Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard – Summer Internship Program

The Digital Public Library of America is seeking interns for the summer (June 4-August 10, 2012) through the 2012 Berkman Center for Internet & Society Summer Internship Program.  More information, along with application instructions, is available at

Each summer the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University swings open the doors of our big 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 Berkman?s research agenda, including law, technology, innovation, and knowledge; the relationship between Internet and civic activity; and technology, law, and development.

Summer interns jump head first into the swirl of the Berkman universe, where they are deeply and substantively involved in the operation of 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 staff, fellows, and faculty. Specific roles, tasks, and experiences vary depending on Center needs and interns’ skills; a select list of expected opportunities for Summer 2012 is below. Traditionally, 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 all across the Center.

In addition to joining research teams, summer interns participate in special lectures with Berkman 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 community. As well, each year interns establish new channels for fun and learning, such as organizing topical debates, establishing reading groups and book clubs, producing podcasts and videos, 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. Zack McCune, a summer intern from 2008, had this to say: “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:

Summer internships are full time positions (35 hours/week) for 10 weeks.  Our Summer 2012 program runs from Monday, June 4 through Friday, August 10.

  • Payment:

Interns are paid $11.50 an hour, with the exception of a number of opportunities for law students who are expected to receive some version of summer public interest funding (more about these specific cases at the link for law students below).   Please be forewarned that payment may not be sufficient to cover living expenses in the Boston area. 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 Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are strengthened profoundly by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We actively seek and welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods. The roots of this deep commitment are many and, appropriately, diverse. We are not nearly far enough along in this regard, and we may never be. It is a constant process in which there remains much to learn. We welcome your inquiries, comments and ideas on how we may continue to improve.


  • Internships are open to students enrolled across the spectrum of disciplines.
  • Internships are open to students at different levels of academic study including those in bachelors, masters, law, and Ph.D programs (some flexibility with high school students is possible). Some positions will require that interns be enrolled in a particular kind of academic program.
  • Summer interns do not have to be U.S. residents or in school in the U.S., and we welcome and encourage international students to apply.
  • Summer interns do not need an existing affiliation with Harvard University.

The application deadline for all students for Summer 2012 is Sunday, February 12 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions?  Email Rebecca Tabasky at