Call for Research Fellowships

CENTRE FOR COMMUNICATION GOVERNANCE AT NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, DELHI

CALL FOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

The Centre for Communication Governance at the National Law University, Delhi (CCG) invites applications for its Fellowship Programme for 2015-2017.

About the Centre

CCG is a research centre within National Law University, Delhi, and is the first of its kind in India. Over the course of two years, CCG has established itself as a leading, credible organization for research in the field of information law and policy. The Centre routinely works with a range of academic institutions and policy organizations. These include the Berkman Center at Harvard University, the Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy at the University of Oxford, the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University, Freedom House, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, the Media Legal Defence Initiative and the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers. We engage regularly with government ministries such as the Ministry of Law & Justice, and the Ministry of Communications & IT, and work actively to provide the executive and judiciary with useful in the course of their decision making on issues relating to civil liberties and technology. 

About the Fellowships

The CCG Fellowship is a highly competitive research programme designed to build competence and raise the quality of discourse in research and policy around issues concerning civil liberties and the Internet in India. Fellowship output is intended to catalyze effective, research-led policy making and informed public debate around issues in civil liberties and technology and Internet governance. The Fellowship covers the following broad areas:

  1. Civil Liberties: Research in this area will be expected to engage with questions concerning development of the human rights and civil liberties discourse in the context of the Internet and emerging communication technology in India. While we would welcome research questions relating to the impact of any of the fundamental rights in Part III of the Indian Constitution, we are particularly interested in work relating to law criminalizing speech from a doctrinal and empirical perspective. Research on this track will squarely address the research gap around the architecture of the Internet and its impact on free expression. An overarching focus of this fellowship will be be on studying the manner in which the public sphere is constructed online.
  2. Privacy, Surveillance & Big Data: Research in this area will be expected to consider questions concerning the treatment of personal data by large public and private data collectors and processors. Fellows could undertake research concerning surveillance as well as data protection practices, laws and policies. Their work may be directed either at the normative questions that arise in the context of surveillance or data protection, or at empirical work, including data gathering and analysis, with a view to enabling policy and law makers to better understand the pragmatic concerns in developing realistic and effective privacy frameworks. The scope of this fellowship can also include the debate around the right to be forgotten and data localization, and the manner in which standards for encryption that effectively balance between privacy and security concerns, should be conceived. In the context of the business process outsourcing industry, research under this fellowship can also consider international trade law concerns, particularly the manner in which flows of data and online services are treated as they flow across borders.
  3. Internet Governance: Fellowships in this area will be expected to contribute to creating competence in Internet governance in India across the various global fora in which these issues are being deliberated. Fellows will be expected to collect and analyze historical and current information concerning the interests and positions of nations from the Global South generally, and India in particular, and provide context and analysis in real time to Indian stakeholders, including the government.
  4. International Law: There is at present only a very limited understanding of issues around cyber conflict. Research in this area will analyse how existing principles in public international law including the laws of war would apply to cyber warfare and cyber conflict. It will investigate how far an analogy to conventional warfare and armed conflict is sustainable and whether (and, if yes, how far) the international law binding India on these issues would be relevant online.
  5. Markets and Public Interest: The research under this area will consider questions of access, including how the human right to free speech could help to guarantee access to the Internet. It would identify areas where competition law would need to intervene to ensure free, fair and human rights-compatible access to the Internet, and opportunities to communicate using online services. Work in this area will consider how existing competition and consumer protection law could be applied to ensure that freedom of expression in new media, and particularly the internet, is protected given market realities on the supply side. The fellowship will also put out material regarding the net neutrality concerns that are closely associated to the competition, innovation media diversity and protection of human rights especially rights to free expression and the right to receive information and particularly to substantive equality across media

The Fellowship will be based out of the Centre’s offices at the National Law University, Delhi. It will ordinarily run full time for a duration of one to two years.

Role

CCG is a new, continuously evolving organisation and Fellows are expected to be active participants in building a collaborative, merit-led institution and a lasting community of highly motivated researchers. All Fellows will be expected to maintain the highest ethical standards in their work, and contribute to the institution’s growth and development.

Fellows will ordinarily be expected to design and produce a few completed units of publishable research over the course of a 12-month period, under the supervision of the Research Director. Equally, Fellows will also be expected to participate in other work, including writing opinion pieces, policy responses, and blog posts. In addition, Fellows will have organisational responsibilities such as providing inputs for grant applications, networking and designing and executing Centre events.

Qualifications

The Centre welcomes applications from candidates with degrees in law, public policy, management or the social sciences, generally. Candidates from other disciplines, who satisfy the remainder of the eligibility requirements, may address a brief letter of inquiry to ccg@nludelhi.ac.in in order to determine their suitability.

All candidates must be able to provide evidence of an interest in civil liberties, and preferably in technology policy as well. In addition, they must have a demonstrable capacity for high-quality, independent work.

As a young, fast-expanding organisation, CCG anticipates that all members of the Centre will have to manage large burdens of substantive as well as administrative work in addition to research. The Centre seeks highly motivated candidates with a deep commitment to research as well as to institution building.

[The Centre reserves the right not to fill the position if it does not find suitable candidates among the applicants.]

Remuneration

Applicants will be titled Fellow (entry level to two years of experience) or Senior Fellow (relevant masters degree/ two or more years of relevant experience in law and in information policy). The salaries will be competitive, and will usually range from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 75,000 per month, depending on multiple factors including the larger research project under which candidates’ proposals can be accommodated.

Where candidates demonstrate exceptional competence in the view of the Centre’s Research Director, there is a possibility for greater remuneration.

Procedure for Application

Interested applicants are required to send the following information and materials by 19th June, 2015 to the Registrar, National Law University, Delhi at registrar@nludelhi.ac.in. Applications must also be marked to ccg@nludelhi.ac.in.

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Contact details for two referees. Referees must be informed that they might be contacted for an oral reference or a brief written reference.
  3. One academic writing sample of between 2000 and 2500 words (essay or extract, published or unpublished).
  4. Expression of Interest in joining CCG (500 words).
  5. Shortlisted applicants can be called for an interview.
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