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Summer 2021 Research Assistant Opportunities

Applications are due by Wednesday, May 5, at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Berkman Klein Research Assistants (RAs) are deeply and substantively involved in the operation of the Berkman Klein Center's projects, programs, and other efforts. Becoming invaluable contributors to the Center’s operation and success, they work on collaborative and independent initiatives under the guidance of Berkman Klein staff, fellows, and faculty. Specific roles, tasks, and experiences vary depending on the Center's needs and RAs’ skills. All of this summer’s research assistantships will be performed remotely in the United States due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For summer 2021, we welcome students to apply to any of the seven research assistantships listed below. Applications are due by Wednesday, May 5, at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Information and eligibility:

  • The hourly wage for these positions is $16/hour.
  • Start and end dates will range depending on the project needs and candidate availability, most likely starting around the beginning of June, and working through August 2021.
  • Work may be part or full time depending on project needs and candidate availability.
  • Applicants must possess work authorization in the United States. We do not have the ability to provide authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Applicants must reside in the United States during the entire course of their employment.
  • Applicants must possess readily available access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection.

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 applications from people of color including members of Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and other communities; women; members of the LGBTQIA+ community; people with disabilities; and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.

To Apply:

  • Applications will only be accepted through the application form at:
  • Required materials for all applicants include:
    • A current resume or CV. The form will require that you include a link to your resume or CV that is accessible online (on a website, in a cloud-drive, etc). Please make sure if using a cloud-storage, the link settings are set to allow for people to access the document.
    • A cover letter (1200 characters maximum) describing your skills and interests. You may wish to consider the following questions: What has led you to pursue research with the Berkman Klein Center and the issues we study? What would you like to gain from working with us this summer, and what will you contribute? How might the experience influence your future efforts?
  • Applicants will be asked to select the Research Assistant role for which they would like to be considered, and may optionally select a second Research Assistant opportunity for consideration. Click below to expand and learn about the various opportunities.


Research Assistant Opportunities


Are you passionate about communications? The BKC communications team is seeking a creative, highly motivated candidate to work on a range of writing, project management, and digital media tasks that help tell the Berkman Klein story to the public and target audiences. You may be asked to help with any aspect of BKC’s communications activities, including writing and editing website and social media content, liaising with project teams, promoting events, brainstorming approaches to storytelling, and developing creative ways to share and amplify research, education, programs, and other activities of the Center. The right candidate will be someone who is an outstanding and efficient writer; is sharp, flexible, and reliable; has great organizational skills to juggle multiple tasks, people, and projects; is a strong collaborator with the EQ to work well with varying personalities and work styles; understands both traditional and social media. Come join us for the summer!

External and Non-traditional Educational Initiatives at BKC

Over the last few years BKC has embarked on new educational initiatives including the Ethics of Digitalization Research Sprints and the Summer Institute. This RA position will work closely with the Center's Managing Director to envision the next steps for these programs, Executive Education, and community-based and student-facing programs.

The RA may:

- Conduct analysis of existing Exec Ed programs
- Study and further develop an existing model for a new Harvard master’s degree
- Explore potential audiences and funding models
- Document the above outputs

Required Experience:

- Demonstrated interest in learning environments and/or sociotechnical systems
- Excellent critical reading abilities
- Excellent research and writing skills
- Ability to quickly draft and contextualize written materials
- Preferred background in one or some of the following: competitive analysis, higher ed, lifelong or adult learning, and education expertise in BKC’s research topics.


Summer interns working for Lumen will work on a range of assignments related to Lumen’s ongoing operations, expansion efforts, and research initiatives, including but not limited to: helping with managing and curating the database, including coding metadata and working with source partners to facilitate the ingestion and processing of notices; managing the website, contributing to Lumen social media content, working on international collaboration initiatives;  event planning and management; and working on research and writing projects centered or relying on the database corpus and other Lumen interests, either internally or in collaboration with external researchers. 

Rebooting Social Media Pop-up Institute

This summer's initiative is to lay the groundwork for a longer-term project on “rebooting social media”. Broadly, the longer-term project aims to contribute to the growing body of work on social media: more clearly defining the harms and problems of social media; envisioning new, healthier futures for online social engagement; forging and testing new and under-discussed ideas to make progress in this space; and partnering to implement and socialize the best of these ideas to impact broad change. This summer, we seek to map the existing research and programming landscape to better understand the gaps and core questions for our longer-term project.

For this initiative, your role may include:
- Conducting literature reviews
- Distilling key themes from articles, research papers, events, and ongoing programming
- Synthesizing research findings in summaries, research agendas, or other written outputs to inform the planning, programming, and research agenda of the long-term project

Research Clinic

We are looking for someone to play a key role in two projects over the summer; a research clinic and the development of a learning repository. The candidate would be involved the following efforts:

Assist in planning, developing, and evaluating elements of a 3-week research clinic
- Develop and facilitate social events with doctoral students during the research clinic.
- Assess datasets for variation and themes and make recommendations about future activities
- Develop and collaborate on the development of learning modules for a general audience based upon research topics related to the center.

- Detail-oriented.
- Familiarity with basic data analysis
- Strong verbal, written, and visual presentation skills.

The time commitment would not exceed 17.25 hours a week.

The Edgelands Institute

Join The Edgelands Institute team! The Edgelands Institute is currently being incubated at the Berkman Klein Center and it is looking for a few new team members with fresh ideas, curiosity, and creative drive who want’ to be part of a collaborative team and contribute to The Edgelands Institute’s research work on how the digital transformation is transforming cities’ social contract. This opportunity is only for graduate students.

The Edgelands Institute’s mission is to channel radical collaboration and transcend the disciplinary boundaries between art, policy and research to engage diverse stakeholders to redraw their urban social contract in the present era of mass urbanization, surveillance and pandemics. More information can be found here.

For this project, your role may include: conducting literature reviews; distilling key themes from conversation transcripts; helping with our daily administrative tasks; synthesizing research findings in a summary; and participating in weekly meetings.

Youth and Media

Join the Youth and Media (YaM) team! The Berkman Klein Center’s YaM team at Harvard University is looking for a smart, dedicated Research Assistant to support a variety of exciting research projects and activities, helping us tackle topics such as: information quality, health and well-being, virtual reality, age verification, digital skills... Learn more about YaM