CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Digital Media and Learning Research Associates 2012 Summer Institute Program


The Digital Media and Learning (DML) Research Hub invites advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars conducting research in the field of Digital Media and Learning to submit applications for the DML Research Associates Summer Institute to be held June 11-15, 2012, at Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

This one-week institute, which is hosted by danah boyd, will examine where innovation and public policy collide, and how this introduces new challenges and opportunities for those invested in digital media and learning.  The theme for this annual meeting will be “Thinking In and Out of the Box: How Innovation and Policy Shape Networked Learning.” Some of the topics that might be discussed at this year’s Institute include:

•    How do educators and learners repurpose popular technologies to learn?
•    What is the relevance of public policy debates about privacy and publicity, digital citizenship, and online safety for DML?
•    What can DML learn from civic media initiatives?
•    How do public policy debates surrounding network neutrality and digital inequality affect DML endeavors?
•    When new technologies emerge, who gains, who is adversely affected, and how do we understand the costs and benefits?   

The goal of the institute is to support the professional development of a diverse cohort of junior scholars working in the emerging field of digital media and learning. Participants will share information about their research and build relationships with key researchers at institutions across the country and globally. Institute activities will include visits to the MIT Media Lab, Harvard’s Project Zero, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Participants will also get guidance and support in developing a personal project such as a publication, grant proposal, dissertation, book chapter, or other relevant outcome.

Participants will have opportunities to engage with – and be mentored by – senior scholars working in the field.

In partnership with Microsoft Research, the DML Research Hub will provide funding for up to twelve advanced graduate and current postdoctoral scholars to travel to the meeting (round-trip coach airfare, ground transportation), as well as meals, accommodation, and activities during the one-week summer institute.

Selected participants will be expected to join in all of the activities associated with the program, such as reading and providing feedback on a variety of writings and projects, engaging with mentors, and developing their personal project. Participants are required to complete a final report that includes a copy of their project, publication, or other relevant outcome.

Application Process

We welcome applicants from all disciplines whose research touches on the issues related to DML, including social scientists, humanists, legal scholars, technologists, and education scholars.  We are looking to create a diverse cohort representing different experiences and perspectives.

Applicants must currently be affiliated with an academic or research institution.  Applicants need not be from U.S. institutions or be U.S. citizens, but must be able to obtain a U.S. visa to participate.

To Apply:

Create a profile through Fastapps:  

Write and submit a 1-2 page cover letter through Fastapps that outlines:
•    Research (or other work) and its relevance to the theme of “How Innovation and Policy Shape Networked Learning”
•    Professional significance of participating in the summer institute
•    Contribution to the diversity of the field of Digital Media and Learning
•    Description of proposed writing or other outcome produced over the course of participation in the program
•    Updated CV
•    Two Letters of Recommendation

All application materials should be submitted via the Fastapps application system on or before January 9, 2012. Email addresses for two recommenders should be entered into the Fastapps system, and recommenders will receive a personalized link to submit their confidential letters. Letters must be received on or before January 9, 2012. Notifications of awards will be sent by February 13, 2012. Any questions about the program should be addressed to the DML Research Hub at

About the DML Research Hub: Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of its Digital Media and Learning portfolio, the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub is a major initiative of the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Both the UC-wide Humanities Research Institute and the Research Hub are based at the UC Irvine campus. The MacArthur Foundation launched its Digital Media and Learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way people, especially young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations.

To learn more about the DML Research Hub, visit

To view exclusive interviews from the 2011 DML Summer Institute, visit the DML Research Hub’s Vimeo channel.