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Fellowship Opportunity: Media Cloud Project Fellow

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Center for Civic Media seek a fellow to join Media Cloud, a project led by Yochai Benkler and Ethan Zuckerman and driven by an interdisciplinary team of staff and researchers. The fellow will lead the production of scholarly papers and outputs, advance specific research threads, and contribute to the development of research methods and tools.

Media Cloud is an open source, open data platform that allows researchers to answer complex quantitative and qualitative questions about the content of online media and helps to support a novel, data-driven perspective on the dynamics of online conversations.

This fellowship offers an early-stage researcher in social science, data science, or Internet & society to explore the state of digital media through analysis of networks, big data, social media, mobilization, and attention online. This is a unique opportunity to study the networked public sphere and its impact on current political debates.

A full position description for the job can be found below and on the Harvard Human Resources website

Please note that applications for this fellowship must be submitted through the Harvard Human Resources website, and will not be collected or coordinated directly through the Berkman Center.  Apply for the Media Cloud fellowship here.

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Key Responsibilities Include

  • leading a research effort to study online debates related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), investigating the framing of terms around sexuality, reproductive health and rights, as well as training a small subset of advocates working on these issues on the use of our tools;
  • working closely with project members from the Berkman Center and Center for Civic Media to coordinate and conduct research, writing, project outputs, and preparing publications; 
  • documenting processes and strategies for using Media Cloud;  
  • cultivating and supporting relationships among faculty and other experts in media, social science, law, computer science, journalism, data visualization, and other fields to understand substantive issues and objectives, assess needs and capabilities, and collaboratively develop research methods to meet the project’s broader goals; 
  • contributing to the development of the research and technical platforms; 
  • planning, communicating, and implementing Media Cloud workshops and convenings; 
  • managing the selection, oversight, and mentorship of student researchers; 
  • developing plans and timelines to advance project priorities and meet deadlines; and 
  • providing additional project support as needed.

The fellowship is positioned to share time between the Berkman Center and the Center for Civic Media at MIT, working closely with researchers, staff, and faculty at both institutions. The community of fellows and researchers at the two Centers includes a wide range of people working on issues related to Internet and society, including scholars, practitioners, innovators, and others committed to understanding and advancing the public interest.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree required.

Additional Qualifications

Candidate should be energetic and passionate about working on issues related to social mobilization and network analysis. Superior writing and verbal skills, sound judgment, exceptional ethical standards, and proven abilities in interpersonal communication, supervision, project management, and team building are required. The fellow will have heart, verve, and vigor; a can-do attitude; a very good sense of humor; and a strong desire to affect change in the world.

Demonstrable knowledge of statistical and content analysis, text analysis and natural language processing, visualization, and the ability to produce large social science research outputs is preferred. Familiarity with the intersections of policy with technology, regulation, and social impact is beneficial.

An advanced degree in a related field is strongly preferred. Experience with technical, substantive, and organizational work for non-governmental or academic organizations is useful, in addition to experience in managing and guiding participating researchers and collaborators.

Additional Information

The Centers encourage and support inviting and rigorous intellectual environments. The right candidate will thrive in a committed, collaborative, and tight-knit community that encourages creativity and humor, supports deep inquiry, values novel approaches to solving problems, strives for transparency, continually builds upon best-practices and lessons learned, and supports its community members’ independent and collective goals.

In order to most fully and efficiently carry out her duties, the candidate will attend workshops and conferences, and will have frequent opportunities to expand his/her knowledge.

The annual salary is $48,000, and is eligible for health benefits.

The position is administratively housed at the Berkman Center, and will report to the Research Director at the Berkman Center.

As with all Berkman Center positions, this is a term appointment expected to continue through 12/31/14, subject to department need and funding, with strong potential for continuation based on funding and institutional need.

About Media Cloud

Using Media Cloud, academic researchers, journalism critics, and interested citizens can examine what media sources cover which stories, what language different media outlets use in conjunction with different stories, and how stories spread from one media outlet to another. Media Cloud was the research tool used to develop the recent publication, “Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA Debate.”  For more information about Media Cloud, visit: http://mediacloud.org.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society

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 is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu.

About the MIT Center for Civic Media

The MIT Center for Civic Media works hand in hand with diverse communities to collaboratively create, design, deploy, and assess civic media tools and practices. We are inventors of new technologies that support and foster civic media and political action, we are a hub for the study of these technologies, and we coordinate community-based design processes locally in the Boston area, across the United States, and around the world. Bridging two established programs at MIT—one known for inventing alternate technical futures, the other for identifying the cultural and social potential of media change—the Center for Civic Media is a joint effort between the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program. It is made possible by funding from the Knight Foundation.  More information can be found at http://civic.mit.edu/.

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 LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.

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If the Media Cloud fellowship is not for you, but you're interested in Berkman's fellowship program, please read more on our fellowship page.  We are currently accepting applications for 2014-2015 fellowships through our open call, through which applicants propose their own course of study.  Applications through the open call will be accepted through December 8, 2013.

Last updated December 11, 2013

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