It’s MSR Social Media Collective 2015 PhD Intern Application Season!

* APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2015 *

Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for advanced PhD students to join the Social Media Collective for its 12-week 2015 Summer Intern Program. The Social Media Collective scholars at MSRNE bring together empirical and critical perspectives to address complex socio-technical issues. Our research agenda draws on a social scientific/humanistic lens to understand the social meanings and possible futures of technology. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines (including anthropology, communication, information studies, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or a related field), but should have a strong social scientific or humanistic methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation, be interested in questions related to media or communication technologies and society or culture, and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, mathematicians, and economists.

MSRNE internships are 12-week paid internships in Cambridge, Massachusetts. PhD interns are expected to be on-site for the duration of their internship. Primary mentors for this year will be Nancy Baym and Mary L. Gray, with additional guidance offered by our lab postdocs and visiting scholars.

PhD interns at MSRNE are expected to devise and execute a research project (see project requirements below), based on their application project proposals, during their internships. The expected outcome of an internship at MSRNE is a publishable scholarly paper for an academic journal or conference of the intern’s choosing. Our goal is to help the intern advance their own career; interns are strongly encouraged to work towards a publication outcome that will help them on the academic job market. Interns are also expected to collaborate on projects or papers with full-time researchers and visitors, contribute to the SMC blog, give short presentations, attend the weekly lab colloquia, and contribute to the life of the community through weekly lunches with fellow PhD interns and the broader lab community. While this is not an applied program, MSRNE encourages interdisciplinary collaboration with computer scientists, economists, and mathematicians.
We are looking for applicants to focus their proposals on one of the following six areas:

1) The politics of big data, algorithms, and computational culture
2) Affective, immaterial, and other frameworks for understanding digital labor
3) The social and political consequences of popular computing folklore
4) Personal relationships and digital media
5) How online technologies shape countercultures and communities of alterity
6) Histories of computing and the internet that focus on the experiences of people from marginalized social, economic, racial, or geographic groups

Applicants should have advanced to candidacy in their PhD program by the time they start their internship (unfortunately, there are no opportunities for Master’s students or early PhD students at this time). Interns will benefit most from this opportunity if there are natural opportunities for collaboration with other researchers or visitors currently working at MSRNE. Applicants from historically marginalized communities, underrepresented in higher education, and students from universities outside of the United States are encouraged to apply.

PEOPLE AT MSRNE SOCIAL MEDIA COLLECTIVE

The Social Media Collective at New England is comprised of researchers, postdocs, and visitors. For the most current list please see: This includes:
–       Principal Researcher Nancy Baym (http://www.nancybaym.com/)
–       Senior Researcher Mary L. Gray (http://marylgray.org/)
–       Postdoctoral Researcher Kevin Driscoll (http://kevindriscoll.info/)
–       Postdoctoral Researcher Jessa Lingel (http://jessalingel.tumblr.com/)

For a complete list of all permanent researchers and current postdocs based at the New England lab see:
Which is: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/labs/newengland/people/bios.aspx

Previous MSRNE interns in the collective have included Amelia Abreu (UWashington, information), Jed Brubaker (UC-Irvine, informatics), Jade Davis (University of North Carolina, communication), Brittany Fiore-Silfvast (University of Washington, communication), Scott Golder (Cornell, sociology), Germaine Halegoua (U. Wisconsin, communications), Tero Karppi (University of Turku, media studies), Airi Lampinen (HIIT, information), Jessa Lingel (Rutgers, library and information science), Joshua McVeigh-Schultz (University of Southern California, interactive media), Alice Marwick (NYU, media culture communication), Jolie Matthews (Stanford, learning sciences), Tressie McMillan Cottom (Emory, sociology), Laura Noren (NYU, sociology), Jaroslav Svelch (Charles University, media studies), Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn University, Institute of International and Social Studies), Shawn Walker (UWashington, information), Omar Wasow (Harvard, African-American studies), Sarita Yardi (GeorgiaTech, HCI), and Kathryn Zyskowski (University of Washington, anthropology).

