[SIGCIS-Members] Microsoft Research: PhD Internships / Sociotechnical Perspectives

danah boyd danah-sigcis at danah.org
Mon Nov 14 09:19:44 PST 2022

Hi y'all! Great to see many of you this weekend. Microsoft Research has a bunch of internship programs each summer, but one is especially targeted for advanced PhD students who want to work with social scientists (namely me, Mary Gray, Nancy Baym, and Tarleton Gillespie). 

You can find the full deets here: https://socialmediacollective.org/smc-internships/  but I'm attaching a teaser below. Please forward this to students you think might find it of interest!

PS: Internships are for current PhD students but we're also hiring postdocs <https://socialmediacollective.org/smc-postdocs/> for next year for newly minted doctors!!


Microsoft Research New England is looking for advanced Ph.D. students interested in bringing sociotechnical perspectives to analyze critical issues of our time. Interns will join a group of social scientists using empirical and critical methods to study the social, political, and cultural dynamics that shape technologies and their consequences. Our work draws on and spans several disciplines such as anthropology, communication, gender and sexuality studies, history, information studies, law, media studies, organizational and management sciences, science & technology studies, and sociology. Applications are due December 2, 2022.

In 2023 we will return to in person internships! Interns will be expected to be physically present and contribute to the daily life of our lab (based in Cambridge, MA). We are also excited to once again welcome applicants from outside North America.  

We are especially interested in candidates bringing sociotechnical approaches to the study of such topics as: 

- race, caste, and Indigeneity; gender and sexual identities; socioeconomic status and class; and the intersectional dimensions of identity as they are entangled with sociotechnical systems;
- how institutions, organizations, networks, and infrastructures (across sectors and domains) configure and are configured by sociotechnical systems;
- notions of cooperation, mutual aid, and community engagement and their relationships to governance and responsible technologies;
- political economies and emerging organizational forms in digital labor, community, government, non-profit, creator economy, and private-sector contexts;
- the politics and public responsibilities of algorithms, platforms, AI, machine learning, metrics, and other manifestations of computational cultures.

The questions our researchers are currently focused on include:  

- How are people’s expectations of work changing and how does that intersect with the rise of the creator and gig economies? (Nancy Baym) 
- What makes data legitimate in contexts as varied as government, civil society, and industry? (danah boyd) 
- How do platforms and other algorithmic intermediaries, through their design and policies, govern public discourse? (Tarleton Gillespie)  
- What are the cultural, political, and ethical implications of digital systems as new forms and sites of semi-automated, globally-distributed digital sites of identities, work, and human rights? (Mary L. Gray)  

To understand more about the responsibilities, qualifications, application process, timeline, and other deets, head on over to our blog post: https://socialmediacollective.org/smc-internships/
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