Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Summer Internship Program 2013
Each summer the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University swings open the doors of our vibrant yellow house to welcome a group of talented and curious students as full-time interns – Berkterns! – who are passionate about the promise of the Internet. Finding connected and complementary research inquiries among their diverse backgrounds, students represent all levels of study, are being trained in disciplines across the board, and come from universities all over the world to tackle issues related to the core of Berkman’s research agenda, including law, technology, innovation, and knowledge; the relationships between Internet and civic activity; and the intersection of technology, learning, and development. Summer interns jump head first into the swirl of the Berkman universe, where they are deeply and substantively involved in our research projects and efforts.
Becoming invaluable contributors to the Center’s operation and success, interns conduct collaborative and independent research under the guidance of Berkman staff, fellows, and faculty. Specific roles, tasks, and experiences vary depending on Center needs and interns’ skills; a select list of expected opportunities for Summer 2013 is below. Typically, the workload of each intern is primarily based under one project or suite of projects, with encouragement and flexibility to get involved in additional projects across the Center.
In addition to joining research teams, summer interns participate in special lectures with Berkman Center faculty and fellows, engage each other through community experiences like weekly interns discussion hours, and attend Center-wide events and gatherings with members of the wider Berkman community. As well, each year interns establish new channels for fun and learning, such as organizing topical debates; establishing reading groups and book clubs; producing podcasts and videos; and hosting potlucks, cook-offs, and BBQs (fortunately for us, people share).
The word “awesome” has been thrown around to describe our internships, but don’t take our word for it. Interns Royze Adolfo and Hilda Barasa documented the summer 2012 internship experience here
. Former intern Zack McCune had this to say
: “it has been an enchanting summer working at the berkman center for internet & society. everyday, i get to hang out with some of the most brilliant people on the planet. we talk, we write (emails), we blog, we laugh, we play rock band. and when things need to get done, we stay late hyped on free coffee and leftover food. it is a distinct honor to be considered a peer among such excellent people. and i am not just talking about the fellows, staff, and faculty, though they are all outstanding. no, i mean my peers as in my fellow interns, who are almost definitely the ripening next generation of changemakers.”
Summer internships are full time positions (35 hours/week) for 10 weeks. Our Summer 2013 program runs from Monday, June 3 through Friday, August 9.
Interns are paid $11.50 an hour, with the exception of certain opportunities for law students who receive summer public interest funds (more about these specific cases at the link for law students below).
Please be forewarned that payment may not be sufficient to cover living expenses in the Boston area. No other benefits are provided, and interns must make their own housing, insurance, and transportation arrangements.
Commitment to Diversity:
The work and well-being of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are strengthened profoundly by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We actively seek and welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods. The roots of this deep commitment are many and, appropriately, diverse. We are not nearly far enough along in this regard, and we may never be. It is a constant process in which there remains much to learn. We welcome your inquiries, comments and ideas on how we may continue to improve.
- Internships are open to students enrolled across the full spectrum of disciplines.
- Internships are open to students at different levels of academic study including those in bachelor’s, master’s, law, and Ph.D programs (some flexibility with high school students is possible). Selected positions require that interns be enrolled in a particular kind of academic program.
- Summer interns need not be U.S. residents or in school in the U.S.; indeed, we encourage international students to apply.
- Summer interns do not need an existing affiliation with Harvard University.
We know what you’re thinking. Yes please. I want that. That sounds magical. Did I mention that I have incredible dance moves?
