Request for Proposals – Internet Economy Research Fellowships

PEP is excited to pass along a Request for Proposals from the Internet Association for their Internet Economy Research Fellowships. This is ideal for PhD or JD students, dost-docs, or professional researchers. Please click below to read the full announcement.

Internet Economy Research Fellowship (2018-2019)

*Multiple positions available

Request for Proposals

Due: August 15, 2018 (5:00pm US ET)

Organization: Internet Association’s mission is to foster innovation, promote economic growth, and empower people through the free and open Internet. It is the only trade association that exclusively represents leading global internet companies on matters of public policy.

Role: The Internet Economy Research Fellowship Program is an annual initiative to provide young researchers the opportunity to produce cutting-edge research on the role of the Internet in the US and global economies. Fellows will work under the supervision of Internet Association’s Chief Economist and with input from Internet Association’s independent Research Advisory Group, which is comprised of leading academic experts on digital technology. Fellows will have the potential for unique access to representatives of the leading Internet companies in the world and are expected to provide significant research contributions with direct and timely relevance for policymakers, private sector leaders, and researchers.

2018 Topics of interest:

●  A policy primer on FinTechan analysis outlining the distinguishing characteristics of FinTech firms as well as a comprehensive review of existing literature on FinTechs economic and societal impacts; report would be written for a general audience (i.e. non-specialists) and serve as an introductory document to policymakers on what FinTech is and why it is important.

●  How the internet is regulatedthere is currently no comprehensive source detailing the regulatory oversight of internet companies despite its major importance to the US economy as an industry; IA seeks a report that details existing regulations directly affecting the internet and which provides a clear conceptual map of how those regulations work (for example, through a comprehensive diagram)

●  Valuing the non-monetary consumer benefits of the internetmany experts discuss how current measures cannot fully capture the benefits of the internet to individuals; IA seeks a research that documents existing literature that has valued the non-transactional components of the internet and that profiles how consumers today utilize the internet; specific areas of analysis could include new forms of media, sharing economy platforms, free services, etc.

●  An evaluation of the impacts on business performance from a diversity in employmentIA seeks research assessing differences in firm financial performance based on diversity of their board of directors and an analysis on the costs of an inability to retain a diverse workforce within a company

●  Internet (edge) infrastructure investment and consumer demandsurprisingly, little is known about how edge company investments have helped to develop the broader internet ecosystem; specifically, there has been no comprehensive research documenting edge company (i.e. not ISP) infrastructure investment or how users of edge platforms have boosted overall internet demand

●  An assessment of potential impacts from sharing economy lawsnew research to understand the impacts of work’s changing nature is becoming critical given the rise in sharing economy and freelance work in recent years; IA seeks forward-looking research on the costs, benefits, and other impacts of laws that impact the sharing economy; specifically, IA seeks analysis on the potential impacts of portable benefits laws and of changing independent contractor laws; the research should be exploratory and seek to set out a thoughtful analysis of where these laws may lead

●  An assessment on the legal implications of algorithmic bias​ ​the algorithmic biasis becoming better known everyday; however, many policymakers are unclear what it means from a technical and legal standpoint; IA seeks research that will more clearly illustrate the concept of algorithmic bias for a general audience and then develop a robust analysis on its potential legal implications

●  IA will also consider well-developed applications on any of the following policy priority areas:Election Advertising; Patents; Net Neutrality; Trade; Immigration Reform; Privacy; Government Data Collection; Copyright; Data Security; Intermediary liability; Sharing Economy; Global Internet Governance

Fellowship terms:

○  A stipend award upon successful completion of the fellowship, contingent upon the completion of 1 fully drafted publication as well as meeting agreed upon intermediary deadlines during fellowship;

○  Duration of approximately 6 months;

○  Ability to work approximately 0.5-1 day per week (on average) for the full duration of the fellowship;

fellows may work remotely and plan their own schedule to work around other commitments

○  Ability to provide updates to Internet Association’s Chief Economist at least one time per month;

○  Ability to promptly answer emails, speak on the phone, and respond to requests when they arise;

○  Ability to potentially present research to Internet Association stakeholders and other interested parties (funding for travel and presentation costs available where appropriate) Qualifications:

○  Must be currently enrolled or recently graduated from a PhD, masters, or JD program in Economics, Political Science, Law, Data Science, Business, Geography, Public Policy, Planning, or another policy related field;

○  Demonstrated ability to conduct research independently;

○  Strong interest in the role of the Internet in the US and global economies;

○  Research must be in relevant topic area of interest (please see topics list);

○  Ability to conduct applied empirical work;

○  Ability to work under deadlines

Education: Must be a current or recently graduated PhD or JD candidate (will also consider Masters degree candidates with extensive research experience), a Post-Doctoral Researcher, or a professional researcher with a strong record of conducting high-quality research. The Fellowship is open to applicants who are able to work on a part-time basis (self-scheduled and remote, approximately 0.5 to 1 day per week over the length of the fellowship).

Contact: Send a Cover Letter, CV, a 0.5 to 1-page research proposal, and a writing sample (can be either academic or a general audience report) to:


Wednesday August 15, 2018 by 5:00pm US Eastern Time with interviews/calls to be conducted the following two weeks. Fellowship to commence September 1, 2018 and last through February 28, 2019