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Lumen Research Assistant Opportunities

Lumen Research Assistant Opportunities


The Lumen project, hosted at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, is hiring one or two Research Assistants for the 2022 spring semester. Please note that to be eligible for this position, due to the current COVID-19 situation, you must be an enrolled student at a Harvard School.

The Berkman Klein Center’s oldest continuously operating project, Lumen collects requests of all sorts to remove material from the Web. Our goals are to facilitate research about the different kinds of complaints and requests for removal — both legitimate and questionable — that are being sent to Internet publishers and service providers, and to provide as much transparency as possible about the “ecology” of such notices, in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect. You may well have seen

“In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at “

at the bottom of Google’s search results.

We receive and publish notice data — more than 14 million notices to date — that has been shared with Lumen individuals and intermediaries including Google, Twitter, Reddit, Medium, DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, WordPress and YouTube, among others.


RAs typically work between 5 and 14 hours per week, depending on their availability, and will be expected to join a weekly progress meeting. RAs will primarily be responsible for manually reviewing documents in the Lumen database that require redaction prior to being attached to notices, because they may contain sensitive material such as personally identifying information or allegedly defamatory content.

Beyond these ongoing redaction duties, and depending on interest and skills, Lumen RAs may also be asked to assist with other aspects of Lumen’ activities, including:

  • Working within the Lumen database to facilitate research agendas.
  • Creating or editing material for the Lumen website.
  • Writing blog entries for the website discussing current events as they relate to online expression, and assessing the climate for Internet speech. These provide a good chance to post your work online quickly --find an interesting event or news story relating to the removal of online materials, to online speech or intellectual property (threatening letters, lawsuits, or an online speaker's successful defense), and write up a blog-style report for posting to the site. These posts can be on topics of your choosing, or on suggestions from Lumen staff.
  • Helping (when schedule permits) with Lumen online events

Applicant Qualities

  • A keen attention to detail.
  • The ability to work independently.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Acrobat.
  • An interest in internet policy and online content moderation is a plus, but not required.
  • For those interested in working on website content or blog posts, strong writing skills are critical.

Benefits/Other Information

  • This position is currently remote.
  • As noted previously, to be eligible for this position you must be an enrolled student at a Harvard School.
  • Compensation is the standard rate for Harvard students in RA positions of $20.00/hour.
  • We do not have the ability to provide authorization to work in the U.S.
  • No other benefits are provided.

How to Apply

Please send your current CV or resume and a cover letter summarizing your interest and experience to Lumen Project Manager Adam Holland ( with “Application for Lumen RA position” in the subject line.