About The Institute

The ICQCM institute is funded by the Spencer Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation & the National Science Foundation

Mission & Vision:

Our mission is to advance the presence of scholars of color among those using data science methodologies, and challenge researchers to use those methods in ways that can dismantle the structural barriers to enable human flourishing for underrepresented communities, professionals, and young people.

Data science is used as an umbrella term that includes both statistical and computational methods. It is the science of producing, extracting, managing, wrangling, exploring, analyzing, and mining data. Thus, while data science would include, for instance, the production of data via measurement and survey research methods, it also might consider alternative ways of capturing/extracting the same or related data from already existing sources. Importantly, we take note of the fact that the language of “extraction”, “capture”, and “mining” are symptomatic of data sciences’ inheritance and shaping of the entanglement of colonialism and capitalism. Yet, as Foucault reminds us, where there is power there is resistance and we seek to train data scientists that are disrupting and shaping alternative discourses of power/knowledge for communities that are underrepresented and existing in precarity.

In its first 3 years, ICQCM will train up to 75 underrepresented scholars in critical theoretically informed uses of quantitative and computational methodologies and their integration into mixed methods; establish a repository of knowledge about the quantification of the sociopolitical relations of race/ethnicity and its role in shaping inequality and opportunity; and, establish the nation’s first network of scholars of color who use, teach, or critique the Westernized application of these methods in research about Latina/o/x, Indigenous, and Black communities.

Why We Do It

  • In order to meet the nation’s need for a larger Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, we seek to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in data science and other STEM fields.


  • Bringing the capacities of Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x scholars to bear on the production of methodologically rigorous and innovative grant proposals will diversify and strengthen the nation’s scientific research funding apparatus.


  • Equipping researchers and the broader public with a critical awareness of how methodologies structure inequality and opportunity–and have also advanced processes of racialization, white supremacy, and erasure–is essential in understanding the social implications of data science within an increasingly diverse world.


  • Demonstrating and developing approaches of how to employ quantitative and computational methods that are situated in context, history, material social relations, and as a product of material and discursive formations. In addition, we seek to demonstrate and develop non-instrumental approaches of quantification that do not essentialize, universalize, or treat data as self-evident, while also placing more of an analytical focus on multiplicity and the marginal subject.

How We Do It

To make these observations more than aspirations, the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methods (ICQCM) provides the following resources:

The ICQCM Scholars Programs

The Institute will recruit three cohorts of scholars to receive up to two years of training in QCM. The Spencer Scholars cohort will include doctoral students who are underrepresented educational researchers or research the educational experiences of underrepresented populations.

The NSF Scholars cohort will include underrepresented postdoctoral fellows and faculty members who conduct STEM research with a focus on broadening the participation of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM professions. The QCM Scholars cohort sponsored by the William T. Grant Foundation will include postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and professional research scientists of any social science discipline or field who are interested in applying advanced QCM in research that explores the lives of young people 5 – 25 years of age and/or the institutions that serve them. All three cohorts will include scholars who come from underrepresented backgrounds or feature the experiences of underrepresented populations as a primary research focus, and wish to employ critical frameworks for the examination of inequality and opportunity.


 The Institute Summit (5-day In-Person Data Science and Critical Perspective Training Opportunity)

• Grant Proposal Workshops

• One-on-One In-Person and Virtual Methods Coaching

• Critical Methods Message Board

• The Critical Knowledge Repository

The Institute Fellows Program

ICQCM leverages the strengths that exist within the Latinx, Black, and Indigenous research communities to prepare future QCM investigators. The Institute Fellows Program brings together the nation’s first transdisciplinary network of methodologists of color devoted to the advancement of critical quantitative and computational methodologies, as well as their integration into mixed-methodologies. Institute Fellows will provide ICQCM curricular guidance, coaching of ICQCM Scholars, and share their research related to the quantification of race and advancement of data science. In doing so, we break down the cultural barriers that often exist between Instructors and learners of QCM, and showcase the transformative possibilities in these methodological arenas that are reflected in the presence and successes of our Institute Fellows. 

The Critical Knowledge Repository

Expanding access to QCM requires a rigorous engagement with the circumstances that have delayed the development and broader use of what some scholars call “critical” quantitative methods. The Critical Knowledge Repository will serve as an information resource that acknowledges and interrogates the:


• False dichotomies within theoretical and methodological traditions that have heightened the suspicion of critical scholars toward quantitative and computational methodologies

• Application of statistical research in ways that has been and continues to be antithetical to the humanization of racialized groups.

• The inaccessible, epistemologically unwelcoming, and undiversified communities of practice that are consequently limited in their ability to support the kind of critical questions that motivate transformative research.

• Innovations in the application of QCM to critical theoretical questions within research.

Our Activities Will:


Increase Comprehension

Increase participants’ comprehension of QCM to a level where they can conceptualize QCM research and collaborate effectively with methodologists in research and grant development.


Establish Networks

Establish networks of expertise, support, and collaboration for the expansion of methodological capabilities that transcend institutional and social barriers.


Affirm Confidence

Affirm the confidence and competence of underrepresented doctoral students and faculty using these methodologies through culturally relevant, inclusive, non-competitive, and asset focused learning opportunities.



Further cultivate an informed and critical positionality with regard to the use, misuse, and transformative potential of QCM for Indigenous, Black, and Latinx populations.


Ameliorate Inequities

Identify ways to ameliorate inequities in opportunities to learn QCM within the racialized structure of the academy, and thereby increase racial/ethnic parity in data science.



Diversify the population of private and federally-funded research investigators by facilitating the infusion of rigorous quantitative, computational and mixed methodologies into the development of competitive grant proposals.

Upcoming Institutes


July 27th - 28th, 2020 1-4pm CST

Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Doctoral Scholars (ICQCM) Virtual Symposium (Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation)

December 2020

Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Doctoral Scholars (ICQCM) Summit (Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation)

July 27-31, 2020

Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Doctoral Scholars” (ICQCM) Summit (Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation)

Summer 2021

Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Faculty Scholars” (ICQCM) Summit (Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation)

About The Research

          Since critical theory has long been suspicious about the use of quantitative methods, the ICQCM will engage recent scholarship that rethinks these paradigms of thought about the possibility and utility of a “critical” quantitative methodology, and by extension, broadening participation efforts. The Institute relies on the newest data science innovations and software in its data-intensive training sessions, and the field’s leading QCM experts within educational research that will offer them. We will use an needs assessment to tailor the learning experience to participants’ research, its two-stage curricular approach, and one-on-one coaching plan that could be deemed effective in our evaluation plan.

          The broader impacts of our Institute have truly transformative potential, in the replicability and availability of the Institute activities, the take-up and sustainability of the skills that the Institute will impart, and in the secondary impacts that the ICQCM participants will deliver through their enhanced potential to generate fundable research proposals and train doctoral students in QCM, among other research related activities. Some of the summit seminars will be livestreamed and video-recorded for website access for a broader audience, and we will disseminate the outcomes of our capacity building work in high visibility outlets, conferences and other institutions.