Application Deadline:Thursday, October 8, 2020 by 5:00pm EDT

The Berkman Klein Center’s Ethics of Digitalization initiative, in collaboration with the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers and under the patronage of the Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is looking for students who want to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team from mid-October to mid-December 2020 on the ethical, societal, and policy challenges posed by COVID-19 as it disrupts education and learning for billions of learners across the globe. The goal of the sprint is to produce an output to help policy-makers around the world address COVID-19’s short and long-term impact on education and learning.

In a nutshell:

  • The research sprint is hosted by the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and will take place virtually from October 15th-December 18th.
  • The program brings together leading experts and mentors from the Berkman Klein Center and its global partner organizations.
  • The program consists of three elements: A series of 8 anchoring sessions online, small-group research in teams, and occasional “social” gatherings for networking and mentorship. 
  • Average time commitment of up to 10 hours a week, depending on your capacities.
  • Students at the Master- and PhD level from all disciplines are invited to apply and will be actively involved in all parts of the program.
  • We invite participation from students globally.
  • Students who complete the program will be eligible for a stipend of up to $1,500.


  • Research with impact: A unique opportunity to participate in hands-on research activities on a pressing issue and with real-world impact opportunity. 
  • Mentorship and networking: Work in small-groups mentored by leading experts in the field of digital technology, education, policy, and ethics and make connections.
  • Skill building: As part of an interdisciplinary research team and on an accelerated timeline, improve and expand your research and collaboration skills. 


  • Passion for interdisciplinary research in a novel and highly collaborative program.
  • Excellent academic qualifications (near-completed Masters degree; PhD in progress/planned or advanced PhD, post-doctoral researcher).
  • Fluency in English and knowledge of one other language a plus.
  • Commitment to take part in weekly 2-hour virtual sessions between mid-October and mid-December and a willingness to attend periodic social gatherings.
  • Average time commitment of up to 10 hours a week, depending on your capacities.
  • Motivation to produce research outputs within the time of the sprint and to contribute to a joint publication.


  • Please apply by filling out this application form by Thursday, October 8, 2020 by 5:00 pm EDT. Applicants will receive notification of admission no later than Tuesday, October 13th by 5:00pm EDT. The form will require that you upload:
    • Your CV or Resume
    • A motivation letter explaining your interest in the research sprint, your research background, and your skills (no more than 300 words in English)

Support and Stipends: 

  • Students who complete the program will be eligible for a stipend of up to $1,500. 
  • International students: Please note that the Research Sprint welcomes international participants who are participating remotely without entry to the US; or who already are sponsored to be in the United States and whose status allows them to engage in collaborative research and to receive a stipend. Applicants with ESTA status or B visas are not eligible. Please consult your legal counsel if you have questions about your eligibility.

Faculty and Mentors:

  • Led by Professor Urs Gasser, Executive Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School in collaboration with colleagues from the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers and Berkman Klein Center fellows, staff, and associates found on this page.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Berkman Klein Center Online Research Sprint 2020

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