Opportunities at the CPC

Opportunities at the Cyber Policy Center

    Research Assistants for the Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Research Assistants for the Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Postdoctoral Fellows for the Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Communications Internship for Program on Democracy and the Internet
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Program on Democracy and the Internet

Research Assistants for the Stanford Internet Observatory

The Stanford Internet Observatory student research assistant program engages students with SIO’s dynamic research team, giving students the opportunity to work directly with SIO researchers on specific projects, collaborate with the broader team on rapid response projects, and develop their own research ideas. We give preference to students who have taken at least one of our courses and to students with functional fluency in at least one language other than English. Technical and data science skills are a plus.

Interested RAs must submit an online application and upload a copy of their CV/resume and transcript.

We have filled our Fall Quarter RA openings. Winter Quarter open positions will be posted in December. We accept applications on a rolling basis for generalist RAs but will be in touch only if an opening arises. 

General RA (Undergraduate or Graduate, 8-15 hrs/week)

Project description: Interested in working with us but not interested in the specific projects above? We always have needs for generalist RAs and for RAs willing to join us for specific rapid-response projects.

Desired Skills:

  • Foreign language skills (we are particularly interested in students who can read/write Arabic, Chinese (all topolects), Farsi, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Interest in information operations or information interference, tech policy, platform self-regulation, fringe platforms

  • Experience with open-source investigations

  • Strong writing and research skills

You must be logged in to your Stanford Google account to access this form. You will be asked to submit a resume and unofficial transcript with your application.

Postdoctoral Fellows for the Stanford Internet Observatory

Stanford Internet Observatory Fellows will pursue research on policy and technical issues related to Stanford’s research into the misuse of new technologies to cause harm to individuals and societies. Research focus areas may include studying current geopolitical events driven by information operations against elections, researching the use of communication platforms to cause harm to at-risk groups, designing strategies to mitigate the harm of new technologies, and developing regulatory and governance frameworks for tech companies and governments. Fellows will be housed at the Cyber Policy Center and will be a part of the larger fellowship program at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. All SIO fellows are expected to participate in Cyber Policy Center research seminars and produce policy-relevant work, which could include media appearances, published articles, or briefings to or workshops for government or international organization officials, ideally in collaboration with researchers from other disciplines. Fellows with backgrounds in the natural sciences, engineering, data science, social sciences, history, and law are encouraged to apply. All fellows are expected to be in the final stages of or have recently completed a terminal degree in their discipline, ideally a Ph.D.

Application Details

Submission of a formal application is required for all individuals who wish to be in residence as visiting fellows, whether they need funding or have independent support. Applications are run in partnership with the CISAC Fellowship Program.

All application materials, including recommendations, must be in English. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials, including letters of reference, are submitted by the deadline stated above. Please do not submit supplemental materials such as books, lengthy manuscripts, or more than the required number of recommendations.

Online submission of application must include:

  • Completed online application form
  • Resume/CV
  • Graduate school transcript (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. All pre- and postdoctoral applicants must include a transcript. Junior faculty and professionals may include a transcript, but are not required to do so.)
  • Research project prospectus or description of dissertation (1,500 words max, not including footnotes/endnotes)
  • Research abstract (200 words max)
  • Writing sample (50 pages max)
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation. Please note that recommendation letter services, such as Interfolio, may not use our online recommendation letter submission system. Please advise your recommenders to upload their letters directly to the SlideRoom system.


Online Application Instructions

  1. Access application portal by selecting link below. 
  2. Click "Sign up to get started" (at the bottom of the page). Input the requested information to create a username and password.
  3. Click "Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation Fellowship Program".
  4. Proceed through the application, entering information into all required fields.
  5. Submit your application.


We are now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. Applications are due December 3, 2021.

Communications Internship for Program on Democracy and the Internet

The Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) at the Cyber Policy Center (CPC) and the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) is announcing a fall quarter 16-week internship focused on supporting website management, social media content and general program communications, with the possibility of extension into the winter and spring quarters.  

About PDI: The PDI mission is to engage with and advance knowledge on the challenges that new technologies pose to democracies around the world. Through knowledge creation and education, and by leveraging the convening power of Stanford University, PDI creates and shares original empirical research around how digital technologies are impacting democracy to inform and educate decision-makers in the field, including the next generation of technologists, business leaders, and policymakers.This effort is intended to bring together scholars from a diverse set of disciplines to study the challenges and opportunities the Internet poses for democracies.  

About the Opportunity: 

Duration: Monday, Aug 30th - Friday, Dec 17th 2021 (16 weeks)

Schedule: 8-10 hours/week

PDI is looking for a fall quarter intern to work with the Program Manager on updating the program website and design, gathering and organizing content for a weekly newsletter, supporting on audience tracking and engagement, as well as other tasks related to event marketing and program logistics. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Inspecting the website and identifying outdated content, dead-end pages, non-functioning links, and updating all the content.

