Interested in real-world problem-solving, research with impact and networking opportunities? Join the Spring 2021 online research sprint open to Masters- and PhD-level students from all disciplines and geographies.

The Spring 2021 Research Sprint, hosted by the Digital Asia Hub in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center and the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers, explores the evolving normative concept of “digital self-determination” as an enabler of – or at least contributor – to the exercise of autonomy and agency in the face of shrinking choices. In a world that is increasingly constructed, mediated and at times even dominated by digital technologies and digital media, including the underlying infrastructures, questions of control, power and equity become more critical.

The Digital Asia Hub in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center and 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-March to mid-May 2021 on exploring the notion of “digital self-determination” from different perspectives and across cultural contexts. The goal of the sprint is to create and populate an evolving repository of readings, case studies, examples, and narratives that together provide a thick description of the evolving notion of digital self-determination and its normative context.

In a nutshell:

  • The research sprint is hosted by the Digital Asia Hub with the support of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, and will take place virtually from March 15th – May 15th, 2021.
  • The program brings together leading experts and mentors from the Digital Asia Hub and the Berkman Klein Center and its global partner organizations from the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers. 
  • The program consists of three elements: A series of up to 9 synchronous sessions online, with assignments and other occasional (optional) offerings, including “social” gatherings, for networking and mentorship. 
  • Students at the Masters- 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.
  • The program will use several computer applications to facilitate everything including Zoom, Google Drive, and Slack. 
  • Students who complete the program will be eligible for a stipend of up to $1000.


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 are a plus.Commitment to take part in weekly ~2-hour virtual sessions between March 15 and May 15 on Thursdays at 8am (Eastern Standard Time)/9pm (Hong Kong time) 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.


  • 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: Engaging with leading experts in the field of digital technology, education, policy, and ethics and making connections with other scholars around the world.
  • Skill building: As part of an interdisciplinary research team and on an accelerated timeline, improve and expand research and collaboration skills. 

Method of Application:

  • Please apply by filling out this application form by Tuesday, February 23 by 8:00am (EST/Boston time)/9pm (Hong Kong time). Applicants will receive notification of admission no later than Friday, March 5 by 5:00pm (EST/Boston time)/6am (Hong Kong time). 
  • The form will require that you include a link to your CV or Resume 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.

Support and Stipends: 

  • Students who complete the program will be eligible for a stipend of up to $1000. 
  • International students based in the US without an eligible work permit are NOT eligible for the stipend. Otherwise, students from around the world are welcomed to apply.  Please consult your legal counsel and institution if you have questions about your eligibility to participate/receive stipends. Stipend payments will come from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 23 2021

For questions and inquiries, please contact

For More Information:

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