Here’s what you should do…
please find application instructions and important additional information here
Students from disciplines other than law:
please find more information and application instructions here
The application deadline for all students for Summer 2013 is Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
We are fortunate to receive a large number of excellent applications each year and go through a dynamic and highly selective process in which we try to find the best match for individual interns and portfolio needs, but limited slots inevitably mean passing on amazing candidates. We are steadfast, however, in our eagerness for you to work in this space and encourage you to explore other related summer opportunities, including these
Select Expected Summer 2013 Opportunities:
Summer interns working for Chilling Effects will work on a range of assignments related to Chilling Effects’ recent expansion and modernization, including: writing “weather reports” and updating news and research resources for on-site publication; helping with managing and curating the database, including coding metadata and working with source partners to facilitate the ingestion and processing of notices; working on domestic and international collaboration initiatives; event planning and management; and working on research and writing projects centered on the database corpus, either internally or in collaboration with external researchers. More information about Chilling Effects and its work can be found at:http://www.chillingeffects.org/
Civic Engagement in Developing and Transitioning Countries
Interns will undertake a variety of research and writing around the use, impact, and design of digital tools for civic engagement in developing and transitioning countries, with a focus on Nigeria. Inquiries will be broad-based, but particular attention will be given to the study of transparency, governance, accountability, justice, and human rights. As well, research will explore issues related to civil society and innovation.
Interns with the Cyberlaw Clinic contribute to a wide range of real-world litigation, client counseling, transactional, licensing, advocacy, and legislative projects relating to technology and the Internet. The Clinic provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate individuals, small start-ups, non-profit organizations, and government entities. The Clinic’s work includes counseling and legal guidance regarding complex open access, digital copyright, and fair use issues; litigation, amicus filings, and other advocacy to protect online speech and anonymity; developing legal resources for and offering advice to citizen journalists and new media organizations; licensing and contract advice, especially regarding Creative Commons and other “open” licenses; advising on innovative uses of technology to help courts increase citizens’ access to justice; and drafting amicus briefs, motions, and training materials in the areas of child pornography and youth online safety; among other areas. Interns in the Cyberlaw Clinic can expect direct hands-on experience working with clients under the supervision of the Clinic’s staff attorneys. More information about the Cyberlaw Clinic can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/teaching/cyberlawclinic
Summer interns working on digital library issues will conduct research related to library users, content, governance, funding, publishing models, and a suite of related issues; stay abreast of developments in the digital library field (including news related to e-publishing, copyright, linked open data, and other areas); and conduct research on the legal aspects and considerations related to these issues. Depending on summer needs, interns may contribute to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), an all-digital effort to enable broad, free public access to the vast amounts of digital content (and yet-to-be-digitized content) in the United States’ libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage institutions. More information about the DPLA can be found at: http://dp.la
This position might also involve assisting with a number of research, writing, and media tracking responsibilities for the Libraries and Data track of the Berkman Center’s nascent Information Quality Research Initiative (IQRI) Led by Berkman Executive Director Urs Gasser, the IQRI builds upon numerous publications, including the 2012 report, “Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality“, and aims to develop a theory of information quality that reflects fundamental shifts in the information ecosystem in the age of digital media. The Libraries and Data track is expected to be one of the initial substantive areas that the IQRI will explore. In summer 2013, this internship will afford the opportunity to work closely with a small yet dynamic project team to investigate and assess empirical, theoretical and normative dynamics, opportunities, interventions, and challenges that emerge for both information custodians and users of information resources in the contemporary online environment.
