Tech Policy Fellow

Website Center for Social Media and Politics

About the role

Today, as myriad technologies become increasingly vital to politics and public life, policymakers in the U.S. and abroad are reshaping governance of the online sphere. Given the complexity of social platforms, however, policymakers often struggle to understand the ever-developing multi-platform online environment. At the same time, academic groups with the technical expertise to research platforms at scale often lack the capacity to translate their work for policy audiences.

NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics seeks a Researcher (Tech Policy Fellow) to translate our research for policy audiences, enable researchers and policymakers to engage more deeply, and ultimately improve public policy and debate on these critical issues.

This is a new role at CSMaP, so while scoping the exact responsibilities will be a collaborative process, we want to provide a high-level overview of how we envision the role working to advance evidence-based public policy and discourse.

First, this person will use research — from CSMaP and elsewhere in the field — to inform policy. This could take several forms, both public and behind-the-scenes, including:

Thought Leadership – Writing an essay series about how quantitative research can inform major policy areas (i.e. content moderation, algorithms, polarization, hate speech, data access) currently under consideration by state, federal, and international authorities; writing commentary tied to current tech policy news; and serving as a spokesperson for media.
Networking – Engaging stakeholders in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley —  i.e. congressional staffers, think tanks, and industry leaders — and ensuring their decision making is informed by the best available research.
Events – Planning regular events bringing together the research and policy communities within the ever-growing network and field.
Second, this person will engage CSMaP’s research community on policy issues. As outside researchers, we lack insider knowledge of how the black-boxed platforms we study work, and insight into how policymakers consider regulations. By embedding this position within CSMaP, this role will help researchers better understand the rapidly changing policy environment, both in government and industry, so they can consider how their research can be impactful on policy-relevant topics. Finally, as an academic research institute, one of our primary goals is to train the next generation of scholars and practitioners; this person will support this goal by providing training and mentorship (both formal and informal) on the policy space.

Tagged as: #policy #digital, Policy, public policy, research

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