Professor Shubha Ghosh Receives a 2023-24 Wikimedia Race and Knowledge Equity Fellowship

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, has been awarded a 2023-24 Wikimedia Race and Knowledge Equity (WRKE) Fellowship.

The WRKE Fellowship Program is a one-year fellowship designed to explore the intersection of racial equity, free knowledge, and the intellectual property ecosystem, and to promote sound policy for achieving social justice through these overlapping disciplines.

For his Fellowship grant, Ghosh plans to compile information about existing Intellectual Property (IP), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and artistic educational programs, with the goal of creating a map of this landscape, along with an analysis of these programs.

“I selected this focus because educational programs in entrepreneurship and IP at the K-12 level exist but have been understudied. Universities are the major avenues for commercializing technology in conjunction with private industry and government research labs. But by the time students enter college, the issues surrounding entrepreneurship and innovation come across as unfamiliar,” says Ghosh.  “The development of entrepreneurship and IP education programs at the K-12 level was established to educate students about these issues earlier as they develop their own educational and career paths.  My goal is to work, within existing channels of research, to better understand what these programs involve and whether they can be improved.” 

Ghosh will disseminate his research through original writings in journals, book chapters, and law reviews. “My research will also connect me with policymakers at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who have just started to study these issues in depth and with nonprofit organizations like The Henry Ford in Detroit, which works with the Ford Museum and the Ford Foundation, to design programs on entrepreneurship and intellectual property in the Detroit metro area. The Henry Ford is also designing a comprehensive database of these programs throughout the United States. I will be analyzing this database as well as contributing to it,” he says.

About the Fellowship

The role of the WRKE Fellow is to undertake scholarly and other research, produce scholarly publications and public intellectual writings intended to contribute to the body of free knowledge and racial equity scholarship, and to organize and present policy and community educational programming relevant to the Fellowship’s research and education agenda. The WRKE Fellow will work at the direction of supervising IIPSJ and HUSL personnel (in consultation with Wikimedia Foundation legal and policy staff), and receive support, guidance and mentorship from the WRKE Fellowship Advisory Board, made up of distinguished legal academics in the field of intellectual property social justice. Members of the Board are on hand to provide the Fellow with scholarly insight, policy expertise, and general guidance where needed to achieve Fellowship goals.

Among other things, the research and programming will examine the role of doctrinal elements within the IP law in contributing to traditions of systemic IP racial inequity and related injustice. The resulting research analyses will be put towards constructing free knowledge initiatives to improve the understanding and use of intellectual property in marginalized and underserved communities. The ultimate goal of the research is to improve racial equities through the IP ecosystem and related socio-economic aspects of the political economy, and will be available to the general public, IP law and policy makers, and IP practitioners.

The fellowship is funded through a grant from the Knowledge Equity Fund at the Wikimedia Foundation and is jointly administered by the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) and the Howard University School of Law (HUSL).