For more information about the Social Media Collective, visit our blog: https://socialmediacollective.org/

APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply for a PhD internship with the social media collective:

1. Fill out the online application form: https://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/jobs/intern.aspx

Make sure to indicate that you prefer Microsoft Research New England and “social media” or “social computing.” You will need to list two recommenders through this form.  Make sure your recommenders respond to the request for letters so that their letters are also submitted by the deadline.

You will need to include:
a. A brief description of your dissertation project.
b. An academic article-length manuscript that you have written (published or unpublished) that demonstrates your writing skills.
c. A copy of your CV.
d. A pointer to your website or other online presence (if available).
e. A short description (no more than 2 pages, single spaced) of 1 or 2 projects that you propose to do while interning at MSRNE, independently and/or in collaboration with current SMC researchers. The project proposals can be related to but must be distinct from your dissertation research. Be specific and tell us: 1) What is the research question animating your proposed project? 2) What methods would you use to address your question? 3) How does your research question speak to the interests of the SMC? and 4) Who do you hope to reach (who are you engaging) with this proposed research? This is important – we really want to know what it is you want to work on with us and we need to know that it is not, simply, a continuation of your dissertation project.

We will begin considering internship applications on Feb 1, and will not consider late applications.

PREVIOUS INTERN TESTIMONIALS

“The internship at Microsoft Research was all of the things I wanted it to be – personally productive, intellectually rich, quiet enough to focus, noisy enough to avoid complete hermit-like cave dwelling behavior, and full of opportunities to begin ongoing professional relationships with other scholars who I might not have run into elsewhere.”
— Laura Noren, Sociology, New York University

“If I could design my own graduate school experience, it would feel a lot like my summer at Microsoft Research.  I had the chance to undertake a project that I’d wanted to do for a long time, surrounded by really supportive and engaging thinkers who could provide guidance on things to read and concepts to consider, but who could also provoke interesting questions on the ethics of ethnographic work or the complexities of building an identity as a social sciences researcher. Overall, it was a terrific experience for me as a researcher as well as a thinker.”
— Jessica Lingel, Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

“Spending the summer as an intern at MSR was an extremely rewarding learning experience. Having the opportunity to develop and work on your own projects as well as collaborate and workshop ideas with prestigious and extremely talented researchers was invaluable. It was amazing how all of the members of the Social Media Collective came together to create this motivating environment that was open, supportive, and collaborative. Being able to observe how renowned researchers streamline ideas, develop projects, conduct research, and manage the writing process was a uniquely helpful experience – and not only being able to observe and ask questions, but to contribute to some of these stages was amazing and unexpected.”
— Germaine Halegoua, Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Not only was I able to work with so many smart people, but the thoughtfulness and care they took when they engaged with my research can’t be stressed enough. The ability to truly listen to someone is so important. You have these researchers doing multiple, fascinating projects, but they still make time to help out interns in whatever way they can. I always felt I had everyone’s attention when I spoke about my project or other issues I had, and everyone was always willing to discuss any questions I had, or even if I just wanted clarification on a comment someone had made at an earlier point. Another favorite aspect of mine was learning about other interns’ projects and connecting with people outside my discipline.”
–Jolie Matthews, Education, Stanford University

MSR New England is Hiring a Social Media Postdoc

The Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for a social media postdoctoral researcher (start date: 1 July, 2015). This position is an ideal opportunity for a scholar whose work draws on anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, and/or science and technology studies to bring empirical and critical perspectives to complex socio-technical issues. Application deadline: Monday 3 November, 2014.

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Postdoctoral researcher positions provide emerging scholars (PhDs received in 2014 or to be conferred by July 2015) an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. Postdoctoral researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research. Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels. The position offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used world-wide.

Postdoctoral researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses.  Postdoctoral researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2015. Applicants must have completed the requirements for a PhD, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

While each of the Microsoft Research labs has openings in a variety of different disciplines, this position with the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England is especially interested in identifying social science/humanities candidates with critical approaches to their topics. SMC postdocs are based at Microsoft Research New England (located in Cambridge, MA) and enjoy opportunities to visit and collaborate with our sister Social Media Collective members in the New York City Lab.

