The Data Institute

The Data Institute is a collaboration between the Center for Journalism & Democracy and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.

This free, intensive workshop teaches journalists how to use data, design and code. This year’s Data Institute will be in person from July 8-19. Meet the class of 2024!

About the program

The Data Institute is a free, hands-on workshop that will teach you how to work with data as a journalist, how to apply design principles and layout to charts or stories, and how to code your own interactive project. In addition to training sessions on data journalism, design and programming that are taught by experienced journalists, participants will also meet and talk to leading journalists about their careers.

Co-founded in 2015 by two women and journalists of color, Sisi Wei and Lena Groeger, the Data Institute seeks to address an equity gap and make high-quality training more accessible for all journalists who want to tell powerful stories. The Data Institute equips journalists from a broad array of social, ethnic and economic backgrounds with the technical skills to create and lead data journalism, including but not limited to people of color, women and nonbinary people, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

What you’ll learn

Over two weeks, we’ll cover the basics of using data, design and code for journalism. By the end of the course you should be able to:

Data Journalism



The workshop will be hands-on and participants will be working through exercises throughout the workshop.

What students had to say

Meet the class of 2023, 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Participating in the Data Institute was so inspiring and has given me the tools I need to become a better reporter. In two weeks, I learned concepts I’ve tried to teach myself for two years.” – Lakeidra Chavis

Not to be cheesy or hyperbolic, but the Data Institute may be the most important training I’ve gotten so far in my career... And I got all of this at really no cost to myself or my employer. That’s incredible.” – Marquita Brown

I learned so much during my two weeks here. I feel like I have a better idea of what could be possible, which in turn has led to a number of ideas I plan to bring back to The Courier-Journal.” – Allison Ross

As a Black journalist who is constantly made to feel like I don't belong in this industry, this cohort has empowered me to go after the stories and work that I am passionate about. I was reminded that I do belong.” – Anissa Durham

When + Where

The Data Institute is a two-week, in-person event from July 8-19 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.


If you’re a journalist passionate about learning how to use data, design and code to help tell stories, this workshop is for you. You don’t need to have any previous experience, but we want to see that you’ve demonstrated curiosity about telling stories with data.

The Data Institute’s home is the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard University, and we’re especially excited to welcome applicants from HBCUs—alumni, professors, and current students. In addition, we strongly encourage applications from members of tribal nations, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and other groups historically left out of opportunities such as these.

If you’ve ever felt intimidated by learning to code and doing math, don’t count yourself out, because we’ve all been there. Most of the teachers you’ll have at the Data Institute majored in the humanities, such as journalism, English, history or philosophy.

All workshop students will need to use their own laptop, which must be able to install software like R Studio. This means that Chromebooks and iPads won’t work. We’ll provide other materials, including links to where you can get the software we’ll be using for free.

You must be an Ida B. Wells Society member to apply. Membership is free and you can sign up here.

It’s Free

The Data Institute is completely free to attend. We will cover roundtrip travel costs to Washington, D.C., and provide lodging on the campus at Howard University. We’ll also provide lunch and snacks every day of the Institute.

In addition, every participant will receive a $1,000 stipend to supplement other needs or replace lost income while participating in the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will you be notifying applicants on whether they’ve been selected?

We will begin reviewing applications after the April 25 deadline has passed, and will notify all applicants by May 15 if they’ve been selected.

I’m not a U.S. resident. Am I eligible to apply?

No. The Data Institute is only open to U.S. residents.

What do you mean by U.S. resident? Can you make any exceptions to this rule?

U.S. residents are U.S. citizens or resident aliens. We will not be making any exceptions to this rule.

Will you make the course material available online?

Yes, just like past workshops, we plan to publish a package of materials and online resources that we’ll make available for free.

I’m not a journalism student, I’m not working in journalism and I don’t plan to work as a journalist in the future. Am I eligible to apply?

No. While we understand that all of the skills we’ll be teaching can be valuable in many fields, the Data Institute’s mission is to help increase the number of journalists with data, design and programming skills. Therefore, only applicants who are studying to be journalists, working in journalism, or have demonstrated an interest in journalism will be considered.

I am a journalism professor, am I eligible to apply?


What will the hours be? Will I need to take off work?

The Data Institute will run all day on weekdays between July 8 to July 19. We will also have a welcome dinner the evening of July 7, where we’ll make sure everyone’s laptop is set up for classwork. There will be assignments and project work that will likely occupy some of your evenings and weekends—we’re going to pack a lot of information into these two weeks, so applicants must be able to dedicate the entire time to the program. If this poses a financial burden that would make you unable to attend the workshop, we hope the $1,000 stipend for each participant helps mitigate that issue.

Can I attend the Data Institute online?

No, we are not offering remote participation in the Data Institute.

Who organizes the Data Institute?

The Data Institute is a collaborative project of the Center for Journalism & Democracy and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. The program was developed at ProPublica, which continues to support the project, and OpenNews helps coordinate planning and participation. Major financial support is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the CJD’s Investigative Journalism for Health Equity Project.

More questions?

Email We’re checking daily and can’t wait to hear from you.

Code of Conduct

1. Purpose

The Center for Journalism & Democracy and Ida B. Wells Society believe the Data Institute should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or religion.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participant behavior as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We expect all of our instructors and students to help us create a safe and positive workshop for everyone.

2. Expected Behavior

Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.

Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech.

Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the Data Institute organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

3. Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct by anyone participating in the Data Institute.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

4. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated whether by instructors, students or staff.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If someone engages in unacceptable behavior, the Data Institute organizers may take any action we deem appropriate, up to and including discontinuation of any stipends and expulsion from the Institute.

5. What to Do If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior

If you are subject to unacceptable behavior, notice that someone else is being subject to unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify a Data Institute organizer as soon as possible.

The Data Institute organizers will be available to help participants contact building security or local law enforcement, to provide escorts, or to otherwise assist those experiencing unacceptable behavior to feel safe for the duration of the Institute.

Special thanks to the Portland Tech Workshops for creating their Code of Conduct and licensing it under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.