Benton Institute Puts Out Call for Opportunity Fund Fellowship

As part of its ongoing effort to support a new generation of broadband scholars, practitioners, and advocates, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society has put out the call for fellowship applicants looking to further their studies on broadband access, adoption, equity, and use.

In a recent newsletter, the Institute says they “are interested in supporting a range of projects that can better inform our current or emerging broadband policy debates, either through critical research about the future of the Internet in our communities or the development of best practices and tools to advance our field’s work.”

More specifically, they are seeking “proposed projects (that) can yield either practice or research-focused publications or multimedia content.”

Some potential topics include:

  • How are grassroots organizations and coalitions working to advance digital equity?
  • How can we best measure and map the availability and quality of broadband?
  • What state and local policy levers can influence broadband availability and adoption?
  • How does improved access to broadband impact local economies and communities?
  • What resources and information do state legislators or government agencies need to ensure universal broadband access and adoption?

The Institute goes on to explain how those topics are “by no means an exhaustive list” and that applicants “should feel free to propose other ideas of critical importance to our field;" noting also that the Institute is especially interested in applications that focus on historically marginalized communities.

The fellowships, which are being supported through the Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund, will range from $5,000 to $20,000 – with a tenure ranging from 6 months to 2 years.

Applications are due by October 15, 2022. For more information on the fellowship, eligibility, or the application process email fellowships@benton.org.

Previous fellowships include Dr. Christopher Ali, Associate Professor with the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, which aided Ali’s research and writing of the book Farm Fresh Broadband: The Politics of Rural Connectivity; and the Biden-Harris administration’s nominee for FCC Commissioner Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate, to support her podcast “Tech on the Rocks.”

Former ILSR Community Broadband Networks Initiative researcher, Dr. Revati Prasad, is now the Benton Institute's Director of Research and Fellowships where she leads recruitment and manages a diverse cohort of fellows – researchers, advocates, and practitioners – and their projects to develop resources and strategies states and local communities can use to expand broadband access.

Inline image of Internet researchers courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)