Qualifications include a strong academic record in anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or a related field. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong social scientific or humanistic methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation, be interested in questions related to technology or the internet and society or culture, and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, mathematicians, and economists.

The Social Media Collective is comprised of full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, PhD interns, and research assistants. Our current projects include:

– How does the use of social media affect relationships between artists and audiences in creative industries and what does that tell us about the future of work? (Nancy Baym)

– What are the cultural, political, and economic implications of crowdsourcing as a new form of semi-automated, globally-distributed digital labor? (Mary L. Gray)

– What are the social and political consequences of popular computing folklore? (Kevin Driscoll)

– How do online technologies shape countercultures and communities of alterity? (Jessa Lingel)

– What are the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development? (danah boyd)

– What are the politics, ethics and policy implications of big data science? (Kate Crawford)

To apply for a postdoc position at MSRNE:

Submit an online application here.

– Indicate that your research area of interest is “Anthropology, Communication, Media Studies, and Sociology” and that your location preference is “New England, MA, U.S.”

– In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following 3 attachments with your online application:

  1. two journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments);
  2. a single research statement (four page maximum length) that does the following: outlines the questions and methodologies central to your research agenda (~two page maximum length); provides an abstract and chapter outline of your dissertation (~one page maximum length); offers a description of how your research agenda relates to research conducted by the social media collective (~one page maximum length)

After you submit your application, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. You can check the status of progress on individual reference requests at any time by clicking the status tab within your application page. Note that a complete application includes three submitted letters of reference.

THE APPLICATION SYSTEM WILL NOT REQUEST REFERENCE LETTERS UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR APPLICATION! Please warn your letter writers in advance so that they will be ready to submit them when they receive the prompt. The email they receive will automatically tell them they have two weeks to respond but that an individual call for applicants may have an earlier deadline. Please ensure that they expect this and are prepared to submit your letter by the deadline. Please make sure to check back with your referees if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation.

For more information, see here.

Feel free to ask questions about the position in the comments below.

A Manifesto For Music Technologists

March 21-23, we held the first Music Tech Fest in North America at Microsoft Research New England. It was a three day bonanza of ideas spanning a mind-bending spectrum of ways to connect music and technology.

The day after, 21 scholars met for a symposium we called What is Music Technology For? Our goal was to write a manifesto. Today we are proud to announce the launch of the Manifesto. As we say on the about page:

Those at the symposium were motivated by a passion for music, a fascination with technology and culture, and a concern for how music technology is now developing. Recognizing the fertility of music technology as a subject that bridges computational, scientific, social scientific and humanistic approaches, we looked for common ground across those fields. We debated and developed a set of shared principles about the future of music technology.

Built from the notes of that day’s event, and revised together in the weeks that followed, this manifesto is the collaboratively-authored product of this meeting.

Read more about the manifesto and who was involved on the about page. We hope those of you with overlapping interests in music and in technology will sign on.

MSR FUSE Labs 2014 internships in the Seattle area

FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research is seeking interns for 2014. For these positions, we are looking for graduate students from Computer Science, Information Science, Design, Media Studies, Social Science, and other fields with a focus on social computing and social media.

FUSE Labs is a research and development lab at Microsoft Research focused on the design, study, and development of socio-technical systems. We are a uniquely multidisciplinary team where you have the opportunity to work with developers, designers, and other researchers interested in building systems and studying them critically. Our goals are to contribute to the academic community as well as to invent the next generation of social technologies. Some of the topics that are currently of interest for FUSE Labs are civic media, creative collaboration, informal learning, communities of interest, hyperlocal media, information visualization, and machine learning applied to social data. That said, we are open to a diversity of methodologies.

Continue reading “MSR FUSE Labs 2014 internships in the Seattle area”

We’re hiring a Postdoc!

The Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for a social media postdoctoral researcher (start date: 1 July, 2014). This position is an ideal opportunity for a scholar whose work draws on anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, and/or science and technology studies to bring empirical and critical perspectives to complex socio-technical issues.

