The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University has opened our yearly call for fellowship applications. This opportunity is for those who wish to spend the 2012-2013 academic year as a fellow conducting research with the Berkman community.
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center now is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the intersections among innovation, democracy, learning, law, technology, and policy.
The Center seek people who are working on issues related to Internet and society who are familiar to their work as well as those who are not; those working on issues that overlap with on-going Berkman interests and those who will expose them to new opportunities and approaches; scholars, practitioners, innovators and others committed to understanding and advancing the public interest; and people just beginning their work, in the midst of it, or eager to reflect.
Berkman Center fellowships provide the opportunity for innovative thinkers and change makers to hone and share ideas, find camaraderie, and spawn new initiatives. The program aims to encourage and support fellows in an inviting and rigorous intellectual environment, with community activities designed to foster inquiry and collaboration. With Berkman faculty, students, staff, and other affiliates, fellows help to develop and advance Berkman Center projects, and learn and teach through courses, curricula and diverse gatherings.
While fellowships are extremely competitive and our standards are accordingly high, we do not have a defined set of requirements for the fellows we select through our open call; we welcome applications from a wildly diverse pool of individuals.
Fellows come from across the disciplinary spectrum, different life paths, and are at all stages of career development. Some fellows are academics, whether students, post-docs or professors. Others come from outside academia, and include lawyers, philosophers, activists, technologists, entrepreneurs, journalists and other types of practitioners.
The commonality between all Berkman fellows is an interest in the Internet and a commitment to spending the period of their fellowship studying it.
The work and well-being of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society are strengthened profoundly by the diversity of their network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. They actively seek and welcome applications from people of colour, women, the LGBTQ community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.
Money Matters and Benefits
Stipends: Fellowships awarded through the open call for applications are rarely stipended. Some fellows receive partial stipends –the award of such a stipend is based on the nature of the responsibilities the applicant would assume while a fellow, and their relation, relevance, and application to Berkman’s funded projects. Most fellows receive no direct funding or stipend through the Berkman Center, but rather have obtained funding through other means, such as an outside grant or award, a home institution, or other forms of scholarship.
Benefits: Fringe benefits do not routinely accompany Berkman fellowships. Fellows must make their own housing, insurance, childcare, and transportation arrangements.
Office Space: Most Berkman fellows work out of the greater-Boston area and spend a significant amount of time at the Berkman Center. There are many desks and workspaces available for flexible use at the Berkman Center, though few fellows are given their own permanent desk or office. We endeavor to provide comfortable and productive spaces for fellows to work, even if it is not the same space each day. Fellows are welcome to host small meetings and gatherings at the Center and on the Harvard campus.
Access to University Resources: A Harvard ID is a key into many of Harvard’s resources, including access to the Harvard library network (including checkout privileges and access to the University’s e-resources), the ability to purchase University health insurance, and the ability to purchase Harvard gym membership. At present, they are not able to routinely provide Harvard IDs to fellows, though some IDs are issued based on need, funding, and other administrative reasons. Berkman fellows bringing their own funding via scholarships or other financial support have the opportunity to pay the University appointment fees necessary to issue an ID. Physical access into Langdell Library (the Harvard Law School Library) can be arranged for all Berkman fellows. Berkman fellows wishing to audit classes at Harvard University must ask permission directly from the professor of the desired class.
Application Checklist

  • A current resume or CV
  • A personal statement which should a) frame your motivation for applying for a Berkman Center fellowship and b) outline the work you propose to conduct during a fellowship. This statement should be roughly 1,000 – 1,500 words or a multi-media equivalent
  • A copy of a recent publication or piece of your work that is related to Internet research. It should be on the order of a paper, chapter, or presentation – not an entire book or dissertation – and should be in English
  • Two letters of reference, to be sent directly from the referrer to Rebecca Tabasky at [email protected]

How to Apply
Applications will be completed through a combination of online webform submission (through which you will submit information and attach digital copies of application materials 1-3) and receipt of the letters of recommendation directly from your references.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. ET on December 18, 2011.
For more information, and to apply, click here.