Digital Media Law Project
Summer interns at the Digital Media Law Project will work on a wide range of legal research and writing projects relating to media law, intellectual property, and the intersection of journalism and the internet. In past years, interns have updated the Legal Guide
to media law topics, developed entries for the database of threats
against online publishers, commented on current issues in law and media on the blog
, and provided research and drafting assistance on amicus briefs
. Interns may also be asked to assist with the operation and expansion of the Online Media Legal Network
, an attorney referral service for digital publishers, and with other projects that the DMLP undertakes in conjunction with its partner organizations around the world. More information on summer internships with the DMLP can be found on the DMLP website at: http://www.citmedialaw.org/about/summer-internships
Freedom Of Expression
The Berkman Center’s suite of freedom of expression-related projects, including Internet Monitor, Herdict, the OpenNet Initiative, and others, is seeking a small team of interns to conduct research on Internet filtering, monitoring, and control efforts around the globe; engage in related data gathering efforts using online sources; contribute to report writing; blog regularly about issues concerning online freedom of expression; and manage various projects’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. In the past, interns have also supported research on blogospheres and other online communities around the world, contributed to literature reviews, and hand coded online content. Foreign language skills, particularly in Persian, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese, are useful. More information about some of Berkman’s work on freedom of expression can be found at the following links:http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/internetmonitor
Geek Cave Software Development
The Berkman Geek Cave is a great place to work on technical projects over the summer. Interns joining the Geek Cave may extend open source software, build scalable websites, or manage the mixed desktop network that keeps the Center moving. Our team works with ruby, perl, php, bash, jQuery, PostgreSQL, MySQL and a slew of other tools. We have five talented, devoted, fun, full-time developers on staff that can help hone your 1337 coding skilz as well provide fun projects to pair code or geek out on. More info about the projects that we work on can be found on our github organization page: http://github.com/berkmancenter
H2O is an online suite of classroom tools developed by the Berkman Center and the Harvard Law School Library. H2O allows, among other things, professors to build, share, and remix digital casebooks under a Creative Commons license. Summer interns typically contribute to the manifold aspects of conceptualizing, assembling, editing, and disseminating digital casebooks for use at Harvard Law School and beyond. The platform was successfully beta-tested in Prof. Jonathan Zittrain’s Fall 2011 Torts class, and is slated to be used by four additional Harvard Law School professors during the 2012-13 academic year. Casebooks that might be developed on H2O during the summer of 2012 could include Civil Procedure, Property, Constitutional Law, Legislation and Regulations, Corporations, and International, Foreign, and Comparative Law. Technically proficient law students who have an interest in deepening their knowledge in these subjects, as well as extremely dedicated aspiring law students, will work closely with teachers and the H2O team to deliver freely and publicly available, remixable casebooks at Harvard and elsewhere. More information is available at:http://h2odev.law.harvard.edu
and at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/h2o
Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP)
HOAP fosters open access
(OA) to research within Harvard, fosters OA beyond Harvard, undertakes research and policy analysis on OA, and provides OA to timely and accurate information about OA itself. Interns with the HOAP will add relevant information to the Open Access Directory (OAD), a wiki-based encyclopedia of OA, and/or contribute to the the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP), a social-tagging project organizing knowledge about OA. More information about HOAP can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/hoap/Main_Page
and at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/hoap
Interns will contribute to the research, development and testing of technical and social approaches to improve the resiliency and robustness of the Web. Project-related roles and responsibilities will vary according the skills and experiences of the interns. There is need for interns with technical skills and background as well as those with interest in research and writing related to the social architecture of the Web. More information about Internet Robustness is at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/internetrobustness
Media Cloud – Research and Technical Development
, a joint project of the Berkman Center and the MIT Center for Civic Media
, seeks summer interns to contribute to our team’s effort to build new tools and methods that allow us to study and better analyze the shape and dynamics of the networked public sphere
Research interns with Media Cloud will contribute to the research, data collection, and synthesis of case studies developed as part of the Controversy Mapping tool, which allows researchers to use the Media Cloud platform’s data collection and network visualization tools to map the evolution of a particular public affair, debate, or policy conversation (such asSOPA/PIPA
, Trayvon Martin
, and the 2012 California ballot propositions (forthcoming)).
Technical development interns with Media Cloud will help to extend and improve the project’s features. We are looking for developers interested in online media research, big data, and natural language processing.
More information about Media Cloud is available at:http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/mediacloud and you can see the project in action at:http://www.mediacloud.org.
metaLAB (at) Harvard
Berkman Multimedia Production
An intern for the Berkman Center’s multimedia team will take on the production of video and audio that helps to shed light on the many research areas of the Center in a creative way. Among the responsibilities of the multimedia intern may be: producing and editing several episodes of Radio Berkman
(the Center’s NPR-style podcast); coordinating the production of asummer intern shared multimedia projects
; and generally creating and promoting unique content for the Berkman Center — in the form of animations, still images, slideshows, audio, and video. This position requires previous experience with multimedia production; a familiarity with cameras and audio equipment, as well as video and audio production platforms (e.g., Final Cut, Adobe After Effects, and ProTools); an energetic flair for the creative; and a demonstrated ability to work independently and with groups. In addition to a resume and cover letter, applicants should share links to any multimedia work for which they are proud to have been responsible.
Open Data/Open Government
The Berkman Center is exploring opportunities at the nexus of efforts that promote open government, transparency, data-sharing, and civic entrepreneurship/co-production/engagement. Recent activities at the Center have built on the excitement generated by a range of related events and projects in the Berkman community, including a workshop on open data, a meeting on innovation for municipal leaders, a gaming platform for civic engagement, and collaboration with the city government of Boston. Interns will contribute to the development of an action-oriented research framework intended to systematically support, add value to, and facilitate innovation and collaboration in government.
Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data
In fall 2012, this exciting new collaboration between the Center for Research on Computer Science (CRCS) at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, kicked off a four-year project to develop computational and legal methods, tools, and policies to further the tremendous value that can come from collecting, analyzing, and sharing data while more fully protecting individual privacy.
Faculty director and Clinical Professor Phil Malone
leads the Berkman Center’s role in this initiative, which brings the Center’s institutional knowledge and practical experience to help tackle the legal and policy-based issues in the larger project. The Berkman Center is working with Berkman faculty, fellows, research assistants, and the CRCS and IQSS project team members to distill key definitional issues, explore new and existing legal and regulatory frameworks, and develop legal instruments that take into account the specific needs of researchers, research subjects, and data, while enabling reliable mechanisms for protecting privacy, transparency, and accountability.
For 2013, law student interns will work with Professor Phil Malone and provide research and analytical support to the project, including research and analysis on privacy law and policy and specific privacy approaches to the use of large data sets.More information about the project can be found on the Berkman Center website at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/privacy_tools and the CRCS project website at: http://privacytools.seas.harvard.edu/.
Special Projects – Jonathan Zittrain
Summer interns will work on a variety of projects undertaken by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, assisting in a variety of research areas (e.g. human computing, linkrot and internet robustness, platforms, and Internet filtering). Summer contributions include research for conferences and presentations; brainstorming article outlines; fact-checking materials; and reviewing original article or paper drafts. This position requires the ability to find, absorb, critically analyze, and debate large amounts of written and other media materials from sources including scholarly articles, news articles and blogs, and interviews with public policymakers. This intern position is ideally suited for students or others who would like to get a deeper understanding of academic research and the broader world of Internet law. As well, this position may be extended into the 2013-2014 academic year; if you would be interested and available to continue working from Cambridge, MA in this capacity beyond the summer, please indicate so in your cover letter. More information about JZ’s research can be found at:http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/jzittrain
and at: http://www.jz.org/
Youth and Media Project
During a summer at Youth and Media
, interns will contribute to various research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth and technology. By researching young people’s interactions with digital media such as the Internet, cell phones, and video games, we seek to address the issues their practices raise, learn how to harness the opportunities their digital fluency presents, and shape our regulatory and educational frameworks in a way that advances the public interest.
For 2013, we are looking for candidates with strong academic training and experience in qualitative research methods to assist with designing, conducting, and analyzing focus group and one-on-one interviews around topics of privacy, information quality and health information, youth use of the Internet in developing countries, and new ways of learning. We would also consider candidates with expertise in these areas to conduct background research and write literature reviews.
More information about the Youth and Media Lab can be found at: www.youthandmedia.org
. See what past Youth and Media interns said about their time at Berkman here