Application deadline: Monday 4 November, 2013.

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Postdoc researcher positions provide emerging scholars (PhDs received in 2013 or to be conferred by July 2014) an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. Postdoc researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research. Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels. The position offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used world-wide.

Postdoc researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses. Postdoc researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2014. Applicants must have completed the requirements for a PhD, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

While each of the thirteen Microsoft Research labs has openings in a variety of different disciplines, the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (located in Cambridge, MA) is especially interested in identifying social science/humanities candidates with critical approaches to their topics. Qualifications include a strong academic record in anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or a related field. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong social scientific or humanistic methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation, be interested in questions related to technology or the internet and society or culture, and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, mathematicians, and economists.

The Social Media Collective is comprised of full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, PhD interns, and research assistants. Current projects include:

– How does the use of social media affect relationships between artists and audiences in creative industries? (Nancy Baym)
– What are the implications of regulating algorithms? (danah boyd)
– What are the politics, ethics and policy implications of big data science? (Kate Crawford)
– How does information infrastructure shape event epistemology? (Megan Finn)
– What are the cultural, political, and economic implications of crowdsourcing as a new form of semi-automated, globally-distributed digital labor? (Mary L. Gray)
– How do online technologies shape subcultures and communities of alterity? (Jessa Lingel)

To apply for a postdoc position at MSRNE:

Submit an online application here.

– Indicate that your research area of interest is “Anthropology, Communication, Media Studies, and Sociology” and that your location preference is “New England, MA, U.S.”

– In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following 3 attachments with your online application:

a) two journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments);

b) a single research statement (four page maximum length) that addresses the following: outlines the questions and methodologies central to your research agenda (~two page maximum length); provides an abstract and chapter outline of your dissertation (~one page maximum length); offers a description of how your research agenda relates to research conducted by the social media collective (~one page maximum length)

After you submit your application, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. You can check the status of progress on individual reference requests at any time by clicking the status tab within your application page. Note that a complete application includes three submitted letters of reference.

ALL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE IN ORDER FOR AN APPLICATION TO BE CONSIDERED.

Please make sure to check back with your referees if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation.

For more information, see here.

What do we know about microsocial network apps? Not enough! Help!

Couple  (previously Pair) is an innovative app designed to help couples stay in touch. It’s one among an increasing number of microsocial platforms that cater to small groups rather than large networks. In the case of Couple, it’s a social network of just two. While there is a ton of research on scalable social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, not much has been done to look at people’s experiences in these small microsocial platforms. We’re seeking to change that! Joshua McVeigh-Schultz and Nancy Baym are conducting a study of relational communication within Couple. 

If you use Couple/Pair, we’re looking for participants to take part in this study. We’re looking for a range of experiences, and participants can be any kind of couple – romantic, friends, parent-child, sibling, whatever!  Right now we’re looking for people who can come to Cambridge, MA in the next few weeks. That said, if one or both of you don’t live near Cambridge MA, but are still interested in this study, please let us know.

By participating in this study, participants would be sharing their Couple timeline with us, but there will be some options to control what and how you share. (We’ll leave it up to you which parts of the Couple timeline you’re willing to share.) All participants will be anonymous and any media we capture from the app will have identifying information removed. As a gesture of gratitude, each participant will receive a gift card of $20.

If you and your partner are interested in participating, please contact Joshua McVeigh-Schultz at t-josmc _at_ Microsoft _dot_ com.

And please feel free to forward this call to your respective networks!

MSR Social Media Collective 2013 Summer Internships

** APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 30, 2013 ** 

Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for PhD interns to join the social media collective for Summer 2013. For these positions, we are looking primarily for social science PhD students (including communication, sociology, anthropology, media studies, information studies, etc.). The Social Media Collective is a collection of scholars at MSRNE who focus on socio-technical questions, primarily from a social science perspective. We are not an applied program; rather, we work on critical research questions that are important to the future of social science scholarship.

