A Berktern's


Welcome to a behind the scenes look at what it's like to be an intern at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Every year the Berkman Klein Center hosts dozens of students who come to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work closely with faculty, researchers, staff, and the broader academic community throughout the summer. Over an intensive 10-week placement, the Berkterns (Berkman Klein Interns) work to identify and engage with challenges, issues, solutions, and opportunities on a variety of topics and projects that involve using technology for social good.


This Summer Snapshot gives you a quick look into what it’s like to be a Berktern. We hope that it excites you and inspires you to apply to the program. When passionate researchers come together from a diverse range of academic disciplines, geographic areas, backgrounds, and perspectives, the conversations are incredible, the research is meaningful, and the summer is unforgettable!


Learn more about the internship and apply here.


The Berkman Klein Center’s research scope is as broad as it is fascinating. There are research teams studying the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence, accessibility to medicines in global health networks, Internet censorship, cybersecurity, cyberlaw, youth media cultures, and much, much more. There are also interns working in staff departments such as communications, project management, and web development. The number and type of intern roles varies  from year to year, however a typical placement could involve working on the following focus areas. Rollover each project theme for more detail:

In addition to everyday tasks, there are lots of group activities, collaborative projects, and learning opportunities to participate in. Interns are encouraged to be as proactive as possible, as early on as possible, to make sure they get the most out of their placement. Past intern groups have collaborated to produce Oxford style debates, podcasts, explainer videos, short films, lunch talks, skill shares, and teaching resources.


Work at the Center is often self-directed, giving you the freedom to experiment and explore ideas that are important to your research. To support you, you’ll also be assigned a supervisor and be given the opportunity to connect with additional mentors from among the many fellows and visiting scholars who regularly work from the Center. Typical outputs at the end of the summer could include:

Written work (blog posts, reports, book chapters, papers, notes)

Events (coordinating, presenting, reviewing, attending)

Websites (designing, coding, building, copywriting, conceptualizing)

Art (workshops, objects, concepts)

Multimedia (videos, animation, photography, podcasts)

See examples at the bottom of this page



You’ll get to meet some incredibly inspiring people during the internship. Interns are at all different stages of life and come from academic and professional backgrounds including law, media studies, computer science, policy, history, economics, philosophy, creative writing, engineering, and more. On top of BKC’s own research community, the Berkterns can reach out to interns at MIT, join summer sports teams, and connect with other social groups. Many of the interns are international, having previously joined the Center from countries including Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria, Argentina, Italy, India, Australia, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Colombia, and Spain.


Here’s what some of our past Berkterns have had to say about their experience:


The Berkman Klein Center is at 23 Everett Street on the edge of the Harvard Law School campus. Taking up the entire second floor of the building, there are meeting rooms, creative work areas, conference facilities, offices, and communal working spaces. You’ll also get to work in many amazing rooms on the Harvard Law School campus including Wasserstein Hall, the Caspersen Student Center, and the Harvard Law School Library. Rollover the image for some glimpses from around BKC.


Time flies when you're having fun! Luckily, the friendships, connections, and network that you make during a Berkternship will last for many years. In addition to working together on official projects, many hang out outside of work, collaborate on personal projects, and explore the New England area together. Berkterns often remark that the most valuable part of the internship is getting the opportunity to meet other amazing Berkterns!


To learn more about and apply for a Berkman Klein summer internship visit the Get Involved page.


Check out some of the fun and interesting stuff that Berkterns have done over the years

Click to return to top of page

Design and content produced by the 2017 class of Berkterns, with additional work from Daniel Dennis Jones