Google Seeking Applicants for Global Internet Policy Fellowships

Google's fellowships allow students to explore a wide range of Internet policy issues, from cyber-crime to security.

Google is again looking for interested college and university students to spend their summer immersed in the world of Internet policy as Google Policy Fellows.

This will be the sixth year for the Google Policy Fellowship program, which brings qualified student applicants together to work on myriad policy issues, including cyber-crime, government surveillance and security, public procurement, trade and open access to information, according to a Feb. 20 post by Nicklas Lundblad, director of public policy for Google, on the Google Public Policy Blog.

"There has never been a more exciting time to get involved," wrote Lundblad. "We're excited to launch the 6th summer of the Google Policy Fellowship, with new opportunities to work with organizations from Africa, Europe and Latin America in addition to ones in the U.S. and Canada. Applications are open today, and students of all levels and disciplines are welcome to apply before March 15, 2013."

The 10-week fellowships will have the students working in a wide range of organizations around the world, including ILab Africa or the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in IT in Africa or the Asociascón por los Derechos Civiles or Derechos Digitales in Latin America.

In North America, participants will be able to seek fellowships with the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Creative Commons or the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Other groups include the Future of Music Coalition, the Institute for Public Representation, the Internet Education Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Consumer League. The National Hispanic Media Coalition , the New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, TechFreedom, the Technology Policy Institute, The Citizen Lab and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will also host Google Fellows.

In Europe, Google Fellows will be hosted by Bruegel, the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), OpenForum Europe (OFE) and The Lisbon Council.

The fellowship program was inspired by Google's Summer of Code program, where students are brought together to learn about the world of open-source software development. Students who are chosen get the opportunity to spend the summer "contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests," according to Google. "Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government and more."

Their expected contributions will be real, according to the program. "Fellows will be expected to make substantive contributions to the work of their organizations, including conducting policy research and analysis; drafting reports and analyses; attending government and industry meetings and conferences; and participating in other advocacy activities," Google said.

Students should have a demonstrated or stated commitment to Internet and technology policy, as well as an excellent academic record, including professional, extracurricular and volunteer activities and subject matter expertise, according to Google. Applicants should also have first-rate analytical, communications, research and writing skills, as well as the ability to manage multiple projects and work well in a fast-paced environment.

Each participant will receive a $7,500 stipend for the summer program upon satisfactory completion of the work. Students can be enrolled in part-time or full-time studies. Students will be eligible to receive course credit for their studies, as well.

Google has made a point of creating programs that foster innovation and ideas in technology around the world.

Google recently awarded its first-ever Google App Engine Research Awards to seven projects that will use the App Engine platform's abilities to work with large data sets for academic and scientific research. The new program, which was announced in the spring of 2012, brought in many proposals for a wide variety of scientific research, including in subject areas such as mathematics, computer vision, bioinformatics, climate and computer science.

Google's Summer of Code contest will be in its ninth year this summer. The program has involved some 6,000 college and university students from more than 100 countries since its start in 2005.