  • Evaluating the program website’s communicative strength, functionality, and clarity, and formulating recommendations.

  • Supporting on select web page redesign and reorganization to increase engagement, conversions and lower the bounce rate.

  • Streamlining the process of turning website visitors, social media followers, and event attendees into newsletter subscribers.

  • Collect details of event attendees to map out PDI’s network of scholars. 

  • Creating and sharing content to highlight PDI’s research and activities with the PACS and CPC social media teams. 

  • Consolidating program impact assessment data into a master tracker. 

  • Recording and tracking milestones shared in team research check-ins. 

How to Apply 

Please email your resume and a one page cover letter describing your interest in the role and prior experience to Haifa Badi Uz Zaman at hbadi@stanford.edu 

Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Program on Democracy and the Internet

The Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) invites promising new scholars to Stanford University for 1 year appointments as postdoctoral fellows, with potential for extension. Fellows will be affiliated with PDI and potentially a department or school at Stanford University. Each fellow will collaborate with one of the PDI faculty on research relevant to their field of study and current line of scholarship. The fellows will spend 20 percent of their time working on their own research and 80 percent assisting in the research of one of the PDI directors.  For examples of past work, see the publications page.  In addition, fellows may be asked to coordinate speaker series and seminars. 

The annual fellowship stipend is $70,000, plus the standard benefits that postdoctoral fellows at Stanford University receive, including health insurance and travel funds. The fellowship program falls under U.S. Immigration J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa activities. 

The start date of the fellowship will be September 2022, unless otherwise agreed. To assume a postdoctoral fellowship, scholars must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2022. We cannot consider applications from scholars who earned a PhD earlier than September 1, 2019.  

We encourage applications from candidates representing a broad range of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, law, computer science and engineering.  

About the Program on Democracy and the Internet

The Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) envisions digital technologies supporting rather than subverting democracy by maximizing the benefits and minimizing the threats through changes in policy, technology, and social and ethical technological norms.

Digital technologies are having a profound impact on democracy in the United States and around the world. New communication platforms that give voice to the previously unheard also empower nefarious actors who seek to undermine democracy, silence journalists and minority groups, manipulate search engines, sow distrust, and more. Concerns about virality, deception, anonymity, echo chambers, and platform information monopolies pose new challenges for democracy in the digital age. Current research to understand these challenges and, on the basis of theory and evidence, craft solutions, remains nascent, fragmented, and incomplete. A strong knowledge base is critical for policy makers, corporate leaders, and technologists to make decisions that protect and promote democracy in the digital age.

The Program on Democracy and the Internet is investigating key research themes which include:

  • Government censorship, propaganda, and information operations on digital media platforms
  • Reform options for platforms to combat hate speech, bots, and disinformation
  • Algorithmic bias
  • Deteriorating health of digital information ecosystems and its effect on democracy and civil rights
  • Changes in the media landscape due to shifts caused by digital innovation
  • Impact of the internet on election campaigns and voting

The Program on Democracy and the Internet’s work draws from the social sciences, humanities, engineering, computer science, and the law to understand the challenges digital technologies pose to liberal democracies around the world.

The program is led by Principal Investigators Nathaniel Persily, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Co-Director of the Cyber Policy Center, Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, and PACS Faculty Co-Director and Professor of Political Science, Rob Reich.

PDI is a joint initiative of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) and the Cyber Policy Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. 

For a sense of the scholarship that PDI supports, see: https://pacscenter.stanford.edu/research/project-on-democracy-and-the-internet/projects/

Questions about the Program on Democracy and the Internet should be directed to Haifa Badi-Uz-Zaman at cyber-center@stanford.edu


  • November 8, 2021: Application period opens
  • January 31, 2022: Application period closes
  • February 2022: Interviews with shortlisted candidates
  • March 2022: Offers extended to finalists

How to apply

To be considered for a postdoctoral fellowship with the Program on Democracy and the Internet, submit an application via the online application portal

 Applicants will be asked to include the following: 

  • Cover letter detailing the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the fellowship.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Fellowship proposal detailing the research that the applicant would undertake while at Stanford, and how it fits within the research agenda of the specific initiative to which the applicant is applying. In this section, please disclose if you have additional funding arrangements.
  • Writing sample consisting of either a dissertation chapter or a recent published paper. There are no specific page length or formatting requirements for this sample.
  • Graduate transcript with proof that the applicant has completed all the requirements for the PhD, or a letter from their PhD advisor stating when they will do so.
  • Two (or more) letters of recommendation submitted via the application portal.

Stanford University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer, committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce. It welcomes applications from women, members of minority groups, veterans, perso