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Decentralized Social Networking Protocol Research Assistant, Applied Social Media Lab

Decentralized Social Networking Protocol Research Assistant, Applied Social Media Lab


About The Institute for Rebooting Social Media and The Applied Social Media Lab:
The Institute for Rebooting Social Media (RSM) at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center (BKC) is a three-year, “pop-up” research initiative to accelerate progress on social media’s most urgent problems, including misinformation, privacy breaches, harassment, and content governance. The Applied Social Media Lab (ASML), established within RSM, specifically focuses on creating technology  (e.g., software, tools, and protocols) for analyzing, improving, and creating  social media platforms. ASML technologists work in thematic “pods,” examining topics  like trust and safety tooling, online forums for political deliberation, disinformation mitigation, and more. The lab’s output will range from design papers to fully-functional product prototypes, with a focus on creating software prototypes or detailed architectures for such prototypes.

The ASML Graduate Research Assistant will typically work 10-20 hours per week, depending on their availability, and will be expected to join a weekly check-in meeting with the ASML Faculty Director. The RA will primarily be responsible for technical research and literature reviews related to social media protocols. RAs will also be expected to interact with the Lab’s technologists and Institute’s scholars, connecting their research with ongoing work of the center. 

Applicant Qualities and Roles:
Research Assistantships are an excellent opportunity for students to apply their skills and dive deeply into subject matter of interest. This graduate student position requires previous background in the field, specifically: 

  • Prior experience with computer science (e.g., programming, data science, Internet protocols, social media platform design).
  • Experience in technical research and analysis.
  • Interest in internet and social media policy.

Eligibility/Other information:

  • This position is currently hybrid.
  • To be eligible for this position you must be an enrolled graduate student at Harvard University.
  • Compensation is the standard rate for Harvard students in RA positions ($21/hour).
  • We do not have the ability to provide authorization to work in the U.S. No other benefits are provided.

To Apply:
Please send your current CV or resume and a cover letter summarizing your interest and experience to with the subject line “ASML Graduate Research Assistant”. Applicants may be considered for additional roles and skill sets. Please specify your approximate availability (hours per week) in your application.