[Air-L] OII Summer Doctoral Programme 2010 (Last Call!)

Rebecca Eynon rebecca.eynon at oii.ox.ac.uk
Tue Feb 16 05:53:33 PST 2010

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is the last call for the OII's Summer Doctoral Programme 2010, which
will be taking place in Oxford on 5-16 July 2010. The deadline for
applications is Monday 22 February 2010.

The SDP aims to bring together doctoral students engaged in dissertation
research relating to the Internet and other ICTs. By sharing their work and
learning from leading academics in the field, students can enhance the
quality and significance of their thesis research and join a peer network of
excellent young researchers.

We welcome applications from students from any discipline: economics,
geography, computer sciences, information sciences, communication,
sociology, law, cultural studies, psychology, etc.

Email: mailto:sdp at oii.ox.ac.uk

But rather than tell you more about it ourselves, we asked past students and
tutors to share their own experiences...

1. The OII SDP: The Words of Others
2. Apply for SDP2010!
3. Contact

1. The OII SDP: The Words of Others

Why do students apply to the Summer Doctoral Programme? What do they expect
from it?

'I have to admit I went into the OII's Summer Doctoral Programme not knowing
quite what to expect. To be honest, I was hesitant about applying because
part of me just wanted to have a relaxing summer after a rather intense
year. It was one of the best decisions I have made since I started my
Christine Madsen, SDP2008

One of the OII's strengths is its truly multidisciplinary approach to the
Internet. This is reflected in the programme tutors, but also in the varied
disciplinary backgrounds of the students themselves:

'The graduate students were from all over the world, representing several
disciplines, including Computer Science, Law, Communication, Information
Science, Political Science, Media Studies, Economics, and Education.'
Monica Bulger, SDP2008

As well as a full programme of lectures, the programme is arranged to
provide students with guidance and feedback on their work:

'.. the SDP was a transformative experience for many of us. By design, the
program prioritized in-depth feedback on our research from several
specialists in the field, including our graduate student peers. Our work was
the focus of the two-week program and we had many opportunities for
direction and mentorship.'
Monica Bulger, SDP2008

For some, it might be the first time they have presented their thesis work
to a wider audience:

'It felt a bit like stepping out on a limb - presenting this idea that is
somewhat controversial to this amazing group of students, faculty, and
Internet moguls from around the world - but the feedback I got that day and
during the rest of the programme is still helping me craft my thesis today
as I finish writing up [...] My SDP presentation was the first time I had
presented on one of the core themes in my research to a diverse audience.'

Christine Madsen, SDP2008

Tutors have always been enthusiastic about the programme, and quick to lead
and join discussions:

'The SDP is a unique academic experience in which the diversity of the
subject matter and methods is matched by the breadth, skill and commitment
of the students. This results in a dynamic, challenging and productive
environment, which is fostered by tutors and guided by the participating
institutions. It is a wonderful peer production at its core...'
Colin Maclay (tutor), Berkman Center

'The SDP is a unique opportunity to interact with highly gifted students
from diverse backgrounds being tutored by senior researchers in the field.
It offers a chance to broaden one's disciplinary horizon, bounce ideas off
each other, and form a continuing network of peers. The combination of
disciplinary excellence and social embeddedness makes it a very prolific and
fun environment with lasting memories.'
Marcus Foth (tutor), QUT

As well as the formal learning provided through lectures, seminars and
tutorials, another big aim of the SDP is to encourage collaboration and
networking, not only during the programme, but afterwards:

'...the friendships formed at SDP, as well as the network of research
contacts that I established, have helped guide my research and my career in
the years since.'
Matthew Weber, SDP2008

'Most importantly, we built networks [...] Over the past year and a half
since the SDP, I have had daily contact with the friends I made in Oxford.'

Monica Bulger, SDP2008

And this networking activity is noticed by the tutors too:

'Finally, there's the social networking, online and off: if and when you go
to AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers) you meet a growing body of
ex-SDP'ers, many now moved into academic and other jobs.'
Ralph Schroeder (tutor), OII

But the SDP is not only about creating networks: the SDP2009 students are
publishing a book ('Nexus: New Intersections in Internet Research') based on
the work they presented during the programme - ranging from linguistic
interactivity on Wikipedia to a public sphere interpretation of the
China-Taiwan cyberconflict.

'The idea for a book actually came from Ralph Schroeder who put it forward
during one of the student sessions 'You should make a book!' and everybody
was straight away enthusiastic about it. You could feel the electricity in
the air [...] The motivation was so high after SDP09 that we had to
transform it rapidly into a concrete book project.'
Yana Breindl, SDP2009

There's a huge amount to pack into just two weeks: lectures, seminars,
tutorials, as well as a varied social programme. And how to describe the
experience? Exhilarating, intense, stimulating, overwhelming, exhausting:
these are the words usually used. It's the most exciting fortnight of the
OII's year: a sudden and welcome influx of new faces discussing, sharing and
picking over their thoughts and experiences in meeting rooms, libraries,
over lunch, in corridors, on stairwells, on the lawn. The energy and
intellectual buzz is palpable.

'An accomplished, precocious group that wasn't afraid to ask questions, we
quickly established a challenging, funny, and engaging rapport. Together, we
presented, debated, ate, punted, picnicked, hiked, and studied.'
Monica Bulger, SDP2008

'It's an outstanding experience as you'll meet amazing people and be
confronted with exciting ideas - it's very intense but only lasts 2 weeks
... so enjoy every second of it!'
Yana Breindl, SDP2009

So how did it all begin? The OII SDP has been run since 2003 by Dr Victoria
Nash. We asked her: Why was it launched, all those years ago?

'Looking around we couldn't see much on offer for post-graduates working on
Internet-related dissertations. It seemed like a good idea - who could
resist the chance to spend a couple of weeks punting and picnicking in
Oxford, with the opportunity to study with some world-renowned academics
thrown in?'
Victoria Nash (convenor), OII

But the SDP is probably best expressed by her closing thoughts:

'What has most thrilled me over the past seven years is not the calibre of
the participants (generally outstanding) or the range of tutors we have been
able to attract (pretty stellar). No, it's what comes out of the Programme
at the end of the two weeks - genuine lasting friendships and strong
academic partnerships that have generated some really great results.'

How to join in? The first step is to apply...

More thoughts and responses from SDP students and tutors:

The SDP2009 student group produced a video documentary:

And here is a collection of everything blogged since 2003:

2. Apply for SDP2010!

The SDP2010 Application Form is available at:

All applications must be received by 17:00 GMT on Monday 22 February 2010.
Successful applicants will be notified by 1 April 2010.

The Summer Doctoral Programme 2010 is brought to you by the Oxford Internet
Institute (University of Oxford) with the kind support of: the Annenberg
School of Communication (USC), the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
(Harvard University), the Creative Industries Faculty (QUT), the i-School
(University of Toronto).

Berkman Center are SDP2010 partners:

QUT are SDP2010 partners; they discuss SDP2009:

3. Contact

Summer Doctoral Programme 2010
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford
1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Email: mailto:sdp at oii.ox.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1865 287222

Alumni: The SDP Alumnus list stands currently at 134 past-SDPers. Would you
like to keep in contact with your group? Contact: mailto:sdp at oii.ox.ac.uk if
you would like to be added to the list, giving your name and year of

[Editor: David Sutcliffe]

Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford
1 St Giles Oxford OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1865 287210
Fax: +44 (0)1865 287211
Email: enquiries at oii.ox.ac.uk
Web: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk

To subscribe, change email address or unsubscribe from the OII News mailing
list, please visit:

FAQs are available at:

To keep improving the content of the newsletters we need to know what you
think! You can provide feedback by emailing:
mailto:newsletter at oii.ox.ac.uk

More information about the Air-L mailing list