MSRNE internships are 12-week paid internships in Cambridge, Massachusetts. PhD interns are expected to be on-site for the duration of their internship.

PhD interns at MSRNE are expected to devise and execute a research project during their internships. The expected outcome of an internship at MSRNE is a publishable scholarly paper for an academic journal or conference of the intern’s choosing. The goal of the internship is to help the intern advance their own career; interns are strongly encouraged to work towards a publication outcome that will help them on the academic job market. Interns are also expected to collaborate with full-time researchers and visitors, give short presentations, and contribute to the life of the community. While this is not an applied program, MSRNE encourages interdisciplinary collaboration with computer scientists, economists, and mathematicians. There are also opportunities to engage with product groups at Microsoft, although this is not a requirement.

We are looking for applicants to focus their proposals on one of the following eights areas:

  1. Big data, the politics of algorithms, and/or computational culture
  2. Entertainment and news industries and audiences
  3. Digital inequalities
  4. Mobile media and social movement/civic engagement
  5. Affective, immaterial, and other theoretical frameworks related to digital labor
  6. Urban informatics and critical geography
  7. Personal relationships and digital media
  8. Critical accounts of crisis informatics and disasters

Applicants should have advanced to candidacy in their PhD program by the time they start their internship. (Unfortunately, there are no opportunities for Master’s students or early PhD students at this time.) While this internship opportunity is not strictly limited to social scientists, preference will be given to social scientists and humanists making socio-technical inquiries. (Note: While other branches of Microsoft Research focus primarily on traditional computer science research, this group does no development-driven research and is not looking for people who are focused solely on building systems. We welcome social scientists with technical skills and strongly encourage social scientists to collaborate with computer scientists at MSRNE.) Preference will be given to intern candidates who work to make public and/or policy interventions with their research. Interns will benefit most from this opportunity if there are natural opportunities for collaboration with other researchers or visitors currently working at MSRNE.

Applicants from universities outside of the United States are welcome to apply.

PEOPLE AT MSRNE SOCIAL MEDIA COLLECTIVE

The Social Media Collective is comprised of researchers, postdocs, and visitors. This includes:

Previous interns in the collective have included Amelia Abreu (UWashington, information), Jed Brubaker (UC-Irvine, informatics), Scott Golder (Cornell, sociology), Germaine Halegoua (U. Wisconsin, communications), Airi Lampinen (HIIT, information), Jessica Lingel (Rutgers, library & info science), Alice Marwick (NYU, media culture communication), Laura Noren (NYU, sociology), Jaroslav Svelch (Charles University, media studies), Shawn Walker (UWashington, information), Omar Wasow (Harvard, African-American studies), and Sarita Yardi (GeorgiaTech, HCI).

If you are curious to know more about MSRNE, I suspect that many former interns would be happy to tell you about their experiences here. Previous interns are especially knowledgeable about how this process works.

For more information about the Social Media Collective, visit our blog: https://socialmediacollective.org/

APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply for a PhD internship with the social media collective:

1. Fill out the online application form: https://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/jobs/intern.aspx Make sure to indicate that you prefer Microsoft Research New England and “social media” or “social computing.” You will need to list two recommenders through this form. Make sure your recommenders respond to the request for letters so that their letters are also submitted by the deadline.

2. Send an email to msrnejob -at- microsoft-dot-com with the subject “SMC PhD Intern Application: ” that includes the following four things:

  1. A brief description of your dissertation project.
  2. An academic article you have written (published or unpublished) that shows your writing skills.
  3. A copy of your CV.
  4. A pointer to your website or other online presence (if available).
  5. A short description of 1-2 projects that you propose to do while an intern at MSRNE, independently and/or in collaboration with current SMC researchers. This project must be distinct from the research for your dissertation.

We will begin considering internship applications on January 30 and will not consider late applications.

PREVIOUS INTERN TESTIMONIALS

“The internship at Microsoft Research was all of the things I wanted it to be – personally productive, intellectually rich, quiet enough to focus, noisy enough to avoid complete hermit-like cave dwelling behavior, and full of opportunities to begin ongoing professional relationships with other scholars who I might not have run into elsewhere.”
— Laura Noren, Sociology, New York University

“If I could design my own graduate school experience, it would feel a lot like my summer at Microsoft Research. I had the chance to undertake a project that I’d wanted to do for a long time, surrounded by really supportive and engaging thinkers who could provide guidance on things to read and concepts to consider, but who could also provoke interesting questions on the ethics of ethnographic work or the complexities of building an identity as a social sciences researcher. Overall, it was a terrific experience for me as a researcher as well as a thinker.”
— Jessica Lingel, Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

“Spending the summer as an intern at MSR was an extremely rewarding learning experience. Having the opportunity to develop and work on your own projects as well as collaborate and workshop ideas with prestigious and extremely talented researchers was invaluable. It was amazing how all of the members of the Social Media Collective came together to create this motivating environment that was open, supportive, and collaborative. Being able to observe how renowned researchers streamline ideas, develop projects, conduct research, and manage the writing process was a uniquely helpful experience – and not only being able to observe and ask questions, but to contribute to some of these stages was amazing and unexpected.”
— Germaine Halegoua, Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The summer I spent at Microsoft Research was one of the highlights of my time in grad school. It helped me expand my research in new directions and connect with world-class scholars. As someone with a technical bent, this internship was an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from really smart humanities and social science researchers. Finally, Microsoft Research as an organization has the best of both worlds: the academic freedom and intellectual stimulation of a university with the perks of industry.”
— Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Media, Arts and Sciences, MIT

Microsoft Research, FUSE Labs Internship Opportunities

FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research is looking for interns for 2013. For these positions, we are looking primarily for graduate students from Computer Science, Information Science, Design, and other multidisciplinary fields with a focus on social computing and social media.

FUSE Labs is a research and development lab at Microsoft Research focused on the design, study, and development of socio-technical systems. We are interested in building systems and studying them critically. Our goals are to contribute to the academic community as well as to invent the next generation of social technologies. Some of the topics that are currently of interest for FUSE Labs are communities of interest, civic media, social computing, hyperlocal media, information visualization, big data, and machine learning applied to social data. That said, we are open to a diversity of methodologies.

Next year, we are planning to have a cohort of interns working collaboratively on a civic media project. The goal of the project is to have meaningful societal impact by developing new tools to empower citizens, such as tools to visualize, aggregate, and enable collaboration among citizens locally and around the world.

The internships are 12-week paid internships in Redmond, Washington. The expected outcome of the internship is a prototype and a publishable scholarly paper for an academic journal or conference such as CHI, CSCW, ICWSM, WWW, and USIT. Interns are expected to collaborate with researchers, interns, and other members of the lab, give short presentations, and contribute to the life of the community. The goals of the internship are to help the intern advance their own career, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, and contribute to FUSE Labs’ research efforts. There are also opportunities to engage with product groups at Microsoft.

Preference will be given to intern candidates who are interested in public-facing research and have a track record of academic publishing and/or systems building. Interns will benefit most from this opportunity if there are natural opportunities for collaboration with other interns and researchers.

Applicants from universities inside and outside of the United States are welcome to apply.

Application Process

  1. Fill out the online application form. Make sure to indicate that you prefer FUSE Labs and “social media” or “social computing.” You will need to list two recommenders through this form. Make sure your recommenders respond to the request for letters.
  2. Send us an email with the subject “Intern Application” that includes the following four things:
    1. A brief description of your dissertation project.
    2. An article you have written (published or unpublished) that shows your writing skills and interest in this area.
    3. A copy of your CV
    4. A pointer to your website, portfolio, or other online presence (if available).
    5. A short description of 1-3 projects that you might imagine doing as an intern at FUSE Labs.

We will begin considering internship applications on January 10 and consider applications until all internship positions are filled.

