About the Program
Each summer the Berkman Klein 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 the Center's research agenda. Summer interns jump head first into the swirl of the Berkman Klein 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 Klein staff, fellows, and faculty. Specific roles, tasks, and experiences vary depending on Center needs and interns' skills; a select list of expected opportunities for this coming summer 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 Klein 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 Klein community. As well, each year interns establish new channels for fun and learning, such as organizing debates and pub quizzes; 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 Zachary 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."
The summer 2017 program will run from Monday, June 5, 2017 through Friday, August 11, 2017. Summer internships are full time positions (35 hours/week).
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).
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 Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, disability, and much more. We actively seek and welcome people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.
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. We also welcome applications from recent graduates and those in between academic programs.
Summer interns do not need to be U.S. residents or in school in the U.S.; indeed, we encourage international students to apply.
Selected interns must be authorized to be employed in the United States during the summer. The Berkman Klein Center works with the Harvard International Office (HIO) to sponsor J-1 Student Intern Visas, which permit employment, for selected summer interns who meet the visa requirements. More information can be found on the HIO website athttp://hio.harvard.edu/j-student-intern-visa.
Summer interns do not need an existing affiliation with Harvard University.
Select Expected Summer 2017 Opportunities
Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence
We are seeking to hire a small group of interns to focus exclusively on research related to artificial intelligence and how to shape its development in a way that advances the public good. Machine learning and related computational techniques present a new set of challenges for not only engineers and computer scientists, but also for social scientists, ethicists and philosophers, legal scholars, economists, and policymakers. Candidates for this position should be eager to work across a variety of different disciplines. Throughout the summer, the interns will work closely with a team of researchers and faculty members at Berkman Klein to conduct research that helps conceptualize the challenges and implications of AI (broadly defined), and works toward identifying practical solutions and tools. Tasks may include (a) writing research memos, op-eds, and articles, (b) researching and synthesizing a variety of AI-focused articles, books, and other publications and (c) supporting the Center's work across a range of topics relating to AI, algorithms, and machine learning. This position requires high degrees of flexibility, strong writing and communication skills, as well as the ability to find, absorb, critically analyze, and debate large amounts of materials from various sources and across disciplines. No technical background is required.
The Berkman Klein communications team is looking for a creative, motivated candidate to work on variety of editorial, administration, and digital media tasks that help tell the Berkman Klein story to the public and target audiences. The comms intern may be asked to assist with any aspect of the Center's communications activities, including editing and writing website and social media content, designing materials, pitching in with multimedia production, assisting with events and outreach, and developing new and creative ways to share and amplify the research and other activities undertaken by the Center and its projects. It is a great position for someone looking to familiarize her/himself with the Berkman Klein Center community, its activities and interests, and the Internet and society issues of the day. The right candidate will be sharp, flexible, and reliable and will possess strong organizational skills to help juggle multiple tasks, people, and projects. An understanding of both traditional and social media is key for this position. Interest across the broad areas of Berkman Klein research is big plus. Familiarity with website content management systems, Mailchimp, InDesign, audio editing, and media monitoring software is helpful, but not required.
Freedom of Expression
The Berkman Klein Center's suite of freedom of expression-related projects, including Internet Monitor, 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' social media 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 the Berkman Klein Center's work on freedom of expression can be found at the following link: https://thenetmonitor.org.
The Cyberlaw Clinic provides pro bono legal services to individuals, startups, non-profit and other mission-driven organizations, and government entities. Every summer, Clinic interns contribute to a range of real-world projects related to the Internet and technology. Interns may assist the Clinic team in providing guidance on copyright and trademark issues; support advocacy efforts to protect civil liberties; consider domestic and global human rights impacts of technology on privacy and free expression; and work with agencies and organizations that promote innovation in the delivery of government services. 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://clinic.cyber.harvard.edu.
The Cybersecurity Project is engaging in a clean-slate evaluation of the set of responsibilities related to foreign intelligence gathering, which has expanded to include the exploitation of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and cross border data access reform. In this project, we aim to identify concrete steps to clarify roles and boundaries for the intelligence community, the corporate sector, academics, non-profits, and individuals; to examine how the cybersecurity risks are conceptualized and assessed by governments and companies, particularly companies with global operations; and to rebuild legitimacy and public support for cross-sectoral cybersecurity policies and practices. In 2016, the Project published its first report on the "going dark" debate around the increasing use of encryption in commonly available consumer products. More information about the project can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/cybersecurity.
