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Summer Internship Program 2018

We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2018.

About | Time Commitment | Payment | Commitment to Diversity | Eligibility | Summer 2018 Opportunities | To Apply

We are looking forward to engaging a diverse group of students who are interested in studying—and changing the world through—the Internet and new technologies; who are driven, funny, and kind; and who would like to join our amazing community in Cambridge this summer for 10 weeks of shared research and exchange.


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; taking on the Mystic lakes and Brooklyn Boulders; 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. Get a behind the scenes look at what it's like to be a summer intern at the Center through the Summer Snapshot 2017 developed by summer 2017 Berktern Tym Yee; there you'll hear from interns about their experiences, projects, and out-of-the office explorations!  And an evergreen-in-spirit quote from former intern Zachary McCune in 2008 continues to sparkle (even as the rock band reference dates it): "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."


Time Commitment

The summer 2018 program will run from Monday, June 4, 2018 through Friday, August 10, 2018.  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, ability, 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 at
  • Summer interns do not need an existing affiliation with Harvard University.

Select Expected Summer 2018 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. 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, and contributing to tool and database development; (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, including the use of algorithms in the judiciary, media and information quality, and global governance and inclusion. 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. For more information on the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative, check out our webpage at

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.

Cyberlaw Clinic
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

Berklett Cybersecurity
The Internet and the devices attached to it are, in important ways, broken. They are not secure. And yet we depend on them – and treasure the openness that in some ways is at the root of some vulnerability.  Solutions to this problem are not only difficult to develop, but also exquisitely hard to implement. The Internet environment is a distinctly shared space: it comprises many interdependencies and perspectives among the public and private sectors.  But the actions taken by government and corporate actors has been highly fragmented.  Further complicating matters, trust in government -- particularly in the intelligence community -- to help address the mounting concerns around cybersecurity is low.  The Berklett Cybersecurity project is a unique forum for discussing true and important, and often novel, facts, and perspectives, and achieving surprising consensus on enduring questions of cybersecurity that are core to government, foreign intelligence, law enforcement, and industry.  Our aim is to achieve a depth of trusted and honest discussion between experts across a broad range of issues, and to significantly advance our collective understanding of the problems and their potential solutions.  More information about the project can be found at

Digital Communication, Politics, and Collective Action
We are seeking a research assistant who will contribute to ongoing work around two projects, one focused on media manipulation and the other on harmful speech online more broadly. Our media manipulation work centers on empirical scholarship that seeks to address the most important issues and challenges in the public interest at the intersection of political communication and digital media. The goals of our work on harmful speech online are to map the complex sphere within which it operates, convene and connect people working on these issues, and translate academic findings into useful information for policy makers. Summer interns may help review and synthesize relevant literature across fields; gather, analyze and visualize data; analyze digital, social, and other forms of online media and discourse; and write and edit essays, publications, and translational communications. More information can be found at and

Freedom of Expression
The Berkman Klein Center's suite of freedom of expression-related projects, including Internet Monitor, is seeking an intern 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. Basic HTML skills and a familiarity with content management systems are helpful. 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:

Geek Cave Software Development
The Berkman Klein Geek Cave is a great place to dive into technical and software development projects over the summer. Interns joining the Geek Cave will work to extend open source development projects of various kinds. We have four fun, talented, devoted, full-time developers on staff, which interns will work with to help hone their 1337 skillz. Interns will also have opportunities to manage the complex system of hamster wheels that keep the network moving. Our team also regularly works with ruby, php, bash, javascript, elasticsearch, solr, postgresql, and a slew of other tools. Geek Cave interns applying this summer should be familiar with one or more of [ruby, php, javascript]. Experience with ubuntu linux, rails, meteor, wordpress and drupal is a plus. More info about the projects that we work on can be found on our github organization page:

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 2018. GAiA is a dynamic global health non-profit organization that focuses on improving access to lifesaving medicines in low- and middle-income countries through the implementation of legal, policy, and regulatory reform. GAiA seeks to expand access to lifesaving medicines and combat the communicable disease burden that disproportionately harms the world’s most vulnerable population. We work with key domestic and international stakeholders. 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) communications and outreach for GAiA; (2) events and conferences with stakeholders; (3) website management and (4) writing of blogs. We are looking for candidates who are detail-oriented and committed to global public health. Experience with global health, intellectual property, and communications are helpful but not required. You may refer to our website for more information on our projects:

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, contribute to the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP), a social-tagging project organizing knowledge about OA, and/or test and promote TagTeam, a HOAP-directed open-source tagging platform built at the Berkman Klein Center to support OATP. They may help with ongoing HOAP research projects or use some of their time on an OA-related project of their own, with support and feedback from the other members of HOAP. More information about HOAP can be found at

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

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

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 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!

To Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2018.


Please start with our Summer Internship Program FAQ

Have questions not covered in the FAQ? Email Rebecca Tabasky at



Tenacious 'terns wanted to help us untangle the Internet.

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