Previous Intern Testimonials

“My internship at Microsoft Research surpassed all of my expectations in the best way possible. I spent 12 weeks surrounded by motivated and curious students and researchers who were not only interested in helping me develop an interesting research project, but also interested in helping me develop as a researcher. Everyone I engaged with, from my mentor to team members to our group manager, spent time getting to know me and made me feel like a valued member of the MSR family. At FUSE Labs, I was able to contribute to a number of projects beyond my own intern project, all of which gave me valuable experience working with different types of groups within MSR (design, development). I left my internship with a deep respect for the research and researchers at Microsoft Research, as well as a number of new friends.” Behzod Sirjani, PhD student at the School of Communication at Northwestern University

“The summer I spent at Microsoft Research was one of the best grad school experiences I have undertaken: fun, challenging and rewarding. As someone with a computer science background with interests in big data and social media, this internship gave me an opportunity to explore the vast data sources that Microsoft Research maintains. More importantly, the experience with MSR helped me build connections with word-class scholars and fellow interns with different backgrounds. Overall, it was a terrific experience for me as a researcher as well as a thinker.” Yuheng Hu, PhD student of Computer Science at Arizona State University

FUSE Labs is an excellent place to experience the intersection of design, research, and social computing. I had the great opportunity to collaborate with a talented team who not only supported me in the development and refinement of my process and skills, but also willingly debated with me on the correct pronunciation of the word ‘gif.’ A Microsoft Research internship is the perfect balance: extremely beneficial and valuable with just a touch of nerdy!”
Sarah Hallacher, student at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU

Cross-posted at: http://fuse.microsoft.com/research/internships/

Microsoft Research, Social Media Collective Postdoc Opening

The Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for a social media postdoctoral researcher (start date: 1 July, 2013). This position is an ideal opportunity for a scholar whose work draws on anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, and/or science and technology studies to bring empirical and critical perspectives to complex socio-technical issues.

Application deadline: Monday 19 November, 2012.

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/jobs/fulltime/postdoc.aspx

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Postdoc researcher positions provide emerging scholars, (PhDs received in 2012 or to be conferred by July 2013), an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. The position also offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used world-wide. Postdoc researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research. Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels.

Postdoc researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses. Postdoc researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2013. Applicants must have completed the requirements for a PhD, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

While each of the seven Microsoft Research labs has openings in a variety of different disciplines, the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (located in Cambridge, MA) is especially interested in identifying social science candidates with critical humanistic approaches to their topics. Qualifications include a strong academic record in anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or related fields. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation in humanistic approaches to the social sciences, be interested in questions related to technology or the internet and society or culture, and be interested in working across disciplines and with computer scientists.

The Social Media Collective is comprised of full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, PhD interns, and research assistants. Current projects include:

  • How does social media use affect relationships between artists and audiences in the creative industries? (Nancy Baym)
  • How do youth make sense of networked publics? (danah boyd)
  • How do we listen to each other in networked environments, and what are the implications for intimacy, privacy and social change? (Kate Crawford)
  • How does information infrastructure shape event epistemology? (Megan Finn)
  • How do people with minimal internet access use mobile media to negotiate marginalization and social immobility? (Mary L. Gray)

To apply for a postdoc position at MSRNE:

  1. Submit an online application at: https://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/jobs/fulltime.aspx

    Indicate that your research area of interest is “Anthropology, Communication, Media Studies, and Sociology” and that your location preference is “New England, U.S.”

    In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following 3 attachments with your online application:

    1. two journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments);
    2. a single research statement (four page maximum length) that addresses the following: outlines the questions and methodologies central to your research agenda (~two page maximum length); provides an abstract and chapter outline of your dissertation (~one page maximum length); offers a description of how your research agenda relates to research conducted by the social media collective (~one page maximum length)
  2. After you submit your application, send an email (msrnejob@microsoft.com) alerting us that you have uploaded your application. If an applicant meets the requirements above, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. ALL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE IN ORDER FOR AN APPLICATION TO BE CONSIDERED. Please make sure to check back with your referees or us if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation.

For more information, see: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/jobs/fulltime/postdoc.aspx

To learn more about the Social Media Collective, check out our blog: http://www.socialmediacollective.org

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer