integral human development, which are so central to peace studies”

During their two-year fellowships, Graduate Fellows will form interdisciplinary research collaborations with Notre Dame faculty, mentor Notre Dame undergraduates, and develop their research into a suite of applied deliverables such as discussion-starting green papers. This work is in addition to continuing their dissertation research.

“We’re very excited to welcome our first cohort of Graduate Fellows," said Nuno Moniz, director of the Tech Ethics Lab and an associate research professor at the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society. "They are a promising and diverse group of young researchers demonstrating impressive creative thinking capabilities. We’re honored to have them and look forward to witnessing and supporting their important research moving forward."

Graduate Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,000 per semester for participating in the fellowship program. They will be active in the intellectual life of the Tech Ethics Lab and the University Ethics Initiative throughout their fellowships.

“Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies have the potential to reshape and redefine our communities, our humanity, and our planet. Understanding how we can develop, use, and regulate these technologies for good is going to be one of the defining challenges of the twenty-first century. I am excited to be part of an interdisciplinary team taking on this challenge head on,” O’Brien concluded.

The Tech Ethics Graduate Fellows are:

A new call for Graduate Fellowships with the Technology Ethics Lab will launch at the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Learn more about fellowship programs at the Technology Ethics Lab at

Originally published by Tech Ethics Lab at on February 15, 2024.