Digital Finance Initiative
The Digital Finance Initiative at the Berkman Klein Center studies the legal and social impact of digitally networked platforms for finance and property rights. We are particularly interested in the potential new technologies offer for greater access to and participation in financial services, property systems and overall economic governance. As finance and property systems modernize, critical questions arise about interoperability, data standards, transparency, and network governance. The right answers can spur innovation, decrease systemic risk, and increase stability for the billions of people who are on the margins of today's global economy. Interns joining the team will be immersed in current research, and will work with leading startups and researchers in the field. They will will have a chance to build sites and tools to analyze and visualize data and to write and research on related topics of their choosing. Depending on the candidates' skills and interests tasks may include: researching historical market structure innovation and governance models for financial services and property registries; analyzing different types of property and rights in property created by blockchain networks; summarize prior original research and draft findings; and/or gathering and analyzing data related to the accessibility of financial services. A candidate for this position could further contribute by publishing findings from their work as blog posts and articles.
Geek Cave Software Development
Global Access in Action
Global Access in Action (GAiA), a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, is seeking a paid summer intern from June to August 2017. GAiA conducts action-oriented research into access to lifesaving medicines, and alternative incentives for the development of medical treatments for underserved populations. Improving access and promoting socially beneficial innovation are key strategies for combating the communicable disease burden that disproportionately harms the world's most vulnerable populations. For examples of our previous work, see here and here. Interns will be responsible for assisting with a variety of tasks including research, writing, event management, project administration, and communications. In particular, interns will help with: (1) general administrative support for the project; (2) assistance in finalizing work product on model statutes designed to increase access to medicines; (3) ongoing work with pharmaceutical companies interested in implementing better access to medicine strategies; and (4) communications and outreach for GAiA. We are looking for candidates who are detail-oriented, hard-working, and committed to global public health. Experience with global health, intellectual property, competition law, and communications are helpful but not required.
Harmful Speech Online
The Berkman Klein Center conducts research, policy analysis, and network building efforts devoted to the study of harmful and hate speech online, in close collaboration with the Center for Communication Governance at National Law University in New Delhi, the Digitally Connected network, and in conjunction with Network of Centers (NoC). This effort seeks research assistants who will contribute to the development research methods and protocols to enable and support robust cross-country comparisons; study and document country experiences, including the policies and practices of governments and private companies, as well as civil society initiatives and responses; and build and expand research, advocacy, and support networks. Summer interns may help to work on reviewing and synthesizing relevant literature across fields; help gather data; analyze digital, social, and other forms of online media and discourse; write and edit essays, publications, and translational communications; and work with collaborators and researchers around the world. More information can be found at https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/node/99203.
Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP)
HOAP fosters open access (OA) to research, advises on OA policies and projects, undertakes research on OA, and provides OA to timely and accurate information about OA itself. HOAP interns may enlarge the Open Access Directory (OAD), a wiki-based encyclopedia of OA, help with ongoing OA research projects, or contribute to the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP), a social-tagging project organizing knowledge about OA. They might also help document and promote TagTeam, a HOAP-directed open-source tagging platform built at the Berkman Klein Center to support OATP. More information about HOAP can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/hoap.
Lumen is a website, database, and research project that collects and studies requests to remove material from online. Our goals are to conduct and facilitate research on these removal requests by academics, journalists and policy-makers, and to provide as much transparency to the Internet-using public as possible about the "ecology" of such requests, in terms of who is sending them, why, to whom, and to what effect. Lumen is looking for several energetic internally motivated candidates who are or soon will become college undergraduates, and who have an interest in technology, law, and policy. A summer intern working for Lumen will primarily be responsible for data entry, curation, and redaction, including coding metadata and working with source partners to facilitate the ingestion and processing of notices outside of Lumen's automated processes. Interns will also have the opportunity to work on a wider range of assignments including: writing blog posts; updating news and research resources for on-site publication; managing and contributing to Lumen social media presence, event planning and management; and assisting when necessary with research and writing projects. Some thoughts from past summer interns about their experience can be found here and here, and more information about Lumen is at http://www.lumendatabase.org.
Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data
The Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project brings together expertise in computer science, statistics, law, policy, and social science across five research centers across Harvard and MIT. It seeks to develop methods, tools, and policies to further the tremendous research potential of data containing information about individuals while protecting privacy. The legal team, led by Prof. Urs Gasser at the Berkman Klein Center, explores cross-disciplinary approaches to data privacy and devises new privacy frameworks, legal instruments, and policy recommendations that complement privacy-preserving technologies being developed in the project. To support this work, the Berkman Klein team is looking for rising second and third-year law students to conduct research and analysis on topics related to privacy law and policy. Summer interns will write legal memoranda on selected topics in privacy law and policy, draft data sharing agreements, survey the academic literature on privacy, contribute to the development of new tools for privacy and data sharing, and attend lectures and events with privacy experts from a wide range of disciplines. More information about the project can be found on the Privacy Tools project website at http://privacytools.seas.harvard.edu.
Responsive Communities, led by Professor Susan Crawford, addresses the most important issues of social justice, civil liberties, and economic development involving Internet access and government use of data. The initiative offers a forum for meaningful engagement across academia, government, and industry. One of the major initiative projects for 2017 is a new book that makes the case for a universal upgrade to fiber-optic telecommunications infrastructure. Responsive Communities seeks interns to assist with research for the new book, Fiber, which will explore the future--of communications, healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability, among others--that no country, including the US, will have unless it makes a concerted, nationwide move to ubiquitous and affordable last-mile fiber-optic communications and competing advanced wireless services. Interns will work closely with Professor Crawford, should be willing to conduct some interviews and dig into primary and secondary research, and will contribute to the book and accompanying long-form and short-form writing projects. Ideal candidates will have meticulous research and strong writing skills, demonstrate strong organizational skills, and and be self-motivated. Video of a fall 2016 luncheon talk Professor Crawford gave about Responsive Communities may be found here.
Special Projects with Executive Director Urs Gasser
We are seeking to hire a small team of summer interns to work on a variety of projects undertaken by Berkman Klein's Executive Director Urs Gasser, including but not limited to, a new project that explores the evolving role of law in the digital age, engineering a "re-coding" of cyberlaw that better aligns the law with the spheres of technological innovations such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, and new modes of blended, multimodal governance. Please read Urs' article in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Recoding Privacy Law: Reflections on the Future Relationship Among Law, Technology, and Privacy," for more information. Additional research topics during the internship include privacy, cybersecurity, comparative law, digital health, interoperability, and Internet governance. Tasks include (a) research for presentations and events, op-eds, a book, and articles, (b) editorial work, and (c) general support on a range of international initiatives. This position requires high degrees of flexibility, strong communication skills, as well as the ability to find, absorb, critically analyze, and debate large amounts of written and other media materials from a various sources. This position is an ideal opportunity for individuals interested in pursuing graduate or legal studies in the future, as well as those individuals currently enrolled in graduate or law school. Knowledge of foreign languages is a plus. More information about Urs' research can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/ugasser.
Technology, Law and Library Innovation
The Library Innovation Lab explores intersections of technology, law and libraries. Each summer we welcome 2-3 Berkman Klein Center interns to collaborate on projects big and small with our band of developers, designers, lawyers and librarians. This summer, as part of our Caselaw Access Project, we'll be experimenting with a huge new dataset of all US court decisions, working on an API to promote public access and research use of the data, and pursuing small discovery and demonstration projects to help illustrate the possible uses of this important dataset. We're also working to transform textbooks and expand open educational resources through a major redesign and relaunch of our H2O platform. And we're building open source software called Perma.cc that helps scholars, courts and many others preserve web citations against link rot. Those are some of our big projects. We also have many other small sketches and explorations in motion all the time. We welcome applicants of all backgrounds and perspectives who share our enthusiasm for this work. Technical expertise is great but not required. Please join us!
Youth and Media
During a summer at Youth and Media, summer interns will contribute to various research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth and technology. By understanding young people's interactions with digital media, this highly collaborative project aims to gain detailed insights into youth media practices and digital fluencies, harness the associated opportunities, address challenges, and ultimately shape the evolving regulatory and educational framework in a way that advances the public interest. For 2017, we are looking for candidates that (1) have interest and experience in qualitative research methods to assist with analyzing focus group and one-on-one interviews around topics of privacy, the digital economy, and artificial intelligence, youth use of the Internet in developing countries, and new ways of learning, (2) master various types of writing (grant writing, memo writing, report writing, newsletter writing, literature review, and so on) and editing, (3) are interested in developing curricular material (e.g. modules) and other learning tools (e.g. games), and (4) ideally have experience in graphic design, coding, and/or media production. See what past Youth and Media summer interns said about their time at Youth and Media here and here.
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...
- Law students: 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 2017 is Monday, February 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Please start with our Summer Internship Program FAQ.
Have questions not covered in the FAQ? Email Rebecca Tabasky at email@example.com.