Information Control Fellowship

Deadline:
1st November 2020

Information Control Fellows seek to advance society's understanding of surveillance-capitalism-enabled information controls by embedding within partner organisations to produce creative research and technology outputs.

Profile

Through this Open Call, Reset strives to support a diverse and global group of individuals performing multidisciplinary and intersectional work to advance our understanding of how surveillance capitalism enables information controls. Specifically, Information Control Fellows examine what type of harms are being caused by this practice, where they are occurring, who they are affecting, and how they can be mitigated and defended against in the future. We believe better and more virtuous technology-centred interventions are needed to document, mitigate, and reduce these harms and ensure a healthier and more democratic society. The goal of the Information Control Fellowship programme is to help make these interventions possible through targeted research, development, and investigation.

Learn more about surveillance-capitalism-enabled information controls here.

Participation

Before applying, each applicant must self-determine and define a project to pursue during their Fellowship. This project idea will be introduced as part of the applicant's application. Projects can either be (1) designed in collaboration with the applicant's preferred host organisation, or (2) designed solely by the applicant without a pre-existing host organisation. Each Information Control Fellow that is accepted will then work with Reset and the host organisation to finalise their project plan. In doing so, fellows will be required to give an introductory presentation on their proposed work. At the end of the Fellowship, fellows will provide a closing presentation detailing their project conclusions and key takeaways. This presentation will be made available to the broader Reset network.

Where do Information Control Fellows work?

Information Control Fellows embed (virtually or physically) with a host organisation for the duration of their Fellowship. Work can be performed from any location that Reset and the host organisation can provide support, so long as fellows are capable of maintaining an online presence during selected work times and participating in regular check-ins (as needed by the host organisation or Reset). While fellows are ideally able to work locally within their host organisation, applicants who wish to work remotely will be considered on an equal basis (with the expectation that a firm strategy for remote working and communication will be established).

When applying, applicants may specify any host organisation of their choosing. Justification for the selected host organisation must be provided as part of the application. Please note that non-academic host organisations are welcome, as are organisations based outside the United States, the United Kingdom, or the European Union.

Note: Entities interested in serving as a host organisation should email [email protected] for more information.

Project themes & ideas

Applicants are invited to imagine a specific project or set of activities that will advance society's understanding of information controls enabled by surveillance capitalism. Successful Information Control Fellowship projects inform, convene, intervene, or provoke - all with an eye to both a broad impact as well as an immediate effect. Relevant project themes and ideas include the following areas of focus:

Potential areas of focus

  • Developing and refining tools and techniques to continuously monitor the misuse of personal data on a global scale.
  • Investigating information controls, security, and privacy in popular applications such as search engines, social media platforms, and instant messaging clients.
  • Testing creative methods of mitigating the harms of surveillance capitalism and protecting digital rights.
  • Demystifying or reverse-engineering algorithms, information markets, or user tracking techniques.
  • Examining the impact of digital rights and the use of mitigation tools.
  • Creating experimental techniques to limit the manipulation of online discussions.
  • Conducting analyses of targeted threats against civil society organisations and democratic processes.
  • Other novel ideas and approaches relating to the study of global and regional information controls.

Things to avoid

  • Applying to embed with a host organisation that you are already work for or with.
  • Any testing and/or collection of end-user data that violates established ethical principles.

Important considerations

  • Projects should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to our Goals, objectives, & areas of work. Specific project objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable (with anticipated activities and milestones projected by month). Overall project goals should extend beyond traditional audiences.
  • For the duration of Fellowships, fellows will be expected to work with their host organisation.
  • All individuals must acquire the appropriate work authorisation. Applicants will need to secure their own visa and work permit (if applicable). For instance, if a student with an I-20 visa intends to carry out their project in the United States, they will need to apply to use Curricular Practical Training for their Fellowship. We are happy to provide visa letters upon request.
  • Prior to submitting an application, applicants should review all relevant resources, including Open Call information, Our Guide to Open Calls, and the applicable Data use policy for applicants.
Deadline:
1st November 2020