The Information Futures Fellowship is a novel opportunity for practitioners in public health, healthcare, community organizations, media, policy, design and other fields who are actively working on responses to the ongoing information crisis. The six-month fellowship provides these practitioners with the resources, time, research partners, training and peer network to develop new ideas, evaluate existing programs or design and test novel interventions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront how misinformation poisons public discourse, disrupts efforts to respond effectively in a crisis and interferes with people’s ability to live healthy lives. As earlier work on elections has shown, however, misinformation is just one part of the challenge. Technological advances and designs have enabled rapidly changing information ecosystems that are vulnerable to misuse and abuse — and ill-understood by most people who rely on these information ecosystems every day to engage with friends, colleagues, constituencies and communities. The result is an erosion of trust in institutions and others in society, and many downstream effects such as a lack of trust in vaccines or elections, leading to preventable deaths and suffering, and political instability.

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The Information Futures Fellowship is built to empower practitioners who lead investigations into any aspect of these intersecting information challenges and how they can be addressed — to start building a better future for our information spaces, habits, institutions and culture. As leaders in their fields and communities, those on the front lines are most familiar with concrete information challenges and closest to potential solutions. The Fellowship provides access to skill sets and research expertise of other disciplines and industries (in the form of partnerships and mentorship) as well as the resources and freedom to innovate.

The Brown University School of Public Health is recruiting 3-5 Information Futures Lab Fellows to develop, implement and evaluate pilot programs that address information issues in a variety of communities and contexts around the world. The six-month fellowship provides these practitioners with the resources, time, research partners, training and peer network to develop new ideas, evaluate existing programs or design and test novel interventions that lead to healthier information spaces.

The IFL Fellows will join a vibrant team working on research-to-practice projects, proof-of-concept work, intervention evaluations and translational science initiatives aimed at addressing key ongoing and emerging challenges by reducing the impact of mis- and disinformation, and propaganda and online profiteering on the health of people and societies.

Reporting to Faculty Director Claire Wardle, the IFL Fellows will hone their knowledge of research landscapes (peer-reviewed academic research and think tanks) in various information-related disciplines and study the evolving practices and needs of information media and education practitioners.

Benefits

  • IF Fellows will develop, implement and evaluate pilots quickly, as they iterate with an urgency that matches the magnitude of the challenge. Proposed projects should be innovative, evidence-based and designed to push forward our understanding of what successful approaches should be replicated and scaled. Topic areas of interest for 2023 include but are not limited to pandemics and epidemics, climate change and gun violence.
  • Applicants can propose entirely new projects or those that are already underway but need new insights, iteration and evaluation.
  • Fellows will participate in the Information Futures Academy, which will provide unique training in cutting-edge tools and techniques such as information monitoring, misinformation mitigation, effective communication, community listening, intervention and research design, and program evaluation.
  • Fellows will also participate in at least one Sandpit, a three- to four-day design sprint during which a diverse group of problem solvers works on one or more ideas to address an information challenge. 
  • Throughout the fellowship, fellows will share their expertise and learn alongside others as they network with and take inspiration from some of the most impactful change-makers in the field. 
  • Whether they are in residence at Brown or working remotely from within their community, fellows will connect weekly with their cohort to share project updates and solicit and provide feedback.
  • Fellows will also have access to Brown University libraries and other shared resources. 
  • Fellows will use the training, resources and network to refine and execute their pilots.
  • IFL Fellows can choose a six-month Brown residency or stay within the community in which the work will take place. Regardless of residency status, in-person attendance is required at the Fellowship Academy and Sandpit, and Fellowship Wrap, which will run for one week each at the beginning of the fellowship and toward the end on Brown University’s campus in Providence. 
  • Fellows are also expected to produce deliverables that are relevant to practice (for example, tools for replication or scaling, creative reporting of the work and lessons learned, or white papers) and relevant to research, where applicable and in partnership with thought partners (for example, articles for submission to peer-reviewed journals or presentations at conferences.)

In addition to working on their own project, Fellows will:

  • Participate in training sessions and programs
  • Present on work and project implementation and effectiveness
  • Exchange knowledge with experts working on information issues, including the staff at the Information Futures Lab

IFL Fellows are not required to reside near Brown University during their fellowship program, but Fellows are expected to participate in person at two events over the duration of their program.

  • Will prepare the incumbent to be a transformative leader who can evolve information spaces, build trust and mitigate misinformation within academia, public health, newsrooms, community-based organizations, libraries, schools, government agencies or technology companies.
  • Fellowships last for a six-month period, coinciding with Brown University’s fall and spring semesters.
  • A stipend of $35,000 for the six-month period is available to Fellows whose employers do not keep them on salary during their time on the fellowship.
  • All Fellows can take full advantage of the School of Public Health, benefiting from the outstanding research and training resources at Brown University.
  • If an employer keeps the fellow on salary during the fellowship because the project benefits the employer’s organization, a fellowship stipend will not be provided; that unused stipend will then be extended to an additional fellow who will join the cohort.

Please note: Fellows are not eligible for healthcare benefits through Brown University.

Eligibilities

  • A minimum of 5-10 years of experience in their field
  • A proven track record within a field such as (but not limited to): policy-making, public health, libraries, education, communications, design, fact-checking, journalism, healthcare, community leadership, research or government
  • They are particularly interested in applicants working with communities that are underrepresented in efforts to improve the information.
  • They also prioritize applicants who, without this fellowship, might not be able to dedicate space and resources to design and implement a program with their community in mind.
Eligible Regions: Open to all

Application Process

To apply the followings are required

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English.
  • Four short answers to questions about the candidate’s pilot idea and execution:
    – The information challenge you have identified, and why it should be addressed quickly. Be specific about the current impact you see, its main mechanisms, and who is affected.
    – Your idea for addressing the challenge. Why are you choosing this approach, what experiences or research is it based on, have you tried something similar before, how would it broaden the toolkit — yours, your organization’s, your field’s — if it were to work?
    – Why you are the right person to build and run this pilot, what you will bring to the fellowship, and what support you are seeking to run the pilot well? Explain how you plan to implement the pilot while on the fellowship.
    – If a partner is identified, please explain how you will work with them and what they will need to contribute in order for the project to be successful.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation:
    – One person who knows you and can speak to your ability to do impactful work. This could be a colleague, past collaborator or contact who is an expert in your area of interest.
    – A current or recent supervisor who can describe your qualifications and speak to the need for your pilot project and, if applicable, how your organization will support the work (an additional letter from this category may be substituted for employer recommendation.)

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Application Deadline: August 16, 2022 (1 Day Remaining)

Apply nowOfficial link

For Further Queries

Please direct inquiries about the IFL Fellowship to Samantha Stanley ([email protected]).
Disclaimer: Youth Opportunities spreads opportunities for your convenience and ease based on available information, and thus, does not take any responsibility of unintended alternative or inaccurate information. As this is not the official page, we recommend you to visit the official website of opportunity provider for complete information. For organizations, this opportunity is shared with sole purpose of promoting “Access to Information” for all and should not be associated with any other purposes.

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