Coming soon: an open call for non-resident technologist fellows

Ben Moskowitz
Dec 16, 2019 · 3 min read

UPDATE: we are accepting applications through March 28th

UPDATE 2: to give applicants more time during the disruptions from COVID-19, we are extending the application deadline to April 15th.

Apply now: https://digital-lab.consumerreports.org/fellows/

We just announced that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is increasing its support of CR’s work on consumer privacy and data security. I’m writing with some context about what this means for the Digital Lab and how you can get involved.

One of the goals of the Digital Lab is to build out tools, systems and expert networks to help CR significantly scale up research and ratings on privacy and data security. The best way for us to succeed at this is to harness (and contribute back to!) the rich ecosystem of institutions and independent researchers working at the forefront of these issues.

That’s why we’re very excited to share that Sloan’s support will enable us to appoint up to six non-resident technologist fellows in 2020 and 2021.

Early next year, we will issue an open call and invite prospective fellows to propose projects that align with a set of broad methodological and infrastructural challenges around the evaluation of consumer privacy and security.

We anticipate that most prospective fellows are already engaged in this kind of work, either at a research institution or in a professional capacity. That’s why, rather than asking for a full-time commitment, we’ve envisioned this fellowship as a flexible engagement, with a generous stipend. For most folks, we expect this will look like a 10-month “tour of duty” that will supplement whatever they’re currently working on.

We’ll work with fellows to co-design and implement research and testing tools that span categories like consumer IoT, connected cars, and data platforms.

Fellows will be able to work from anywhere — but will be welcome in the CR offices in SF, DC and the New York area. They’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with technologists and technicians who are part of the Digital Lab, leverage test equipment in our physical labs, and harness the collective intelligence of a broad network of public interest technologists.

In addition to advancing original research, we’re hoping that fellows will help us innovate tools, methodologies and systems that can be taken up by future code maintainers and lab technicians at CR.

Because so many products come through our physical laboratories — and because millions of people trust CR’s reviews and ratings — we are in a great position to support the wider community of computer security researchers. By opening up our labs and creatively partnering in support of these broader fields of research, we’ll seek to inform public debates, raise companies’ standards, and ultimately empower consumers with better products and services.

We would love your feedback on how best to structure this program. If you or someone you know might be interested in applying for the fellowship, sign up for our email list and we’ll notify you when the call is open. In the meantime, we invite you to get in touch with any ideas or questions.

Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

Ben Moskowitz

Written by

Turning up the knob on good ideas. Averting marketplace dystopia @ConsumerReports Digital Lab https://lab.cr.org

Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

More From Medium

More on Privacy from Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

More on Privacy from Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

More on Privacy from Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade