Google Policy Fellowship Program Launches in Indonesia

I received a short email from Prof. Onno W. Purbo in one of the mailing lists I have been part of for years. A typical one sent by Indonesia’s well-known internet scientist, it said “[f]or those who interested in internet policy, herewith the link for Google Indonesia Policy Fellowship US$7500.” What I have in mind at that time is apparently that the presence of a Google office in Indonesia in early March — even though just a representative one — started showing positive impact. Its Policy Fellowship Program, running in the U.S. and other parts of Asia for a while now is already available for Indonesians this year.

Slightly different from similar series held in other countries, this program targets academics — lecturers, researchers or students — in undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level for applying fellowship and doing research on Internet in Indonesia, with freedom of expression and civic participation as the main topics.

The program is hosted by the  Indonesian ICT Partnership Association (ICT Watch), a local internet non-profit organization. One selected candidate will be entitled to a stipend of US$ 7,500 and conduct full-time activities in 10 weeks split into two terms, as a fellow at the institution. Stipend is paid gradually (three times at US$ 3,500, US$ 2,000 and US$ 2,000), and will be transferred by electronic bank transfer upon “satisfactory evaluations by host organization, completion of all required enrollment and any other forms required.” Prof. Onno, who has written nearly a thousand articles and close to 40 books, sits on the organization board of advisors as Chairman.

Google points out that they only provide funding and administrative support for the program. The host organizations are not their partners nor their affiliates, so whatever comes out of the program doesn’t represent Google’s views or opinions.

The program first rolled out in 2008, offered to around 20 students each year. The fellowship is selected based on a candidate’s passion for technology and their academic achievements, research and writing skills. Fellows will usually spend their time working on Internet and technology policy issues at selected public interest organizations which are “at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more.”

In the U.S., only students of colleges, universities, masters programs, PhD programs and undergraduate programs are eligible to enroll. While in India, the first country in Asia Pacific that launched the program in 2011, selected applicants was chosen from three countries: Australia, India and Hong Kong.

Other research topics suggested are Freedom of Expression, Human Rights, Internet Safety, Open Government, ICT for Women & Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Drafting, creating and updating website/online FAQs. Deadline of application is May 15, and interested academics may send required documents through email: google.fellowship[at]ictwatch[dot]com. Complete requirements are available at the organizer website.